ISJ November 2016: Where are you from? The real power of imagined Home
Alexa Nijpels, a teacher writing in International School magazine recently (Vol 18.3, Summer 2016), said: ‘Two questions every international student can relate to as the most perplexing and difficult to answer are “who am I?” and “where do I come from?”’Why do we teachers continue to ask students (and new colleagues) such a troubling question? I will propose that the question itself is part of the situation that it provokes. On the one hand it is a question of material ‘fact’: what is the person’s origin in terms of history, community and place; on the other hand it is a question relating to the emotional commitment and membership, belief, faith, allegiance and aspirations of the person.