Who cares?: Marginalization, wellbeing, and flourishing in high school

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University of New Brunswick


This research is an exploration of marginalized students’ perception of wellbeing in high school. Wellbeing has been described as the perception of positive emotions, feelings of self-confidence, and sense of comfort is coping with stressful and challenging situations (Oberle, 2018). When a person experiences positive wellbeing, they are more likely to flourish (Parker & Levinson, 2018). In this study, I wonder: to what extent is wellbeing constrained and supported in the context of a large urban high school in New Brunswick, Canada? This participatory visual research project was conducted with thirteen grade eleven and twelve students—who identify as Indigenous, 2SLGBTQ+, racialized, and/or disabled—to elicit their insight into what supports and inhibits their wellbeing at school. Through participatory mapping, photovoice, and focus groups, key themes relating to: relationships, physical space, teaching and assessment, and recognition of marginalized identities emerged as key determinants of wellbeing.