Self-Expression: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:01 What Is Self-Expression?
  • 1:05 Types of Self-Expression
  • 1:45 Self-Expression in Education
  • 3:05 Importance of Self-Expression
  • 3:45 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shannon Orr
This lesson will define self-expression and discuss different ways to show self-expression in daily life and in the classroom. It also explores the importance of healthy self-expression.

What Is Self-Expression?

Imagine that everyone looked alike, dressed alike, acted the same, and even sounded the same. That's a pretty boring scenario. A million people with the same shirt, same voice, and same ideas. Now imagine that in a sea of all these look-a-likes, someone walks in with a yellow shirt, purple hair, and a voice as beautiful as a singing bird. Some may be startled and even discourage this individuality, but others may decide to change their shirt color or hair color too, simply because someone else's independence gave them the courage to try new things.

Self-expression is when people show that they are different from everyone else. They may choose to express themselves by how they look, what they say, or by using different types of artistic expression. Self-expression is the idea of using your own thoughts and what is appealing to you, in order to express how you feel. Self-expression allows us to be viewed as individuals instead of identical robots.

Types of Self-Expression

There are several types of self-expression. Some people choose to express themselves through their outward appearance. Whether it is the clothing they choose to wear, how they style their hair, or even how they choose to speak, people have an endless variety of ways to express themselves. Self-expression should be individually guided. This means people should do what they feel is best for themselves. If someone is dressing a certain way or behaving in a particular manner based on someone else's lead or direction, this is not considered self-expression. There is nothing wrong with people making suggestions regarding how a person could express himself, but for it to truly be self-expression, the individual has to make his own choices based on how he feels and what he likes.

Self-Expression in Education

In the classroom, it is important to view students as individuals and understand that every student is different. Some students may be verbal learners and learn best when they actually hear the teacher explain a concept. Other students may be visual learners and learn best when they actually see the teacher work through a concept. There may also be some students who are kinesthetic learners and understand better when they are able to complete a task using their hands. Yet, there are also students that learn using a combination of any of these learning styles.

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