This week’s character trait at Seekonk High School is creative. I must admit that attaching creative (as generally defined) to the idea of good character was at first challenging. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defined creative as “having or showing an ability to make new things or think of new ideas.” That coupled with Bloom’s Taxonomy is great if addressing this topic from a purely academic aspect. Every teacher, school, and district strives to help their students move to what many consider the upper echelon of higher order thinking skills. The idea of creativity when discussing behavior however, is different.
Often in an institution comprised of specific rules and policies for everything from behavior to locker break to assignment formats, the idea of “marching to the beat of your own drummer” is not encouraged much less supported. Left with these thoughts and attempting to attach how creativity helps create a better character, I came across the following quote by Joseph Chilton Pearce:
"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong". Joseph Chilton Pearce.
That’s when the connection became clear. If one addresses the idea of creativity from the perspective of individuality and knowing oneself, then it not only makes sense, but lends itself to the following statements. A staff member or student who is creative:
· resists negative peer pressure;
· accepts the differences inherent in individuals;
· avoids cliques by befriending all types of people; and
· makes wise decisions based on his/her own morals and code of ethics.
What more could a school want than to help foster the development of staff and students who are not just secure, but comfortable and confident enough in their individuality to do what is right rather than what is popular? Taken in this context, the notion of creative is deeply tied to what many in education deem the hidden curriculum, or those things other than academics that are taught through interaction and modeling. The idea of creating a school culture that consistently supports creative students and staff who act individually is possible, but not and easy road to travel. Take the words of Robert Frost when he said; “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” for the inspiration to make a difference.