There are tons of videos and segments that promote creativity and the value of being yourself. I see them daily on Sesame Street and other PBS broadcasting. They are fun to watch and always have catchy tunes. There seems to be so much emphasis on doing the right thing and accepting others for who they are. It's such a powerful message or children get while growing up. Then, it stops.
I'm not sure what happened or where we went wrong, but it seems that spirit of individualism is lost on our students at a certain point in their life. By the time students get to me in high school, there is this awkwardness in them as they try to find the right place to fit in and find themselves. When I do my Transcendentalism Unit, there is this sigh of relief among some of my students when we talk about the value of being yourself and being proud of who you are.
There are many people out there that talk about the value of being unique, but should that be left up to popular icons? It is sad to think that idea of being an individual is only a valuable thing to be taught in the early years and left at the curb once the kids enter "traditional" schools.
Maybe the entire system is at fault. Does our current school system promote the individual?
Where did we go wrong?