At LEAF Academy, we stand firmly behind the idea that true leadership is rooted in values. The mission of Character Development is to help young leaders build their foundation of values and character strengths that last a lifetime.
How do you distinguish a good school from an excellent school? If they both have good academic results, both achieve similar test scores, both prepare you for university?
At LEAF Academy, we believe that a school can, and should, give its students more than that. Institutions should enable students to get to know themselves better and help them figure out, whether by trial and error or struggle and reflection and success, their innate skills and motivations. School should build students’ resilience, fuel their curiosity and let them aspire high. In short, schools should prepare for life, rather than any particular university or career choice.
Character Development is the missing piece in the puzzle. It carves out the time for reflection, discussions, experiences that lead to self-discovery, understanding and strengthening of young leaders’ values.
Character development is based in positive psychology, which means it builds on students’ strengths rather than weaknesses, and it draws on experiences from schools and educators around the world. Rather than being a traditional class, Character Development underlies all academic and extracurricular pursuits at LEAF Academy.
What Character Development is NOT?
Firstly, Character Development does not promote any particular moral system. It is neither based on does it advocate any particular religion. Instead, character development focuses on a set of universally accepted virtues and values.
Secondly, Character Development does not try to indoctrinate or brainwash. We explicitly develop the skill and practice of Critical Thinking in our curriculum, because we believe it is a key competency for every individual and crucial to a well-rounded character.
Character Development aims to equip students with a better understanding of themselves and their values, and helps students assemble a toolkit of strengths and practices that they can deploy throughout their lives.
So, which values do we want to strengthen? Everything we do at LEAF Academy stems from our mission: develop young people who will demonstrate Ethics, Excellence, Entrepreneurial Leadership and civic Engagement.
We call these values 4Es for short. Just as we, the staff and faculty (also known as “Staffulty”), make a commitment to developing our own 4Es, the curriculum at LEAF Academy is designed to help young leaders grow in each of the 4Es.
You can learn more about our values in the next article in this series – stay tuned!
Author: Tamara Bobáková
Responsible for designing the character curriculum at LEAF Academy