Scent of character

Performance stories

We are partnering with members of the Atlas of Creative tools team to explore how character development is kindled through storytelling. Scent of Character is a medium through which students, teachers, staff and administrators share important moments from their lives that engage our senses and stir our imaginations. The collection touches on issues many of us are experiencing today and includes practices that help you reflect on others’ experiences and learn from your own stories.

Flourishing through performance character


What do you draw on to keep going during challenging moments? How do you find the clarity needed to recognize when it's time for a change, or when it's time to be changed? In this collection of Scent of Character stories, people unpack how the development of their own character is intimately tied to the stories and circumstances of those around them. Explore performance character through the experiences of others, as well as your own.

Flexing your creative muscles


Many people think of creativity as something you either have or you don't, but when was the last time you practiced being creative? Kevin Godfrey-Chevalier shares how practicing creativity in everyday life, as well as in the classroom, helps prepare students for the diversity and uncertainty of a fast-changing world.

Storyteller: Kevin Godfrey-Chevalier
Curriculum coordinator
Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

Confronting your limits to growth


Have you ever made the decision to step away from your career because it started conflicting with your values? Andrea Passarella was confronted with that choice in her role as an educational leader, and describes how recognizing her own limits helped her begin a new chapter of engaging with the diversity, equity, and inclusion work she cares about.

Storyteller: Andrea Passarella
Graduate student
School of social and cultural pedagogy

Getting through it together


How can the resilience that gets you through challenging moments be harnessed to support others as well? Chonsey Pogue talks about how home visits to students during the Covid-19 pandemic helped him get through one of the most challenging times in his educatoinal career, as well as students and parents in the communities he continues to serve.

Storyteller: Chonsey Pogue
Clinical assistant professor
Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

Connecting with others through storytelling


When do you feel comfortable enough to tell others the stories that matter most to you? Liz Lerman describes how storytelling, in its myriad of forms, is a common human experience and can become the foundation for strong relationships built on trust and understanding.

Storyteller: Liz Lerman
Institute professor, choreographer
Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

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Character and creativity

By Atlas of Creative Tools

What questions, ideas, or memories did these stories evoke in you? There are many ways you can engage with what comes up for you, and it can be helpful to work with your responses while they’re still present. Bring your experiences together with some creative practices that will engage your mind, body, and imagination to discover the unexpected.

Wonders and inquiries

As people shared stories about their own moments of character development, several themes and even more questions emerged. In this collection of Wonders and Inquiries, students, educators and leaders in the community provide perspectives and insights based on their experiences. Use these videos to spark your own conversations and work around six broad educational themes.


Assessment provides all kinds of opportunities and challenges in education. Explore this collection to hear how educators using PI are thinking about assessment both inside and out of the classroom.

6 videos in the collection

14 minutes to complete

Building trust

Character development often evolves with a willingness to be honest with one’s self and with others. Creating conditions that foster trust between students, teachers, and administrators is an important part of the process.

6 videos in the collection

23 minutes to complete

Embedded in community

We know that learning and leadership doesn’t end when you leave the classroom. Explore this collection of insights about personal growth while making an impact on the communities that matter to you most.

6 videos in the collection

18 minutes to complete

Equity, justice, inclusion

Now more than ever, our work as educators around equity, justice, and inclusion needs to be central and visible. These perspectives offer pathways for dialogue and action among students, factually, and staff.

8 videos in the collection

20 minutes to complete

Putting PI into practice

We can learn a lot of practical knowledge from others’ experiences. This broad collection includes methods and strategies for putting Principled Innovation into practice.

16 videos in the collection

23 minutes to complete

The whole person

Sometimes in education we get stuck in our heads and forget how much our bodies can teach us. Explore these perspectives about integrating your body and mind, and ways of inviting your whole self into teaching and learning.

10 videos in the collection

27 minutes to complete