In 2008, in association with KGO-TV/ABC 7 in San Francisco, the American Sports Institute produced a day-long web-a-thon, a telethon on the Internet—The Arete School Web-a-Thon. ASI worked with KGO-TV and KGO-Radio 810 AM to produce video and audio programs that raised awareness and funds for the creation of The Arete School. This was a first-time, web-a-thon effort for both KGOs and ASI.
Hosted on the KGO-TV website, the programs featured topics related to The Arete School, and included prominent figures from higher and K-12 education, sport, government, the arts, social theory, law, and journalism. The topics and programs remain as relevant today as they were in 2008. Here they are:
Arete is an ancient Greek concept that is interpreted to mean virtue and excellence in body, mind, and spirit. While arete originated with the ancient Greeks, it continues to be a highly-valued principle in Greek culture today. One of the foremost experts on arete is Emeritus Professor Stephen Miller of Classic Archaeology at the University of California, Berkeley, and an ASI Advisor.
Flow is the rare, heightened, euphoric mental state that is associated with optimal performance, complete focus, a break with awareness of time and self, and feelings of profound satisfaction and fulfillment while engaging in an activity for its own sake. Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi of Claremont Graduate University, the former chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago, and an ASI Advisor, is the creator of flow theory and has written and lectured extensively on flow.
The rare, heightened, euphoric mental state of flow is experienced by athletes, musicians, surgeons, and those from all walks of life. When in flow, a person is engaged in an activity for its own sake, performing at a very high level, completely focused while experiencing a break with awareness of time and self, and has feelings of profound satisfaction and fulfillment. But the flow experience is not just for professionals. It can even be experienced by students in classrooms. Professor David Shernoff of Rutgers University and Northern Illinois University, and an ASI Advisor, is a leading expert on flow in education.
One of the biggest issues in America’s schools today is homework. Is it effective? What impact is it having on families? A movement is afoot to do away with homework, with staunch supporters on both sides of this controversial issue. Sara Bennett is an attorney and, most of all, a concerned parent who started questioning the value of homework when her first-grader started coming home with it. Ms. Bennett is the co- author of The Case Against Homework and the founder of Stop Homework, a project devoted to changing homework policy and practice that is affiliated with The Alliance for Childhood.
The lessons learned from playing sports can be applied to just about any other endeavor. Someone who knows this as well as anyone else is baseball Hall-of-Famer Joe Morgan. In his 22-year career with five Major League Baseball teams, Morgan won two Most Valuable Player awards and was a key member of the Cincinnati Reds Big Red Machine of the 1970s. Since retiring after the 1984 season, Morgan has gone on to be a very successful businessman who knows firsthand about how to apply the lessons of baseball to business . . . and to learning.
Everyone is looking for purpose and meaning in life, for their calling. This may be especially true for kids. Too often, many of America’s youth go through the motions of school and daily life without finding the spark that provides a sense of purpose and meaning. Professor William Damon, director of Stanford University’s Center on Adolescence, and an ASI Advisor, has studied, written, and lectured extensively about this issue, including authoring the book The Path to Purpose: Helping Our Children Find Their Calling in Life.
Many are concerned about what the future holds for America’s public-school system. Someone who has made a living predicting the future for presidents and prime ministers, top leaders in business, the social sciences, and education is Alvin Toffler. Over the years, Mr. Toffler has written and lectured extensively about education and the changes that need to take place in America’s troubled public-school system. In addition to his consultancy work, and together with his wife Heidi, Mr. Toffler has written such classics as Future Shock, The Third Wave, and Powershift.
Everyone knows that if you want to get the most out of people, you have to know what makes them tick. This is especially true for leaders in all walks of life. Some people have a natural instinct for this, including Dusty Baker, former manager of the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, and Cincinnati Reds, and an ASI Advisor and Cabinet member.
Despite the world-stage antagonism between Iran and the United States, when it comes to everyday citizens of these two countries, things are quite different. This is particularly true regarding American basketball players playing in Iran, even helping the Iranian national basketball team make it to the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. Dave Hein of Hein News is an American international sports journalist living in Germany and an ASI contributing writer with some interesting insights into this phenomenon.
Are the principles and practices that operate in sport also true for music? Is there some type of connection between the rhythms of these two disciplines? Omar Vizquel is a coach with the Detroit Tigers and an award-winning former Major League Baseball shortstop great who played for six MLB teams. Vizquel is also an accomplished percussionist who speaks quite knowledgeably about the rhythms that baseball and music share.