Paul Houston, Developmental Studies Center, September 19, 2012
"I watch the Olympics, not for the overblown pageantry, or the bloviating commentators, or the warped up nationalism; I watch them because in a concentrated form they give us insight about what is best about our species. And they offer lessons for any mindful educator. How can you watch and see the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” that is on display in every event and not see the struggles of mankind rolled up into a few minutes or seconds of competition?
"The lessons for educators are as varied as the flags that fly during the Olympics. The power of social and emotional learning are central to education and the lessons from the games give us insight. Making your best effort, preparing well, going the distance, learning to overcome adversity, collaborating and cooperating and putting your ego aside for the good of the team are but just a few that come to mind. Perhaps the greatest lesson is that success only comes from failure. No one starts out a gold medal winner. We are all losers to some degree or another. What is clear is that simply relying on a learning system that uses the arbitrary measure of a test score but which doesn’t allow for broader life experiences that are critical to a child’s future is not one that will win gold or even a bronze."