“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation…We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then,
is not an act but a habit.” Aristotle
A model for defining and achieving excellence in schools is one that focuses not only on the
traditional three Rs but also three other Rs. The traditional
three Rs include reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic. We
need to focus on other three: reasoning, resilience,
and responsibility. These latter three Rs complement and enhance the first
Reasoning is a broad term that encompasses the comprehensive set of thinking skills that a person
needs to be an engaged, active citizen of the world. These skills include:
Good reasoning complements knowledge by enabling students to use that knowledge well.
Resilience refers to persistence in achieving goals despite the obstacles life places in our way.
Everyone encounters roadblocks sooner or later; the question is how you surmount them. Resilience
Schools need to build students’ resilience by creating challenging experiences for them that require
resilience to see them through.
Responsibility covers the ethical and moral dimension of development. Four components are
Schools need to develop responsibility by creating situations that require students to develop their
own unique and personal sense of responsibility.
If we continue to turn our schools merely into centres that prepare children to take exams, we are
neglecting the important three Rs that will teach them how to be active, productive
citizens in a rapidly changing world. In order to create a culture of excellence, we need to teach our
It is only when we have achieved this paradigm shift in our approach that we will truly be centres of