While the traditional three Rs (reading, writing & arithmetic) were only aimed at the students, these alternate three Rs could serve as a guiding philosophy for the whole learning community; students, staff, parents and the wider community.

 Relationships Humans are social beings and as such positive relationships are key to human flourishing. As well as nurturing the skills to develop positive inter-personal relationships, we also need to see the relationship between who we are, what we do, the impact of our actions and how we react emotionally. To be able to do this, we need to be given the opportunity to reflect.

 Reflection – We are living in the most stimulating time in history. Having hundreds of TV channels to choose from, social media updates to keep on top of, smartphones buzzing in our pockets we have become enslaved to the technology. We are almost in a constant state of distraction seeking our next dose of immediate gratification. We have created a world in which we see little value in reflecting on the What, Why and How of our experiences.

 Resilience – The World Health Organisation predicts that by 2030 depression will be the largest cause of illness in the Western World. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity and serves as a protective factor against depression. It has become something of a buzzword at the moment in education. Whilst schools do a good job of proactively addressing physical health (PE/health classes, healthy canteens, no-smoking and OH&S policies etc) I believe schools could be more proactive in nurturing the mental health of their learning community.

 To what extent does, could or should your school/organisation value these alternate three Rs?

This is an interesting TED talk with a slightly different take on the notion of a new three Rs by Dan Siegel


Author: Dan Haesler, he is a teacher, writer and speaker at the Mental Health & Wellbeing of Young People seminar at the Gold Coast. He writes for the Sydney Morning Herald and blogs at http://danhaesler.com/ and tweets at @danhaesler