Respect + Cultural Heroism leads to Excellence.
For example, if a culture highly esteems through symbols and action those who do aparticular activity well (e.g., throwing balls through hoops), thenhoop-ball-thrower-throughers will become cultural heroes. Their art will bepracticed and supported (people will put up hoops on their homes; schools willorganize teams, children will practice long hours at ball-hoop-throwing), andthat culture is likely to produce the best hoop-ball-thrower-throughers in theworld.
So, if you want excellence in an activity like education, the culture needs torespect those involved in the activity (students and teachers).
For a longer (by about 100 pages) presentation of this see my Educating Heroes