AIMS + EThOS
knowledge is structured in consciousness
IN THIS SECTION
“Knowledge is structured in consciousness”
The motto of the Maharishi Free School is, ‘knowledge is structured in consciousness’. In this context ‘consciousness’ is the ability to know. By implementing an educational programme which includes the systematic development of the student’s ability to know and understand, learning is made easier, more effective and enjoyable.
Consciousness-based Education recognises that the educational process has a three-fold structure involving:
• the knower (the student);
• the known (the curriculum that the student studies); and
• the processes of knowing (which connects the knower with the known)
The Maharishi School, through its use of Transcendental Meditation, develops the knower (the student) first.
Transcendental Meditation is an easily learned, simple mental practice which provides the unique experience of Restful Alertness and the consequent promotion of balance in the physiology and psychology. Through this practice the student’s latent potential begins to unfold. The wide range of cognitive, psychological, and physiological benefits from the practice of TM have been extensively validated by hundreds of scientific studies, conducted at more than 200 universities and research institutions around the world.
The different components of the programme for the development of creativity and intelligence are:
- Children from the age of four to nine years practise the Word of Wisdom technique for a few minutes at the beginning and end of each school day. It strengthens and integrates their nervous system and develops greater orderliness and coherence in their thinking and behaviour.
- Students from the age of 10 years old practise Transcendental Meditation. This is integrated into the daily schedule for a few minutes at the beginning and end of the school day.
Maharishi Free School teachers and administrators also practise Transcendental Meditation. As a result they experience greater energy, clarity, creativity, equanimity and fulfilment.
A broad and balanced curriculum
The primary curriculum:
The purpose of the Maharishi Free School’s primary curriculum is to create the stable foundation for all future learning and educational success. This curriculum is designed to enliven the children’s experience of inner happiness and self-confidence, enrich their imagination and provide varied opportunities for positive social interaction. The teachers carefully select those learning materials and activities that refine and enliven the five senses in the context of a rich curriculum. A special emphasis in the primary curriculum is the establishment of the tender bond between the teachers and children which nourishes the young children in their first school experience. On this basis the child’s receptivity to learning is established.
The secondary curriculum:
The curriculum for the secondary level provides the highest quality of traditional education through a broad and balanced curriculum that includes the study of Mathematics, Science, English Language and Literature, the Humanities and Art. The curricular approach of the Maharishi Free School reflects the ideal of “the world is my family” — everyone is appreciated and upheld, and all are understood to have the same infinite potential for creativity, happiness, and success in life.
The Process of Knowing
Principles of Teaching
This is a body of teaching principles that constitute an integral part of Consciousness-based Education and which form the common core of teaching practice at the Maharishi Free School. These principles enliven five Fundamentals of Education:
Receptivity — Intelligence — Knowledge — Experience — Expression
When these fundamentals are fully enlivened through good teaching, learning is easier, more joyful, successful and fulfilling. The learning environment is structured to support and nourish all students regardless of learning style, abilities, background, or gender. Primary emphasis in teaching is given to providing comprehensive learning experiences, for students of all ages, which allow them to move through the cycle of:
Students are encouraged to work actively with the knowledge they are gaining, and to share it with others in a variety of ways. When these principles are fully lively in the life of the school, the hallmarks of ideal education are realised such as an enthusiasm for learning, appreciation for the teacher and self-referral behaviour.
Consciousness-based Education aims to offer complete knowledge and recognises that education is about unfolding values hidden from view. This system of education not only satisfies the mind and intellect but also develops their basis which is balance in the pupil’s life. “The result of this approach is a life that, for each and every pupil, is profoundly based on the development of fulfilment.”
Conclusion – Ethos and Educational Values
To be a safe, happy, caring community of learners
• To help all individuals regardless of their race, gender or disability to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to achieve their full potential in a rapidly changing world
• To develop understanding of and respect for a wide range of religious values, languages, cultural traditions and different ways of life
• To encourage an enjoyment of life-long learning
• To encourage positive parental and community involvement
• To promote healthy lifestyles
• To provide a curriculum that is stimulating, broad, balanced, innovative and creative
• To celebrate achievement
To continue to develop these cultural norms (linked with successful school improvement – from research done by the Institute of Education at the University of London):
• Shared goals –“We know where we’re going”
• Responsibility for success –“We cannot fail”
• Collegiality –“We’re in this together”
• Continuous improvement –“We can get better”
• Lifelong learning –“Learning is for everyone”
• Innovation –“We learn by trying something new”
• Support –“There’s always someone there to help”
• Mutual respect –“Everyone has something to offer”
• Openness –“We can discuss our differences”
• Celebration and humour –“We feel good about ourselves”
All this can be summarized in the following guiding value which we wish to instill in every child:
“The World is my Family”