Consciousness based interdisciplinary studies
knowledge is structured in consciousness
IN THIS SECTION
The Maharishi Free School specialises in Consciousness-based Education (CbE). CbE develops the student whole student including greater self-actualisation and sharper thinking skills. There are 3 main components of Consciousness-based Education:
1) The knower
2) The process of knowing
3) The known
The knower is the consciousness of the student whose development is enhanced through the regular practice of Transcendental Meditation.
The process of knowing relates to the teacher and the principles of teaching skilfully used by the teacher to enhance receptivity within the student.
Finally, there is the known. This encompasses all the traditional subjects taught in schools with the addition of Consciousness-based Interdisciplinary Studies (CbIDS).
CbIDS can be thought of as a subject in itself, with its own facts and concepts. As such, it is a part of “the known” and therefore a part of the school curriculum. However, it also provides a set of tools to help the students apply their own creativity and intelligence in an effective way to any subject. It therefore provides a general means to optimise “the process of knowing”.
So, although CbIDs can be studied as a separate subject, the CbIDS “tool-kit” is also used throughout the school, as a means of applying higher order thinking skills for effective learning in all subjects.
The CbIDS tool-kit is made up of:
• a set of key concepts linking knowledge with consciousness, via creativity and intelligence (for example, the school motto “knowledge is structured in consciousness” is the first key concept).
• four sets of Integrating Themes, with different sets being used for different age groups. Each theme describes a different aspect of consciousness (for example “Order”, “Growth” or “Wholeness”). The theme can therefore be related directly to each student’s own personal experience, especially as developed through Transcendental Meditation. Each theme is also applied to knowledge of the natural world and to any other subject in the social and cultural world. These Integrating Themes help the students to find links between many different aspects of knowledge and to put themselves at the heart of their own learning.
• two key learning processes, which are combined in a general learning model to help teachers guide their students. These processes encourage learning for enjoyment and involve the use of a whole range of thinking skills.
• the use of concept maps and other charts to help with the processes, especially to encourage the higher order skills of analysis and synthesis.
The tool-kit can be used in a very simple way for younger children and in a more sophisticated way for older students.
The ideas behind CbIDS have been tried and tested in Maharishi Schools around the world for over 40 years. They have been revised and brought up to date for Maharishi Free School.