Key Principles of Teaching
knowledge is structured in consciousness
IN THIS SECTION
Consciousness-based Education promotes broad comprehension and analytical thinking in different ways through Transcendental Meditation (TM), Consciousness-based Interdisciplinary Studies (CbIDS), and the Principles of Teaching. Taken together these form the basis of Consciousness-based Education, and make the acquisition and application of knowledge easier.’
Each of the elements of the Principles of Teaching are more fully explained and exemplified for teachers during their Continuous Professional Development Programme.
Several of these principles enhance learning by keeping the attention of the students on the total picture of knowledge while they are focusing on the details. For example, one key technique of Consciousness-based Education that is used to achieve this is that all the most important learning should be on charts. The charts used in Consciousness-based Education integrate the central knowledge of the discipline with the whole discipline. These charts themselves are means to develop broad comprehension. They require the teachers to conceive of and present the knowledge holistically, in context, and then make the knowledge relevant to the student. With these charts posted on the walls of the classroom, the students are continuously connecting each part of knowledge to the whole discipline, and the whole discipline to themselves.
The Main Points Chart for every lesson gives the central idea of the lesson. We teach the whole, then show how the whole generates the parts. We teach each part thoroughly, see where the parts fit, then step back from all the parts to their common basis, synthesising the parts into a new and more profound wholeness.
We can use large, attractive wall charts to display the main ideas of the lesson and their connection with Interdisciplinary Studies. The students should be surrounded visually by these charts, so that wherever they look, their eyes fall on organised knowledge.
Integrating CbIDS into lessons
The value of CbIDS can be considered in three areas:
- Unfolding fulfilment
- The sequence of Knowledge → Action → Achievement → Fulfilment is a key principle of teaching and learning at the Maharishi Free School. If the development of consciousness is included as well, the whole sequence can be understood as:
- Ultimately, fulfilment is structured in consciousness.
- Fulfilment for pupils or students is gained by the regular experience of restful alertness during their meditation, together with the intellectual understanding provided by CbIDS through the principles of teaching.
- Promoting analysis and synthesis
- All the examination board specifications recognise the attainment of higher order thinking skills such as analysis and synthesis, as a requirement of gaining the award of higher grades at GCSE. The use of CbIDS directly enables the promotion of analysis and synthesis in every subject in every lesson.
- Promoting Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) education
- The Ofsted lesson evaluation form requires inspectors to note ‘Evidence’ and in a separate section ‘Evidence of SMSC’ when they inspect lessons. The Maharishi Free School has consistently scored highly on SMSC. The integration of CbIDS into lessons is an important feature of meeting this requirement. When CbIDS is effectively integrated it promotes the holistic development of complete knowledge and consequently the growth of fulfilment for the pupil and teacher.