Friday, September 11, 2009

Study Habits and the Fundamentals of Education

This is a good time to remind ourselves of what good study habits are. Now that the school year is off to a good start, grades are starting to be gathered by teachers. Student work for the last three weeks is being evaluated.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's five Fundamentals of Education will help organize and focus good study habits. They are--well--fundamental to learning and consciousness-based education.

  • Receptivity
  • Intelligence
  • Knowledge
  • Experience
  • Expression


In order to do well in class, first you have to care. Sometimes, even if you care about your grade, it is still a challenge to earn the grade you want, but for sure, if you aren't interested, you will not pay attention. Find an angle about the subject that interests you. Make the subject personal in some way. At Maharishi School, all subjects are connected to consciousness, so at a very deep level, all subjects are about you. Try to understand that connection. Raise your hand. Ask: "How does this connect to me and my life?" That is always an acceptable question; just be sure to ask it in an acceptable manner. Work with a partner; find a good spot for working. I sometimes let a students stand at a low bookshelf and write, rather than sitting, if that makes the process of learning easier for the student.


In order for you to understand the intelligence expressed in subject matter, you have to be intelligent. Be rested and follow a good daily routine for health and clarity of mind. Intelligence implies order. Be organized in keeping your notes and materials, and also seek out the underlying order and intelligence in your subject matter. We learn best by re-learning. Go over material several times rather than just once the night before the test.


The underlying principles of the lesson will provide order and meaning for all the facts and details. That is why at Maharishi School, each unit has main point charts posted on the wall. By connecting all the ideas to central key concepts, meaning becomes clearer. The knowledge is organized into key "chunks," and then each of those is presented. Then those key concepts are connected to you--your life and evolution.


The laboratory of your life is your physiology and the world around you. By practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique, you experience the core of your capacity to learn: consciousness awake inside itself. Then that consciousness can move out into the sensory world and interact, find connections. At Maharishi School, project-based learning is emphasized in order to provide interactive learning situations for the students. This increases meaningfulness and integrates knowledge into the student's personal world.


Knowledge kept inside oneself can be what I call "fuzzy" knowledge--not clearly or sharply defined. By teaching, one truly learns concepts and information. That is why at Maharishi School, so much emphasize is placed on students sharing their knowledge with other students, with parents, and with the outside world through academic fairs and learning celebrations. Sharing what we know stabalizes what we know.

Learning is an enjoyable experience. It expands and empowers us. Ultimately, education should not only increase what we know but also our capacity to know. The ultimate goal of education is the enlightenment of the student, and that is the core value of education at Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment.


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