Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Consciousness-Based Education and Teaching

A new school year is beginning, and I am reminded again just how important Consciousness-BasedSM education is.

Maharishi University of Management describes Consciousness-Based education in the following manner:
The purpose of Consciousness-Based education is to develop every student's total potential to the maximum — their creativity, intelligence, and happiness. This is the foundation for professional success and personal fulfillment as well as for creating positive change in society.
The university's webpage provides further detail, saying that there are four components of CBE:
  1. Direct development of consciousness
  2. A unifying framework for all human knowledge
  3. Special teaching & learning techniques that develop holistic awareness
  4. Stress-free routine and nourishing environment
The school where I teach, Maharishi School, is a Pre-K through grade 12 school that teaches Consciousness-Based education. Right now teachers are meeting and discussing points 2 and 3 on the list above.

We are reviewing and enriching our understanding of how the experience of enlivening our awareness through Transcendental Meditation can be used as an educational tool to connect the student to the teaching of the curriculum. Education knows that material presented must be meaningful and relevant in order for students to assimilate it. Pretty hard for assimilation to occur if no one's paying attention!

Consciousness or awareness is the factor that unifies all fields of study. Connecting the disciplines of study to each student's own self-awareness provides a unifying structure for learning. MUM lists four ways in which a student gains by studying at a CBE school.
  • You understand each discipline down to its depth.
  • You understand the relationships among all subjects of study.
  • You connect what you are studying to your personal growth of consciousness — knowledge becomes more relevant.
  • You increasingly experience and understand life as a whole. 
As a teacher, our pre-year inservice at Maharishi School includes studying the tools to use to implement Consciousness-Based education.
  • The whole course on the first day — In each course you take, you’ll learn all the main principles of the course at the start. The remainder of the course then elaborates these themes.
  • Unified field charts — These wall charts ensure that you never get “lost in the parts” — you always see the big picture no matter how fine the details you are studying.
  • Main point charts — These wall charts show the main points of each lesson at a glance.
  • Opportunities for working with and expressing and summarizing what you have learned — We learn best when we can do what we are learning about.
Teaching is the hardest work I've ever done, yet it is also the most rewarding. Beginning my 34th year in education, I feel that teaching in a Consciousness-Based school system gives me a fighting chance to truly make the connections that need to be made when learning: the connection between the learner and his or her own self, the connection between the learner and knowledge, the connection between knowledge and the world, and finally the connection between the learner and the world.

Who am I? 
How do I fit in? 
How can I be happy? 
What am I supposed to do with my life?

These are the basic questions of education, and in this sense, we are all life-long learners. As a teacher, having techniques, procedures, strategies, and materials to better answer the basic questions of learning provides me with the tools needed to better do my job, which is to develop the full potential of every student.
Copyright 2012 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved


  1. fascinating... would love to hear how this approach affects your students.
    Also where is the like button,. or have I missed it?

    1. Thanks, Valerie. Your comment prompted me to add a Facebook "Like" button to my blog's design. It's at the bottom of the article.

  2. Sounds great for some - I just don't do facebook - keep forgetting my password. So will just have to read and silently like!

    1. So, Valerie, do you just have a "like" button for your blog page?

  3. Yes - my page is www.valeriedavies.com if you want to see how it works... not that I'm an expert, I'm just fumbling around with this technology, but I have mastered the Like button on people's blogs!
    best wishes, valerie