Excellence in Action resulting from students optimizing brain functioning


Ashley Deans Ph.D., Consciousness Based Educator
Dr Ashley Deans, PhD
Director, Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment


Excerpts from A Record of Excellence
by Ashley Deans, Ph.D.
Maharishi University of Management Press, Fairfield, Iowa, USA

Imagine you are visiting a school where there are no locks on the lockers, and pinned to a bulletin board is a five-dollar bill with a note requesting that the owner claim it.

You step into a ninth-grade classroom to be greeted by a sea of shining faces. The students are wide-awake—eager to learn. You ask a question and every hand shoots up. The students giggle with anticipation.

A teacher tells you she has more energy after a day’s teaching than before. A parent confides that her children complain on Fridays that there is no school on the weekend.

In the past few years the school has graduated ten times the national average of National Merit Scholar Finalists, seen 95% of graduates accepted at four-year colleges, and had grades 10–12 consistently score in the top 1% of the nation on standardized tests of educational development.

You are amazed to learn that the school has no entrance exams, with open enrollment from a diversity of backgrounds. Yet the student body is brimming with creative intelligence. Published research reports that each year students grow in intelligence, creativity and academic performance, as well as in qualities of leadership and citizenship.

Trophy cases are overflowing with state, national and international prizes for academics, speech, fine arts, creative problem solving and sports. For example, in the creative problem-solving competitions Odyssey of the Mind and Destination ImagiNation, which most schools reserve for their talented and gifted program, students have won more state championships than any other school in state history. They have also won the international Global Finals three times, and garnered more top-ten finishes than any other school in the world.

And this is just the beginning. Students have won more of the top awards in group speech competitions than any other school in state history, and since they started competing in 1988, they have won 16 boys’ state tennis championships – far more than any other school in that time period. Indeed, since the first graduating class in 1983, more state championship ribbons have been awarded than there are school alumni.

Perhaps even more remarkable is that these accomplishments seem to flow naturally without pressure on the students. In fact, the stress level of students and faculty is extremely low – so low that faculty has less than half the health care costs of other schools.

Racial harmony is evident, and cliques and bullying are absent. The principal confides that he’s never had to break up a fight in the past decade.

The students are obviously happy and show a deep respect for their teachers. An accreditation board member remarks that during a three-day visit he did not hear one harsh word said between any students, or between any teacher and student.

You may wonder if you are in a dream. Could a school like this really exist? The answer is yes. I’m fortunate enough to be the director of such a school, and I want you to know how simple it is to implement what we do and replicate this success at any school anywhere.

So what do we do that’s different? It’s very simple and the students really enjoy it. For a few minutes each day they sit comfortably and practice the Maharishi Transcendental Meditation SM technique to develop their total creative potential. This effortless mental procedure produces holistic brain functioning, resulting in increased intelligence, reduced stress and improved social behavior.

The good news is that today any school can offer a practical, proven program that fulfills the highest aspirations of educators, parents and students, simply by adding one period a day to the existing curriculum. This one addition will provide what has been lacking in education – new knowledge that is effective in solving the problems that plague our schools and society.

This experience brings unprecedented benefits for students – total brain development, increased alertness, full blossoming of creative intelligence, extraordinary academic achievements, more energy and better health, growth of inner peace and happiness, harmony with fellow students and teachers, and enlightened social behavior. And now students even have the opportunity to create and sustain peace in their community, nation and world. All of these benefits have been confirmed by hundreds of scientific research studies.

© Copyright 2006, Maharishi University of Management Press, Fairfield, Iowa, USA


"The potential of every student is infinite. The time of student life should serve to unfold that infinite potential so that every individual becomes a vibrant centre of Total Knowledge."—Maharishi

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