Q: I've noticed that Maharishi School offers Honors courses instead of Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Aren’t AP credits important for getting into a good college?
Q: Why does Maharishi School offer Honors courses instead of AP courses?
Q: I want to go to an Ivy League school after I graduate. How will attending Maharishi School help me get into the college of my choice?
Q: How many Chinese students are enrolled at Maharishi School?
Q: How many other international students are enrolled at Maharishi School?
Q: Why do you have separate classes for boys and girls?
Q: What will be my daily schedule?
Q: Why does the Maharishi School cafeteria serve vegetarian lunches? Do I have to be a vegetarian to go to the school?
Q: On your website it says “inner development and outer success.” What does this mean?
Q: I know that Maharishi School offers the Transcendental Meditation technique and yoga asanas before and after classes, but is there anything special about what students learn in the classroom?
Q: How does Maharishi School’s unique curriculum cultivate student creativity?
Q: What is Fairfield, Iowa like?
Q: What kind of facilities does Maharishi School have?
A. University admissions officers look to see if students have taken the most challenging level of coursework available to them. This may include Advanced Placement (AP) courses, Honors courses, or the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at any given school.
For example, Ivy League school Cornell University states: “What we're going to look for is AP, Honors courses, IB programs. . .We'll look at what the student has accomplished with respect to what has been offered to him.”
A: We decided on an Honors program so that our students can go into more depth of study, rather than simply covering more details and breadth. We offer our students Honors courses in each core subject (Science, Math, History, and English).
Honors courses allow students to participate in designing their own rigorous academic projects. Because of this, instead of just piling on additional work, Honors courses also challenge students to develop a deeper level of thinking. Students pursuing an Honors track are required to demonstrate scholarly initiative, problem-solving skills, and the ability to delve into the fine details of their chosen topic.
With this emphasis on depth of understanding, our students gain the critical and creative thinking skills that set them apart from their peers.
In contrast, AP courses focus on covering as much content as possible, with less attention to investigative analysis. For example, an article in the New York Times explains:
”A committee of the National Research Council. . . criticized A.P. science courses for cramming in too much material and failing to let students design their own lab experiments. It also said the courses had failed to keep pace with research on how people learn: instead of listening to lectures, “more real learning takes place if students spend more time going into greater depth on fewer topics, allowing them to experience problem solving, controversies and the subtleties of scholarly investigation.”
Here are some articles showing the other side of AP courses in schools:
A. Ivy League schools look for high test scores and awards, which Maharishi School students have achieved over an impressive 30-year history. However, their admissions officers also look to see what unique traits set a student apart from his or her peers.
For example, Harvard seeks students who can “bring perspectives formed by unusual personal circumstances or experiences.” A history of self-development through the Transcendental Meditation® program and the name “Maharishi School” stand out as unique on a college application.
Our graduates have an outstanding college acceptance rate: over 95 percent of Maharishi School students are accepted to four-year universities, including selective institutions such as Harvard, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Smith, Wellesley, Swarthmore, Colorado College, Oberlin, MIT, and Stanford. Other Maharishi School alumni attend prestigious graduate schools: Yale Law School, Johns Hopkins Medical School, UC-Berkeley’s Ph.D. in Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and others.
A: We currently have 20+ Chinese students in our secondary school.
We want to maintain a good balance of international students in our school population. We want to be sure that our Chinese students are improving their language skills by speaking English as much as possible, while enjoying the support of other native Chinese students and families in our community.
Beginning with our summer orientation program, we will provide special services to help our Chinese students adjust to their new community and succeed in our school: ESL classes, academic counseling and tutoring, social skills training, and special field trips and activities.
A: Out of 200 students at Maharishi School, more than 35 countries are represented. Our students come from all over the world, including Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, England, Germany, Holland, India, Korea, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa, Trinidad, and more.
A: At Maharishi School, we strive to provide each student with the best possible foundation for academic success. Research has shown that students in gender separate classes (especially girls) have higher self-esteem, higher academic performance, and higher career expectations. Because of this, we offer our students single-gender classes.
Most people would admit that having the opposite sex in a classroom--especially during adolescence--can be distracting. Single gender classes minimize these distractions and the social pressures usually associated with coeducational environments. The US National Education Association has stated, “When children learn with single-gender peers, they are more likely to attend to their studies and speak more openly in the classroom.”
In addition to providing a more focused environment for the students, same sex classes allow teachers to optimize their instruction for each gender’s unique style of learning.
In general, boys and girls learn differently. Girls tend to be more verbal learners; boys are more tactile learners and need more movement. When classes are separated by gender, the teachers can address the different needs of the students more effectively. This gives Maharishi School students another academic advantage.
Finally, our students like it. I think you could ask almost every student in our school and they would tell you that they like the atmosphere of studying with just boys or just girls. They form very strong bonds—a sisterhood or “band of brothers.”
Of course they all can get together at lunch, after school, and on the weekends. But in the important time of classroom study, they favor this advantage of improved focus and reduced distraction.
A: Students arrive at school at 8:30am for their morning program of yoga asanas followed by the Transcendental Meditation technique. From 9:15 to 9:26 they enjoy a breakfast or snack break. Classes start at 9:26. Students have 45 minutes for lunch beginning at 11:45 am. Afternoon classes end at 3:19 pm, followed by yoga and meditation again. Students have P.E. or Sports following their mediation.
Students have seven 40-minute classes each day. However, each class has a double period once per week. Homework at night averages 1.5 to 2 hours for upper school students.
Our schedule differs for lower, middle, and upper school students. A complete explanation can be found here.
Students also have speech/drama, Destination ImagiNation, and other activities after school.
A: Maharishi School’s cafeteria serves an all-organic vegetarian lunch to provide maximal health benefits to the students; research has shown that people who eat a vegetarian diet enjoy lower rates of heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and many other ailments.
That said, many of our students enjoy eating meat, and are free to bring meat in a packed lunch to eat in the cafeteria. They can also go home for a homemade meal or eat at local restaurants and enjoy meat entrees.
To find out more, check out our food and nutrition page.
A. Every school has classes to fill the students’ brains with information. However, no other school in the world has the range of programs Maharishi School offers to expand the brain’s capacity to learn—not just fill it. This includes yoga and the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program.
We were the first school in the world to provide the TM technique for our students and teachers. It has proven to be so effective in optimizing brain functioning and creativity, and reducing stress, that now hundreds of schools worldwide have adopted it. (See Video Café: Schools Around the World, for short videos about other schools incorporating this technique.)
A. Yes. In most schools, each subject of study remains separate from the others. However, at Maharishi School we identify deeper principles at the underlying basis of each subject that connect them all.
The students begin to see these underlying principles in their own lives as well as in each of their subjects, and learning becomes connected. The students can see the relationships between subjects and how they relate to their own lives. We call this unifying subject the Science of Creative Intelligence. This is another powerful educational experience that gives our students an advantage of deeper thinking when they go on to college and graduate study.
A. Research has shown that Transcendental Meditation increases intelligence and creativity. Maharishi School provides students with the opportunity to develop their intelligence and creativity through TM and then gives them the chance to put both of these vital qualities into practice.
For example, we had five state champion teams in this year’s Destination ImagiNation contest (an international creative problem-solving competition). Although we are a small school, we have dominated this competition in the state for years. Students also apply their creativity in drama, science fair research, community service, and sports.
A. While the city of Fairfield is small enough to provide children with a safe and supportive environment, it also offers many cosmopolitan features. For example, there are more restaurants per capita in Fairfield than in San Francisco, and each week the city stages many visual and performing arts activities.
Fairfield is also a favorite location for outstanding leaders and famous celebrities who are attracted to its special environment.
Read more about Fairfield.
A. Three majestic brick buildings form our main classroom complex, which overlooks a courtyard complete with an orchard, rose garden, and 4,100 sq. ft. organic greenhouse.
Our athletic facilities include a soccer field; play fields; a beautiful gymnasium for our basketball and volleyball competition; a huge recreation center with 4 indoor tennis courts, 3 basketball courts, a climbing wall, indoor track, a cardio and weight training room; an outdoor swimming pool; and a nearby lake for water sports like canoeing and kayaking and, in winter, skating and cross-country skiing.
Read more about our facilities.
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