the institute for educational studies
Philip Snow Gang, PhD
TIES Founder and Director
Philip Snow Gang holds a PhD in Educational Philosophy from the Union Institute and University as well as an undergraduate degree from Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Gang is the author of Rethinking Education and Conscious Education: The Bridge To Freedom. He is the developer of Our Planet, Our Home, a hands-on mobile map material for exploring relationships on Earth. He also appears in Russell DeCarlo’s anthology, Towards a New World View: Conversations at the Leading Edge.
Watch Phil’s film To Educate Eco-sapiens
Philip has been a Montessori school head, consultant and educator of teachers. In 1978 he helped initiate the National Erdkinder Consortium – a group dedicated to founding Montessori secondary schools. He was the organizer of two International Montessori Study Conferences: one titled, Adolescence and Exploration (1981) and the other Education and Peace (1985). He had close ties with Mario Montessori Sr. and Mario Jr, who served on his doctoral committee.
In 1990 he became Executive Director for the Global Alliance for Transforming Education (GATE), a world-wide effort to define and promote holistic education.
In the early ’90s Gang was a faculty member at the California Institute of Integral Studies as a professor-mentor to students engaged in doctoral studies in the School of Transformative Learning. This was the first collaborative on-line program of its kind.
Reflecting on the issues of the 21st century, Gang’s major interest now is exploring the question: What contexts and processes in education might liberate teachers and learners so that they become catalysts for a new human— one whose integral relationship with Gaia is bound by right-action and love? His response to this was the 2016 documentary, To Educate Eco-Sapiens.
His new book, Educating for Right-Action and Love: Extending and Expanding the Montessori Vision, is now available in paperback and Limited Edition Hardback.
Phil also enjoys working with wood.
Interview on the podcast Remarkable Educators:
John Fowler received his PhD in Transformative Learning from the California Institute for Integral Studies. He has enjoyed being a Montessori elementary director, administrator, and coach for 37 years. He is the creator of the Timeline of Light, depicting the emergent universe and our pre-Cambrian planet, and has been a Montessori consultant for AMI, AMS, and the Boulder Valley School District. A presenter at international and national Montessori, holistic, Big History and environmental conferences, his articles have appeared in Montessori, environmental and Big History publications, and he has been listed in Who’s Who in American Education. After almost twenty years on the TIES faculty, he says that he “loves the deep, rich, and unique dialogic approach that it embodies.”
John lives in Evergreen, Colorado, 7400 feet above the ocean, with his wonderful wife Linda, and their two canine kids, Brody and Stardust, whom he loves to walk with for as long as the day permits.
Kathryn Ross received the Endicott-TIES MEd. In Montessori Integrative Learning. She has been involved in Montessori education since receiving AMI training at the 3-6 level and infant-toddler level in Mexico City from 1972-1974. She and her late husband co-founded and co-lead Mt. Sopris Montessori School in Carbondale, Colorado in 1982. She recently retired as an instructor at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies (MECR) where she lectured since the 1980s. She retired from Head of School at Children’s Garden Montessori School in Denver, CO in 2014. Kathryn was a founding member of the Colorado Montessori Association and served as president for four years. Inspired by her granddaughter Jane, she is currently assisting in opening a new Montessori school in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
She is a TIES graduate, and in 2009 she received the AMS Best Master’s thesis award for her Endicott-TIES Med in Montessori integrative Learning: Montessori and Reggio Together: Exploring Possibilities.
In her spare time, Kathryn sings, plays the guitar, practices tai-chi, knits, reads, gardens, and takes long walks.
Steven was always excited about being a teacher and went to University and then to teacher training college in New Zealand where he discovered Montessori Education. His MEd is from Endicott College. Steven trained as an Elementary teacher in Bergamo, Italy (AMI 6 – 12). In 2002 he established New Zealand’s first Montessori secondary school “Athena Montessori College”. His studies took him to Texas to receive his secondary credentials 12 to 15 and 15 to 18 (AMS), and completed TIES MEd. He migrated to Brisbane Australia and completed the 3 – 6 AMI qualification and later returned to New Zealand as a university lecture. At the university level Steven trains teachers to teach Montessori education. Most recently he attended the 0 to 3 introductory certificate (AMI) and received a Post Graduate Diploma in Education. Steven has started another secondary school (11 – 18 years) in Auckland, New Zealand called “Peace Experiment”. He has recently set up his own teacher training establishment called “Peace Development” to support the growth of Montessori Teachers. He joined the TIES faculty because he is passionate about Montessori and peace through education.
In his spare time Steven enjoys time with his family, travel, theatre and drama teaching.
Interview on the podcast Remarkable Educators:
After graduating with the MEd From TIES-Endicott, Julie felt so strongly about program she stayed on, first adjunct faculty. She discovered Montessori when her twin boys were toddlers. She received her AMS Secondary credential at the Houston Montessori Center and started as an adolescent guide at the Center Montessori School. She then started the Adolescent Program at the Montessori School of the Berkshires in Massachusetts and is now Director of the Adolescent Experience Program. Montessori and the TIES curriculum follow Julie’s ongoing love for working with teens which has taken her from Massachusetts to Costa Rica to Florida. When not teaching, Julie can be found playing soccer, rowing, designing jewelry, or DJing electronic music.
Paul Freedman embodies holistic and progressive education in a way that few do. He is the founder, head administrator and a classroom educator at the Salmonberry School on Orcas Island, Washington, as well as the founder of the Holistic Education Initiative. His work blends warmth and enthusiasm with a profound knowledge of the whole child. Mention Paul’s name and many have a smile and a story.
John Briggs, holds a PhD in aesthetics and psychology from the Union Institute and University. He has written for years on the subjects of creativity and creative process in science and the arts, authoring and co-authoring several well-known books on chaos, fractals and creativity, including Fire in the Crucible (St. Martin’s), Fractals: The Patterns of Chaos (Simon & Schuster) Looking Glass Universe (Simon & Schuster), Turbulent Mirror (HarperCollins) and Seven Life Lessons of Chaos (HarperCollins). He is an emeritus Connecticut State University Distinguished Professor.
Lauren de Boer, M.A.
He is the former editor and executive director of EarthLight Magazine (1995-2005), a publication that explored the intersection of ecology, cosmology, consciousness, and spirituality. His essays, articles, and interviews have appeared in numerous anthologies and publications.
Tamara discovered Montessori education when she was told her daughter was “failing” traditional preschool. When she saw her daughter thriving in a Montessori environment, Tamara’s interest grew and soon she found herself working as the Parent Liaison at Montessori Centres in Indianapolis, IN. From there, she discovered the TIES program and completed her M.Ed. in Montessori Integrative Learning. Having been a writer and editor by trade, she was offered the opportunity to edit student papers and remained part of the TIES orbit. In 2018, she was invited to join the faculty as an assistant mentor. Outside of TIES, she has designed programs for the Peace Learning Center that foster peaceful family relationships using Montessori principles, has certification to teach Godly Play, and uses Montessori materials to tutor elementary students struggling in a traditional environment. She makes time to write about education reform and possibility intended for mainstream audiences.
Tamara’s first love is her family. In her free time she likes to take walks, train her dogs, read, and watch film. She has a lifelong love of classic country and bluegrass music and has promised herself that one day she really will learn to play her banjo.
Linda Engelhart was drawn to Montessori education after completing her bachelor’s degree in Classical Humanities with a minor in Biology. Montessori’s experiential approach with an emphasis on following the child seemed to provide a wholesome approach to education. Linda completed both AMI Primary and AMI Elementary teacher’s training, the latter in Bergamo, Italy.
Over the years in Montessori, Linda has taught in primary, elementary, and middle school programs, also serving as head of a middle school. Currently Linda coaches elementary teachers in a public Montessori school while also teaching science with a cosmic education approach. The enthusiasm and wonder of discovery in the children’s eyes inspire her daily. She has presented at both AMI and AMS international and national conferences and has served as a Montessori consultant.
The TIES non-traditional “Montessori for Adults” program provided Linda the opportunity to pursue a Master’s of Education with an emphasis on “The Child and Nature,” an area of great interest to her. The process was transformative in a way that typical M.Ed. programs are not, and has had a profound impact on her work with Montessori teachers, children, and parents.
Kate Hofstetter is originally from Ohio but spent most of her petite years in Upstate New York. She moved to Florida in elementary school and spent a brief period in Maine during her adolescence. These travels have given her a powerful appreciation for aspects of place and elements of nature. She has lived in South Florida for three decades and has an ocean obsession which she joyfully shares with her soul mate with whom she has raised two beautiful young adults who have been her primary Montessori learning vessels and have inspired her to continue her studies through adulthood.
She dreams of a sustainable farm based upon permaculture principles and living within nature, and hopes Earth’s future holds beauty for her children & progeny. She holds a BA in English, has received various certifications in brain-based, learning modalities, is enthralled with learning, and daily ponders the essence of education. She is an LC26 TIES graduate, and she has worked in both private and public Montessori settings and currently assists with Language Arts curriculum in the public sector “paying it forward” for the love she has received throughout her two decade, Montessori, integrative learning journey. She continually explores and among her favorites are plants, bugs, marine life, photography, diving, poetry, reading, and writing. She spends as much time as possible inhaling her natural island environment.
Aarthi was inspired by Montessori education while she was volunteering at a school in India for underprivileged children. 30 children moving around busily in a fairly medium sized classroom, engaged in meaningful work with full concentration blew her mind away. It got her thinking – “Is this kind of a miracle really possible?” After that, there has been no looking back. She completed her diploma for 3-6 year olds and has been teaching 4-6 year olds since the last five years. Aarthi then completed her M.Ed from TIES. It was here that her teaching journey became transformational. Observing the little souls in the classroom was always her favorite thing to do. However, after TIES, she has started engaging in questioning her own biases. Recently, after visiting Reggio Emilia, she is inspired by how deeply they listen to young children and document their observations. Montessori’s spiritual preparation of the adult touches her deeply. Other interests include unconditioning of the adult, transforming learning spaces for children, listening to the little humans as they construct their world of knowledge.Outside of her work, she loves to travel and have conversations with her friends and family.
Marsha Snow Morgan (1943-2017)
Marsha received her MA in Holistic Education from Norwich University. She worked as a Montessori teacher, school director, educator of Montessori teachers, consultant, and workshop leader. These took her around the world with her husband, Philip Snow Gang. In New Zealand she was on the Organic Cities Trust as well as a principal to the Kids Edible Garden Project – a program to place permaculture gardens in government school. She was the 1989 founder of Nova Montessori School in Christchurch.
As a graduate of the 1970-1971 AMI Elementary Course of Study at Bergamo, Italy, she studied with Maria Montessori’s son, Mario Montessori, who lectured extensively on the subject of ecology. This was his last year of primary involvement.
The main focus of her work was “perceiving systemic patterns in the design and creation of learning communities.” She said “We are storytellers, mythmakers and symbol designers. Addressing the present planetary crises through education may provide new possibilities for Gaian renewal.” Her graduate thesis was titled: “An Ecogenesis for Education: A Context for Learning.”