This summer, two of our Middle School faculty, Deirdre Kearney and Jenny Kimmel, attended Montessori teacher training at the reknowned AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies located in Huntsburg, OH on the campus of the Hershey Farm School.

Deirdre joined GMS in 2007 and teaches Humanities in the Middle School. Jenny joined our faculty as an intern with our gardening program in 2003. She is the director of the environmental education curriculum at GMS and oversees the GMS Land program in Oak Ridge.

Kearney, Deirdre  Kimmel, Jenny

The AMI Orientation to Adolescent Studies offers an overview of Dr. Montessori’s approach to adolescents within the whole framework of human development. By exploring Montessori theory in depth, the participants will come to understand the contribution of the third plane of development (12-18 years of age) as crucial to the development of the individual and will be significantly prepared to aid development during this important time of life.

An important part of the orientation is to experience the life of the adolescent: their studies, their practical work, their community life, their growing need for independence, and their need to work side-by-side with adults. Through time spent in the prepared environment of the farm, participants explore this need for independence and an awareness of human interdependence, both of which become concretely realized and internalized in Montessori adolescent communities that genuinely provide a “school of experience in the elements of social life.”