Dr Jagdish Gandhi

Founder-Manager, CMS

Mr. Jagdish Gandhi founded the City Montessori School (CMS) in 1959 with only 5 students. Today, CMS is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest school by pupils with over 36,000 students on rolls. CMS has also been awarded the highly prestigious UNESCO Prize for Peace Education 2002 - the only school in the world to be honoured with this award. CMS also organizes 24 international events as part of its unique educational philosophy and hundreds of thousands of children from all over the world participate in these events every year. Consequently, the CMS educational model which believes that "School must be the Lighthouse of Society" and which upholds that nurturing spiritual awareness in children must be the central focus of all educational activities, has grown into a veritable school of thought, impacting schools and educational organisations worldwide.

Dr (Mrs) Bharti Gandhi

Founder-Director, CMS

Mrs. Bharti Gandhi's name has become synonymous with City Montessori School and CMS Teachers' Training College in Lucknow. Her sincere devotion towards the education of children, training of teachers, upliftment of women and eradication of social evils, is widely recognized in educational circles. The CMS which she founded together with her husband, Mr. Jagdish Gandhi, now has over 35,000 students, a Guinness World Record for largest number of students in a single city.

Prof Geeta Gandhi Kingdon

Chair, Education Economics & Int. Development, Institute Of Education, London University, UK

Geeta Kingdon is Professor of Education and International Development at the Institute of Education, London University, and was until recently a Research Fellow at the Department of Economics, University of Oxford. She lectures in Development Economics and her research interests include Economics of Education, Labour Economics and the Economics of Happiness, mostly in countries of South Asia and Africa. Her work is based on micro-econometric analysis of survey data and has resulted in more than 25 papers in peer reviewed Economics and Development Economics journals. She is on the Editorial Board of three academic journals and does extensive academic refereeing as well as advisory work for governments and donor agencies.

Mr Andy Harvey

Andy Harvey has been working in the area of English language teaching for the last 23 years both in schools and training mainstream teachers in Primary schools in West London. He is currently working as an EAL (English as an Additional Language) consultant in the London Borough of Hounslow where there are a large number of English learners who speak a variety of languages other than English. In addition he is working for the cross-London City Challenge which consists of supporting schools in other London Boroughs through the provision of training teachers in how to help the English learners in their classrooms develop their speaking, listening , reading and writing skills.

Ms Dee Loftus

Dee Loftus is an EAL ( English as an Additional Language) consultant for the London Borough of Hounslow . She has wide-ranging experience both as a specialist language teacher and in the area of teacher training. Her responsibilities have included co-ordinating and teaching on the Primary Raising Achievement of Bilingual Learners course for mainstream teachers and co-ordinating Teaching Assistant training in EAL for the borough. Currently, she is working for the government City Challenge programme which provides advice and training in raising standards for schools across London. Dee has previously provided teacher training in India namely at the Bluebells School in Delhi and Anand Isher school in the Punjab.

Dr Robert J Saunders

Co-Founder of the Council for Global Education, USA

Dr Robert John Saunders is the co-founder of the Council for Global Education, USA, founded to promote a global vision of education more suited to the needs of the 21st century and to meet the new aspirations of individuals everywhere.

He has shared experiences and worked with business persons, government officials, nonprofit groups, and academics at all levels in 80 countries on six continents.

After a Ph.D. in Economics from The University of Kentucky on a National Defense Fellowship, Bob went on to become the Director of Graduate Programmes and Acting Director, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University. After this, he was appointed Chairman and Professor and Director, Center for Business and Economic Research, Kent State University.

Ms Anneke Tolsma

Anneke Tolsma worked as a directress in the Casa dei Bambini at the revolutionary Nahoon Montessori School in South Africa, as HoD for upper elementary at Elckerlyc Montessori School in the Netherlands, and – most recently – she was head-hunted to take on the position of lead directress at Mammolina Children’s Home, one of China’s leading Montessori schools, in Beijing.. She further served as adjunct faculty at the International Montessori Teaching Institute (IMTI) in Beijing where she also co-designed a basic child-care learning program for care-workers in a medical orphanage. In 2009 she was a featured speaker at the South African Montessori Association conference in Cape Town. Anneke has also received intensive training in Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and is a graduate of the Montessori Leadership Institute. She holds a degree in education and post-graduate diploma in Montessori education (primary and elementary) from the University of Utrecht where she was also involved as a member of a committee charged with redesigning the University’s approach to teaching Montessori pedagogy. In August 2010 she will be relocating to Lucknow in order to work together with the City International School (CIS) and related organizations.

Mr Matthew Rich

Matthew Rich began his educational career under the mentorship of Sharon Caldwell at the Nahoon Montessori School in his native South Africa. It was there that he was able to nurture his interest in child-directed decision-making, school democratization, and conflict resolution. He has shared his work on these and other topics at a range of international conferences, and his writings have appeared in various publications around the world. Subsequently he worked as a consultant for the Montessori Foundation and International Montessori Council, and was senior editor and writer for three state-accredited Montessori based Early Childhood qualifications at the Sustainability Institute (connected to the University of Stellenbosch). He has an extensive background in Nonviolence having studied with Marshall Rosenberg in Switzerland as well as being a participant in a year-long leadership program in California. He acted as an assistant trainer at the New York Intensive training in Nonviolent Communication, as well as international mediation training and a 9 month long parent leadership program. He is also a keen student of Integral Theory and is a Certified Life Coach and Communication Coach. For the past 2 years Matthew has served as lead director in the Casa dei Bambini at Mammolna Children’s Home in Beijing as well as adjunct faculty at the International Montessori Teaching Institute (IMTI). In August he will be relocating to Lucknow to work with the City International School and related organizations.

Ms Meher Van Groenou

Meher Van Groenou was born in India and received Masters in social work from M.S.Univercity of Baroda . She worked in the B.M. Institute for Child Psychology in Ahmedabad. Meher continued her studies of child welfare at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor completing M.S.W. She worked in Children Social Services in San Jose, California. Meher turned to early childhood education and received in 1986 a Master’s degree from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California, while directing a Montessori pre-school in Castro Valley. She became a Montessori Teacher Trainer and subsequently the director of such a program. She established her own pre-school in 1991, and a few years later also her own Teacher Training program in 1997. Montessori Institute Of Advanced Studies is MACTE accredited and AMS affiliated. Meher has taught teachers in various parts of the country, in Canada, and in her homeland.

In her presentation Meher will discuss various ways of creating a community of students, teachers and parents in a Montessori School with a diverse culture backgrounds.

Ms Stella Fernandez

Ms Fernandez shares the vision of producing true Singaporeans with sound values. For the past forty six years of her teaching career, she has, with a genuine love for her pupils shared her life with a passion. She has touched the lives of her pupils nurturing in them a spirit of innovation and enterprise. She builds up their self-esteem, by listening to their problems and enforcing good study skills. Her teaching skills and expertise tempered with her learning experiences create innovative and impactful lessons infused with National Education values and school core values.

Her café-styled classroom with creative display of pupils’ work invites pupils to a bright and cheery classroom that encourages and motivates them to give of their best. Her classroom is a conducive learning environment where pupils are involved in experimentation, and independent thought and discovery and being analytical, methodical and focused in pursuing the goals and targets she helps them set for themselves. She has placed great emphasis on multi-disciplinary approaches to learning and has focused on grooming leadership talent. Her efforts have inspired her peers and colleagues to do likewise for their classrooms. Her Pr 4 pupils who collaborated with her in designing and operating ‘The Creative Classroom’ were the members in the S3 Cluster pupils’ WIT ‘Maximising Pupil Participation in Classroom Design.’ Their outstanding presentation earned them a place as the finalist in the 5th National Pupil WITs Convention 2004. She presented her Creative class findings for STU Conference - Philosophy in Schools : Developing a Community of Inquiry 2006 and MOE ExCEL Fest 2006. She was also the facilitator and co presenter for research paper “The Creative Classroom’ for International Conference on Education ( Redesigning Pedagogy: research, policy, practice ) 2007and Creative Thinking Classroom at APERA Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association Conference 2008

Mr Michael Brearley

Michael is widely experienced in all phases of education with a teaching and leadership background in the secondary sector.

He has developed and run workshops on emotional intelligence in leadership and learning for individual schools, consortia, Headlamp programmes in Devon and Cornwall and on MBA and Doctoral programmes for the Institute of International Educational Leadership at the University of Lincoln. He has delivered key note addresses at National Conferences and is currently working on longer term projects with a number of schools developing accredited programmes in emotional intelligence in leadership and learning.

Michael works both nationally and internationally, having worked in South Africa and Botswana.His research into Emotional Intelligence lead to the publication of his first book "Emotional Intelligence and the Secondary Classroom" which has just been reprinted by Crown. He has also contributed chapters to John West Burnham's book on Performance Management and the Big Book of Independent Thinking. His latest book "Coach Excellence - a programme in Emotional Intelligence in Coaching" is currently being edited by Crown House Publishing.

Michael Brearley, a former Headteacher, has developed the Thrive project. Here delegates learn to understand emotional intelligence and create the learning environments we all need if we are to succeed.Michael has worked with all age ranges, from infant schools to University students. His workshops have been described as "challenging" "inspiring" "motivating" "funny" and "wonderful"

Mr Surya Narayan Bahadur

Twenty five years of Corporate Management experience with various FMCG, his previous assignment was at Dabur (Sunova) as National Sales Manager. The other Brands he has served are Yera Glassware, Lakme, Revlon, Perfetti, Captain Cook, and Jagatjit Industries. Graduate in Commerce from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University and Post Graduate Diploma in Sales & Marketing Management from Chandigarh with five Gold medals, Certified in Business English Communication from Cambridge University Level 3. A qualified T&D Specialist from ISTD (Indian Society for Training& Development), Trained 16PF Professional in Personality Profiling, Coaching& Facilitating Life Long Member of Delhi Management AssociationWorks with Confluence as Executive Director for a decade, has Conducted Workshops & Training Programmes for Indian & Multi-National Corporations, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Retailers, Banks, Service Organisations, Government & Non-Government Organisations and varied Professionals.

Dr. Howard Gardener

Howard Gardner is the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Senior Director of Harvard Project Zero. Among numerous honors, Gardner received a MacArthur Prize Fellowship in 1981. He has received honorary degrees from twenty-six colleges and universities. In 2005 and again in 2008 he was selected by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines as one of the 100 most influential public intellectuals in the world. The author of twenty-five books translated into twenty-nine languages, and several hundred articles, Gardner is best known in educational circles for his theory of multiple intelligences, a critique of the notion that there exists but a single human intelligence that can be assessed by standard psychometric instruments. He has also written extensively on creativity, leadership, professional ethics, and the arts. His latest book Five Minds for the Future was published in April 2007. His latest co-authored book Multiple Intelligences Around the World was published in the summer of 2009.

Ms Ashalata Badami

Mathematics Expert (confirmed)

A product of the teachers training course at Sophia College, Mumbai, Ms Badami taught activity based Mathematics to primary school children in Bombay International School, Mumbai during the early years of her career. She was responsible for setting up the entire primary maths programme in the school and was also Coordinator, Middle School Maths when she left Mumbai for Delhi in 2001. She had a maths column called ‘Mathsense” going for three years in Midday, the afternoon newspaper of Mumbai. In addition she wrote frequently for several newspapers like the Hindu and the Times, as well as children’s magazines. She also regularly conducted workshops for the British Council and Nehru Science Centre in MumbaiAfter she shifted to Delhi, she became a full time resource person and consultant working with several reputed schools like Sardar Patel Vidyalaya and Bluebells International setting up their Maths Lab, being involved in curriculum planning, as well as working with remedial and gifted students. She has written two series of books for Oxford University Press called Discovering Mathematics and New Enjoying Mathematics along with teacher manuals.

Mr Samarendra Kumar

Project Coordinator Regional Science City

Samarendra Kumar is currently working as the Project Coordinator for the Regional Science City - Lucknow. He has also worked in the Kurukshetra Panorama & Science Centre, Kurukshetra as the Project Coordinator and the Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai as the Curator (National Council of Science Museums, Kolkata)He visited USA (2008) and UK (2007) to attend annual ASTC conference at Philadelphia, USA and also visited New York Hall of Science, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC for enrichment of Science Communication in Museum, visited NESTA, London, several other Science Centers & Museums in UK respectively. He even visited USA and UK (Europe) to attend Annual ASTC conference at Phoenix, Arizona and visited The Exploratorium in California and Science Museum in London and other places. He also visited Finland (Europe) during August, 1997 under INDO-FINNISH Cultural Exchange programme. The programme consisted of a 3-week study-tour of Museum and Science Centers of Finland. In addition to the work of the Kurukshetra Panorama & Science Centre, was also involved in setting Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama, at Amritsar by National Council of Science Museums. These include setting up of a large panorama & dioramas on the life of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Ms Meli Glenn

Meli Glenn is a Research Officer at the London Centre for Leadership in Learning (LCLL) and Thomas Coram Research Unit (TCRU) at the Institute of Education (IOE), University of London, with experience in educational research and evaluation. Her work has focused on leadership development, community cohesion, and children from care backgrounds. She has also been a teacher at a Montessori primary school and a TEFL teacher in a number of countries. As a teacher trainer in Guinea, West Africa for USAID, she provided professional development support to teacher trainers. She also ran a number of workshops for pre-service teachers such as reading programs, active learning techniques, and curriculum innovation.


Ms Indira Eisenberg / Mr Jürgen Eisenberg

She have completed a 5 year Integrated M.A Programme in German Language from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She worked for few years as a Translator.

She then quit to join to take teaching as a profession. She worked with children in a small village near Dehradun called Sailakin. In 1991 she did her Montessori training in Chennai. After that she had been working with the young children using the Montessori way of life.

In 2003 she started her own Montessori School called Bambino Montessori House of children. In 2009 she joined Dr. Sunita Gandhi’s school City international School.

Since then she have been involved in Teacher Training and developing the material for Pre-Primary children for the Nurture Program.

It is her desire to see a change in the way we look at small children and have many people working with children follow the Montessori way of Life.

Prof Harikesh Singh

Mr Harikesh Singh has a total experience of 34 years in the field of education. He is the Professor, Faculty of Education, B.H.U. He has more than 110 papers / articles / book reviews to his credit. He has served as the Head and Dean, Faculty of Education, B.H.U. for a couple of years. He has visited various countries like Italy, U.K. etc. to attend conferences / seminars / workshops for the cause of education. He has been awarded the UGC Career Award for three years from 1987 to 1990.

Dr Sandhya Singh

Dr. Sandhya Singh has a total of 22 years of experience in the areas of Hindi language and literature. Before joining N.C.E.R.T, she was a lecturer and reader in B.H.U affiliated Vasanta College for Women (Varanasi) for over 14 years. She joined N.C.E.R.T in the year 2002 and since then she has been working in the areas of curriculum, syllabus and textbook development, evaluation, training, research and consultancy. She has published 2 books on Hindi literature. She has also published and presented 40 papers nationally and has attended several national seminars on issues like hindi literature and languages, multilingual education, problems of learning among tribal children ,issues in assessment, issues of reading etc. She was the co-ordinator of the national seminar "Premchand,bachche aur shiksha" and the national symposium "Samajh ka maadhyam" which focused on how the gap between home language and school language can be reduced.

Ms Grace Musumeci

Educationist Australia, Mahatma Gandhi’s Sevagram Ashram

The Asha Mahatma Gandhi Project was started in June 2006 to serve the poorest young children in rural areas of India. The first Casa opened at the Gandhi Ashram with 20 children ages 2.6 to 3 years old. Another 20 students joined the class in 2007, including some with severe disabilities. Grace Musumeci, who founded this program, donates her time to guide the children as well as to train the local women to assist in the classroom.

Her hope is to help establish Montessori Casas in rural India, which means providing the basic materials – hopefully for local tradesmen to use as models to make themselves, and to train the local village women to become teachers.

As the Ashram is open to the public, some of those who visit from either smaller, more isolated villages in Maharashtra itself, or from other parts of India, request that Grace visit them to help set up a Casa in their village also. In January of 2008 she will go to Bodh Gaya in Bihar, the place where Buddha attained enlightenment, which is one of the most poverty-stricken and violent states in India. A young man who came to the Ashram observed the children and asked for help in setting up a Casa there.

Grace sees this as her gift – to be given the opportunity to help the whole village by giving them the best education we know there is to offer. Eventually her hope is that there will be little Montessori Casas dotted all around India.

In order to see this vision realized, donations are needed to provide training and materials. Your help would be much appreciated in helping these children who have so many obstacles to their development. When Ghandi was alive he began ‘Nai Talim’ meaning ‘New Education’ which rings so consonantly with Dr. Montessori’s ideas of educational reform.

Dr Amitabh Pandit

Founder Member Of Saidas Healing Foundation

Dr. Amitabh Pandit Nd (Ind), Dy, B Camp (Usa) Founder Member Of Saidas Hearing Foundation. The Foundation Works In The Field Of Education By Using The Advanced Orthomolecular Science To Design Nutritional Programs For Students Of All Ages. These Nutritional Programs Incorporate The Goals Of Every Student, Parent And Educator-That Is To Improve Academic Results As Well As Performance In Physical Activities Like Sports, Music And Dance. The Foundation Has Set Up A Bench Mark Goal Oriented Program For Classes X And Xii Boards For Icse And Isc Which Is Now Running In Its 3rd Year.

Mr Steve Rudolf

Education Expert

Steven Rudolph is an American educationist, researcher, TV personality and public speaker based in India . In 1994, he introduced the Internet to Indian schools and followed it up with the first series of constructivist computer textbooks for Indian children. As Educational Director of Jiva Institute and founder of Jiva Public School , he has developed many innovative learning materials for students to help them realise their potential. He is the proponent of a novel concept in education called “Multiple Natures” that is used to help individuals identify careers that are compatible with their personality types. Rudolph is a popular face on TV, notable for his show Discover Your Child, on the Care World Channel and Zee Jaagran, where he addresses parenting issues. He is also widely known for his unique life-skills workshops that have been attended by thousands of children, parents, and teachers throughout the country. Rudolph has served as a consultant to the World Bank, Unesco, the Department of Human Resource Development (Government of India), the NCERT, the CBSE, the ICSE, and companies including Apple Computer, Microsoft, Intel, HP and Wipro. He holds a masters degree in Education from Temple University.

Dr Sunita Gandhi

PhD, Cambridge University, UK

Sunita Gandhi started her first school at the age of 14 for the underprivileged children in her neighbourhood. After completing Class X, she moved to the UK to do A-Levels following which Sunita received three merit based scholarships to undertake her doctorate programme in Physics at Cambridge University. Subsequently, she founded schools in Prague, the Czech Republic and in Hafnarfjordur, Iceland, where she began in 2000 to experiment with and pilot her Global Education Model of Schooling, or the GEMS “Dynamic”. In the 26 years abroad, Sunita has lived in the UK, USA, the Czech Republic and Iceland and carried out educational projects and traveled to 34 countries.