DR.GENA GORLIN

Professor of Clinical Psychology

Licensed clinical psychologist, researcher, educator, and coach for ambitious innovators, and coaching curriculum developer for Academy of Thought and Industry

"Preparing for the Unprepared Environment: Demo of a New Coaching Methodology for Montessori Teens"
A core insight of Montessori’s approach is the centrality of the “prepared environment”. If we want a child to develop into an independent, capable, loving adult, we must create the conditions in which she can and wants to do the work of developing these virtues in herself. To do so, we observe the child closely to discern her current cognitive and emotional states and the developmental needs giving rise to them, and we fill her environment with lessons and materials carefully tailored to address those needs. Once the child reaches adulthood, however, the task of observing and nurturing her developmental needs no longer falls to her guides or parents: it falls to her. Part of the educator’s task, particularly as the child reaches adolescence and begins the transition to adulthood, is thus to provide the psychological scaffolding she will need in order to continue her own self-observation and self-nurturance in the unprepared environment. How is this scaffolding to be achieved?
 
In this workshop, Dr. Gorlin will preview the coaching methodology she is developing for the Academy of Thought and Industry, a network of Montessori-inspired middle and high schools, toward this very end. Her approach integrates psychological research and clinical practice with a distinctly Montessori philosophical perspective on “the human potential.” The activities previewed here will be relevant for anyone working with teens, and anyone seeking to refine their own self-observation and self-nurturance at any age.