Our WOG 2017 keynote speaker, Betsy Coe, has been a groundbreaking Montessorian for Toddlers and Adolescents, for nations around the world, and for adaptations of Montessori's work for the United States. Her work was seeded by her first degree in education, her first Montessori course in 1970, a PhD focused on the adolescent, and a childhood living in Japan, Germany and Thailand. "I believe Montessori's work is to be continued, not just replicated," she says.
Some key motivators for her educational efforts are peace, multicultural work and advocacy, empowerment and respect for children in all domains. Betsy introduced Montessori's work in China as a guest of political and educational leaders there in 1994. After three days with them Montessori was endorsed for use in China, and on the 10th day there they broke ground for their first Montessori school. There are now over 6,000 Montessori schools in China. She returns there every three years to work with the Montessori teachers on Montessori in the Chinese culture, as well as parent education. She has similar journies to Chile, Brazil Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Prague, as well travels around the United States in support of the many Middle and High School Montessori teachers she has trained in Houston.
Dr. Coe brings years of experience with the Montessori Method as an educator, researcher, teacher trainer and head of school, working with children across the first three planes (ages 0-18) of development. Her PhD in developmental psychology and adolescence included research on the development of the adolescent brain. She has shared her insights and work through numerous articles and talks for Montessori conferences, as well as a presenter at the United Nations NGO Conference in New York, the Hague Appeal for Peace, and the Montessori Model United Nations (peace education). She is organizing one of the seven sites of the 2017 World Adolescent Summit (http://www.montessori-namta.org/Events/MISP).
Bringing all this together for catechists at Weaving Our Gifts, Betsy will offer the following:
Friday Morning Keynote:
From Cosmic Wonder to Cosmic Story to Cosmic Task, The First Three Planes of Spiritual Development
Dr. Coe explores spiritual development through Montessori’s lens of cosmiceducation:
birth–six, cosmic wonder and exploration, ages 6–12, cosmic stories and imagination, and ages 12–18, cosmic action and promise.
Normalizing a Group that Meets only 1-2 Hours a Week.
Dr. Coe will explore principles and strategies to help children coming to atrium develop into a working Montessori community.
Sunday Morning Keynote:
Love the One You're With, Serving Needs and Receiving and Developing the Gifts of Children in Age-Appropriate WaysIn a society that drives children into products and behaviors beyond their years, a strong sense of the characteristics of children in each cycle in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is needed to serve them well. Dr. Coe will explore the needs of the children of 3-6, 6-9, and 9-12 atriums,
and ways to fully develop their emerging gifts, including the crucial third year of each cycle.