92: Who was Adele Costa Gnocchi with Karin Slabaugh

Jun 21, 2023 | The Good Shepherd and the Child | 0 comments

“For God alone my soul in silence waits; from God comes my salvation” (Ps 62:1).  

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In today’s episode we have a special guest, Karin Slabaugh, to speak about the person of Adele Costa Gnocchi, who she was, and her work that influenced both the Montessori world as well as the CGS world!  

Karin Slabaugh has worked with the youngest children for over 30 years. She has lived in Oregon, Washington and California and most recently in Italy, but if you ask her where she is from she will give you the same answer Maria Montessori gave, “I am a citizen of a star called Earth.” After moving to Italy she focused on working with newborns and their moms and is now offering courses and workshops and Montessori tours in Rome. 

After earning a master’s degree in Education and an AMI diploma for birth to three, she experimented with two age groups: 3-18 months and 18-36 months. However, she was not totally satisfied with her results and sought to understand why. In 2010 Karin traveled to Rome to look for some answers and found Grazia Honegger Fresco, a student from the first class of the Montessori Assistants to Infancy School begun in 1947. This is how Karin began to research the archives of Adele Costa Gnocchi’s Assistants to Infancy School and the Montessori Birth Center, and realized that Adele Costa Gnocchi was one of Montessori’s most important students. Costa Gnocchi not only attended the very first course in 1909, but assisted Montessori with the courses in 1910, 1911, 1912 and the first International course in 1913, and many courses after these first ones. She was one Montessori selected to teach the 1939 course in Rome (alongside Maria Antonietta Paolin) that awarded diplomas with Montessori’s signature, when she was not able to come back to Rome herself because of having left for India and being detained during WWII).  

Karin has now come to realize that the newborn child is no different. When a newborn’s basic needs are met, she is at peace in the environment where she finds life to be so interesting, and her caregivers to be present and available. Karin shares her knowledge with the world through a non profit project called Montessori-For-Life.org and with a course she created with Ruth Ehrhardt, a certified Professional midwife. The Basic Needs of Babies course is an adult prepared environment, offering a chance to explore what everyone’s Basic Needs are and how it feels when they are met.  

Karin also works as a guide for Montessori Tours and Travel offering Montessori Study Tours about birth to three and Montessori history in Italy. In October of 2023 and June of 2024, she will be taking people through Rome to discover the rich environment where Montessori, Costa Gnocchi and Honegger Fresco lived and worked. You can sign up for one of the Study Tours or the Basic Needs of Babies course if you are interested to learn more from Karin. 

https://www.montessori-4-life.org/the-basic-needs-of-babies.html (Montessori For Life non-profit website – course description) 

https://montessori-for-life1.teachable.com/ (Basic Needs of Babies course) 


AUDIO VERSION of The Religious Potential of the Child by Sofia Cavalletti, read by Rebekah Rojcewicz.  CGSUSA has created a Premium Podcast Channel for this audiobook through Podbean.  The cost is $29.00 and does include the audio version of all chapters of The Religious Potential of the Child, 3rd Edition all read by Rebekah Rojcewicz.  We have provided both video overview instructions and written instructions on accessing this audiobook.  Please use these resources. Unlike the regular podcast, which will remain free and available on many podcast players/apps, this new resource is available only on the Podbean App, which you may download from the IOS App store or the Google Play App store. Learn more here!  Step by step instructions here


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