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Edie Seashore: On Coaching

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Dewey, Lewin and Adult Learning

Edie: Incidentally, I also was very fortunate in another sense. I think my family had a reflective aspect. Not my father, but my mother. My father was just right out there, being an extrovert and all that. But, my mother could sort of reflect even what my father was doing, which is kind of interesting.

I made choices back when people thought that was just a bratty thing to do. I would not go to the colleges that everybody wanted me to go to because I had a college in my head, which I had never heard of—that I wanted to either put together or find somewhere on earth. And, of course, Antioch, weird and wonderful, sold to me just as I was going out of my mind trying to figure out how to get to some place that made sense. That was exactly what I had in my head, and I’d never heard of it in my life.

Something was going on with me. I had an education that was very unusual for a lot of people back in those days. I went to a John Dewey school. And John Dewey I do believe understood the whole notion of choice and collaborative learning. I mean, that was his thing. So, I started out for the first nine years of my life in a John Dewey school. I didn’t know that that’s what it was then, but it was a small, country day school. But, it was based on John Dewey. And then I went to Antioch.

Furthermore, I landed in New York at a time in which therapy was the biggest thing for young people. It was almost more important than dating. Everybody was in therapy. So, I went into thinking “what the hell.” So, I had a very good therapist.

Dorothy:  What was it about those times? If those times were about therapy and these times might be about coaching, what’s the difference that would call for therapy then and might be coaching now?

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