Normalization: Pedagogy and James Paulik Montessori

Paulina V Edmunds James Paulik Montessori Philosophy and Pedagogy 27 January 2013 NORMALIZATION The children, who benefit enormously from the Montessori legacy, enjoy what Maria Montessori called “a Cosmic Education”. These children transform by the order, harmony and tranquility they experience every minute in this Montessori environment. They begin to transform, and this natural transformation was called by Dr. Montessori: “Normalization”, “It is the mental state children reach when they approach their studies with enthusiasm, work with little direction, treat others in a respectful way, and can work quietly on their own or with others. (Montessori, 148) When Dr. Montessori began her work in San Lorenzo, Rome, she questioned herself if the accomplishments of the children were “the work of angels”; but after 40 years of hard work and observation she came to the realization that “normalization is the single most important result of our work” (The Absorbent Mind, 204) She borrowed the term from the Anthropology, and it means becoming a contributing member of society and used it to distinguish the process that occurs when the development is happening in a normal way.
Even young 3 year olds can experience and desire concentrated work, which leads them to contentment, restfulness and calm. They start being responsible for their environment and care for the other members in their community. This transformation appears through the repetition of this cycle: 1. Prepare to perform an activity: get holds of all the materials, movement involved and thought put into it. 2. The activity in which the child reaches total concentration. . Rest, a feeling of totality, satisfaction and being happiness. In Montessori schools, educators recognize this progression as being the normal work cycle. A perceptive educator can recognize a child who is normalized by these characteristics: love of work, concentration, self-discipline and sociability. . It is said that the adults work hard to change the child’s environment, but it is the child himself who uses the environment to change.
Works Cited Montessori, Maria. The Secret of Childhood. City: Ballantine Books, 1966. Page 148. Polk Lillard, Paula. Montessori Today. City: Schocken Books, 1996. Pages 41-43. Shaefer Zener, Rita Dr. “The Secret of Childhood: Normalization and Deviations. ” Lecture given on the AMI 3-6 course Nakhon Pathon, Thailand. April 2006. Permission given to Michael Olaf Company for reprinting. “Classroom Guide 6-12”, NAMC, Pages 202-205.

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