The Process of Normalization

The Process of Normalization

In Montessori education, the term "normalization" has a specialized meaning. "Normal" does not refer to what is considered to be "typical" or "average" or even "usual." "Normalization" does not refer to a process of being forced to conform. Instead, Maria Montessori used the terms "normal" and "normalization" to describe a unique process she observed in child development.

 

Montessori observed that when children are allowed freedom in an environment suited to their needs, they blossom. After a period of intense concentration, working with materials that fully engage their interest, children appear to be refreshed and contented. Through continued concentrated work of their own choice, children grow in inner discipline and peace. She called this process "normalization" and cited it as "the most important single result of our whole work" (The Absorbent Mind, 1949).

 

She went on to write,

Only "normalised" children, aided by their environment, show in their subsequent development those wonderful powers that we describe: spontaneous discipline, continuous and happy work, social sentiments of help and sympathy for others. . . . An interesting piece of work, freely chosen, which has the virtue of inducing concentration rather than fatigue, adds to the child's energies and mental capacities, and leads him to self-mastery. . . . One is tempted to say that the children are performing spiritual exercises, having found the path of self-perfectionment and of ascent to the inner heights of the soul. (Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, 1949)

 

E.M. Standing (Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work, 1957) lists these as the characteristics of normalization: love of order, love of work, spontaneous concentration, attachment to reality, love of silence and of working alone, sublimation of the possessive instinct, power to act from real choice, obedience, independence and initiative, spontaneous self-discipline, and joy. Montessori believed that these are the truly "normal" characteristics of childhood, which emerge when children's developmental needs are met.

 

The Prepared Environment The Montessori Materials

 

Copyright © 1996-2017 NAMTA. All rights reserved. No one may copy or redistribute this text without written permission of NAMTA. Other sites that wish to share this content are encouraged to provide a link to this page on our site
X

Dear NAMTA Members and Followers,

Our operations are currently being moved to Seattle from Ohio. During this rather untimely transition, we appreciate your graciousness.

Our membership requests are currently backlogged, but will be processed once we return from Dallas. If you are purchasing a ticket for Dallas and desire the member rate, we still have the ability to verify existing and new memberships.

All ad requests will also be addressed post-conference.

Store order fulfillment will also be delayed as we set up our new store. We anticipate our store re-opening in December. If you have submitted an order in the past two weeks, that you need right away, please contact us for a refund. If you are able to wait until December, we would be happy to send your order at that time. We understand that this is a less than ideal situation and apologize for the inconvenience.

And if you are still interested in coming to Dallas, but have not yet purchased your ticket -- we are offering a special discount. 3 tickets for the price of 2! This is a $330 savings! To take advantage of this discount please go to: https://namta.typeform.com/to/BJjDdD

If you have any questions in the meantime, please reach us at staff@montessori-namta.org or 206-919-6349

Hope to see you all in Dallas!