Explain how normalization occurs including changes in the work cycle. Describe the normalized child.
Dr. Montessori used the term normalization to distinguish one of the processes that she saw in her work with the children at San Lorenzo in Rome. This process, the process of normalization, occurs when development is proceeding normally. She used the word normalization as she believed that these wonderful traits, these impressive qualities belonged to all children and was not a characteristic found only in some children.
Through her work at Casa dei Bambini, Dr. Montessori observed an extraordinary change in her students. When the children first came to her school, they were completely traumatized. Neither could they speak properly, nor behave correctly. They were unable to dress themselves. Most of them were very depressed, silent, indifferent, lost in their own world and all of them lacked self-confidence. Yet she noticed in her first school that these traits vanished as soon as the children became absorbed in a piece of work that attracted them. "What is to be particularly noted in these child conversions is a psychic cure, a return to what is normal. When we see a child in the light, we would more properly call his conversion a normalization." Secret of Childhood, pg. 148 Dr. 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, pg. 204 Normalization appears through the repetition of activities. The transition from a deviated child to a normalized child follows a piece of work done by the hand with real...
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