Normalization is the process where a child becomes a well adjusted member of a group as he develops a positive self image, becomes independent, self-reliant and happy with the ability to concentrate and assimilate knowledge. After many years of research, Maria Montessori discovered that children could be in complete harmony with their environment (Hainstock, E, 1997). It was through many observations she learnt the nature of the normalised child. “It was thus, through experience, that Montessori discovered – one might say stumbled upon – the characteristics of the normal child. She was not looking for them: she was not expecting them: she was not even thinking about them. It was a genuine and unforeseen revelation” (Standing,E.M, 1984,pg 174). By applying her method of teaching, Maria Montessori discovered that children were able to shift behaviour. That is, the child may be lazy, restless, stubborn and on many occasions ‘aggressive’ to begin with, but once the child was able to concentrate the child’s behaviour would also change. “This change, which creates almost a uniformity of type, does not occur gradually, but appears all of a sudden. In any given child, it follows invariably upon a spell of deep concentration on some activity’(Montessori,M,1988,Pg184). The environment plays a very big role in a child’s normalization. In order for normalization to occur the environment needs to be prepared in the following manner: 1) Order of the whole classroom
2) Materials and the surroundings of the classroom need to be aesthetically pleasing 3) There needs to be control of error in the materials used 4) Teacher guided
5) Freedom with limitations
6) Teacher has an awareness of the work cycle(order)
7) The classroom provides fulfilment of the sensitive periods – order, social, sensorial,movement,and language. 8) Role models of the teacher as well as older normalized children 9) Reality
10) Purposeful work that can be done with the...
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