I never dare to use the term ‘normalisation’ when talking with parents although it is a huge scientific educational term used amongst Montessorians worldwide. Why? Partly because parents might not understand the term completely, thinking that Montessori education can convert/transform or mutantly change their children from abnormal to normal; and partly because the term itself needs thorough complete explanation that might use up the entire evening of a parents-teachers meeting. Or probably, because I myself have given too much respect, reverence and regality to the word ‘normalisation’.
(To the would -be-sitting-for-exam students out there, this topic always scares the …. out of us ey!)
In Tomorow’s Child magazine (Back To School,2002), normalisation is described as an occasion that happens in a Montessori classroom when a young child is able to focus their intelligence, concentrate for a long period and take tremendous satisfaction from their work.
In EM Standing’s book, yeah the one about Montessori’s life and work, the characteristics of a normalised 3-6 year old child are (yeah it’s time to memorise, remember and nail it into your brain):
- a love of order,
- a love of work,
- profound spontaneous concentration,
- attachment to reality,
- love of silence and of working alone
- sublimation of the possessive instinct
- obedience (yes, the 3 levels, memorise them too)
- independence and initiative
- spontaneous self-discipline
- the power to act from real choice and not just from idle curiosity
And if you want to further surprise yourself and the examiner about normalisation, read Kay Futrell’s apparently classic title book, The Normalised Child. Montessori was first amazed by the 60 young children in her casa, Kay Futrell further described this in her book, and if you read it I’m sure you will be amazed by the tale too, and if your examiner reads it in your answer script, she will be blown away by it too. You reckon?
Hey we are in a roller coaster ride here, exam or not, if you think there is a need to continue to do a research in the whole topic of ‘Normalisation’ and Neuroscience (phew!), watch this: (keep scrolling until the end of this post)
…and if you hear very closely what the speaker said in the very beginning of the talk, this site is worth every second you spend searching for teaching resources http://www.learner.org/ (it’s a philanthropic collaboration between experts and teachers and it’s all for FREE!). I have yet to explore it, but do share with us if you have used any of the materials in your classroom.