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Doctoral Dissertation

Knowledge and attitudes of Montessori teachers of young children as a context for guiding normalization and self-construction process

Available from: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

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Abstract/Notes: The purpose of this study was (1) to investigate the degree of agreement between AMI trained Montessori teachers' knowledge and attitudes and Montessori's recommendations for guiding the process of normalization among young children and (2) to discover the reasons for differences from those recommendations. Normalization is the central process in the Montessori method. Except for a study by this investigator (Zener, 1993) guiding the process of normalization had not been researched since Montessori's work some forty-five to eighty-five years ago. Therefore, this investigation also provided current teacher experiences of guiding the process of normalization. One hundred sixty five Montessori teachers attending various regional and national conferences were surveyed with knowledge and attitude scales. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10% of the participants. Mean scale scores from 4.0 to 5.0 on a five degree Likert scale and a SD less than 1.0 were projected as satisfactory levels of agreement with Montessori's recommendations. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the scales, and content analysis was used to analyze the interviews. T-tests and ANOVAS indicated that demographic variables were not significant to the results. The study concluded that AMI trained Montessori teachers reflected a satisfactory degree of agreement with the recommended knowledge and attitudes (M = 4.25, SD =.31 and M = 4.50, SD =.34 respectively). Knowledge and attitude correlated (p $<$.01). Reasons for differences among teachers' knowledge and attitudes about guiding the process included using other aspects of Montessori theory, disagreement with Montessori, difficulty in carrying out the theory in practice, misinterpretations of scale items, and misunderstandings about Montessori's recommendations for guiding the process of normalization. Implications for children, teachers, parents, school administration, and teacher education included validation of teachers for the high level of consistency in their reflections on guiding the process of normalization. Recommendations for future research included developing a more complete theoretical understanding of the process of normalization, particularly the importance of respecting children's spans of concentration.

Language: English

Published: College Park, Maryland, 1994

Doctoral Dissertation

An Analysis of Maria Montessori's Theory of Normalization in Light of Emerging Research in Self-Regulation

Available from: Oregon State University Libraries

Maria Montessori - Philosophy, Montessori method of education - Criticism, interpretation, etc.

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Abstract/Notes: The regulation of behavior is a major issue in early childhood development, with important implications for children’s adaptive and maladaptive developmental outcomes. Emerging research suggests that the degree of successful self-regulation depends upon the efficiency of the child’s attentional system and that the ability to focus and sustain attention supports emotional self-regulation throughout the lifespan. The neural networks that underlie the development of attention are beginning to be charted. Studies have shown that the executive attention network undergoes considerable development between the ages of 2 and 7. To support this development, research scholars have suggested the need to develop curriculum to promote focused and sustained attention in preschool programs. One hundred years ago, Maria Montessori observed that when the environment was designed to promote concentration, children went through a transformative process, which she referred to as normalization. Is normalization the same as self-regulation? This study was designed to examine whether Montessori’s theory of normalization can be considered an applied theory of self-regulation. This was accomplished by analyzing Csikszentmihalyi’s optimal experience theory and Ryan and Deci’s self-determination theory to provide the requisite guidance for developing curriculum capable of nurturing multiple aspects of self-regulation, which led to a conceptual framework for the comparison with Montessori’s theory of normalization. Montessori’s theoretical perspective is not readily available in published literature. Therefore this study used qualitative methods to conduct interviews with 12 Montessori teacher trainers. These individuals are considered the highest authority regarding Montessori theory and practice. Though Montessori’s contributions to the field of Early Childhood Education are often mentioned in university textbooks, the underlying theory (normalization) that guides her work receives little discussion. Without a clear understanding of Montessori’s theoretical perspective, research scholars are not able to isolate distinguishing characteristics that can assess self-regulation as an outcome of the curriculum nor can they adequately compare this approach with other forms of education. By introducing Montessori’s theory of normalization and analyzing it as a theory of selfregulation, this study has created a conceptual framework to articulate the governing characteristics and educational principles necessary to enhance practices that support the development of self-regulation in early childhood.

Language: English

Published: Corvallis, Oregon, 2008

Article

Revisiting the Process of Normalization

Publication: NAMTA Journal, vol. 24, no. 1

Pages: 87-105

Early childhood education, Rita Schaefer Zener - Writings

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Abstract/Notes: Defines normalization and deviations in child development. Discusses the three different levels in the normalization process. Asserts that guiding the process of normalization should drive the practice of Montessori education. Concludes that whenever there are brief episodes of normalization, the true nature of the child shows itself. (JS)

Language: English

ISSN: 1522-9734

Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)

The Impact of Grace and Courtesy Instruction and Modeling on the Normalization of a Montessori Primary Classroom

Available from: St. Catherine University

Action research

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Abstract/Notes: This action research studied the effect of instructing and modeling grace and courtesy lessons on the normalization of a primary Montessori classroom. The study was conducted at a private, in-home Montessori classroom serving children three to six years of age. Nine students received daily presentations of grace and courtesy lessons over four weeks totaling twenty lessons in all. Sources of data included student-teacher conferencing, tally sheets, behavioral self-assessments, and teacher journaling. Instructing and modeling grace and courtesy lessons resulted in an increase in desired behaviors, a more positive classroom environment, and additional knowledge gained on this subject. Throughout this study, students began showing signs of normalization and required less assistance from the teacher. The lessons of grace and courtesy can positively impact the learning environment and lead to the normalization of a Montessori primary classroom.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2018

Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)

Beneficial Effects of Practical Life Activities and Normalization

Available from: St. Catherine University

Action research

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Abstract/Notes: This action research project investigated the effects on involving children in the practical life curriculum on normalization in the Montessori toddler and primary classrooms. 30 students, their parents and 7 teachers were participants. 12 students and their parents were from a toddler classroom and 18 from two separate primary classrooms. Data was collected pre and post study via questionnaires on the parents’ goals for their children. Many of the goals listed such as socialization skills, independence and emotional stability can be met through engaging the child in practical life activities and as the child meets these goals should normalize. A behavior log, daily plan sheet log and journaling tracked what materials children used or were offered for the purpose of tracking components of normalization such as self-regulation, confidence, independence and socialization. Analysis of the data showed that when a child was directed to a practical life activity he was more likely to choose a second activity on his own and continue to move through cycles of work independently. When a child could not be directed to an activity, practical life or otherwise, observing the environment with an adult was beneficial in assisting the child in the process of normalization.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2016

Article

Normalization

Publication: NAMTA Journal, vol. 22, no. 2

Pages: 103-106

Classroom environment, Maria Montessori - Philosophy, Montessori method of education, Maria Montessori - Philosophy, ⛔ No DOI found

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Abstract/Notes: Discusses cornerstone of Montessori theory, normalization, which asserts that if a child is placed in an optimum prepared environment where inner impulses match external opportunities, the undeviated self emerges, a being totally in harmony with its surroundings. Makes distinctions regarding normalization, normalized, and normality, indicating how normalization theory is at the root of inner discipline and self-realization. (EV)

Language: English

ISSN: 1522-9734

Master's Thesis

Comparing the Normalization of Children in Traditional and Montessori Kindergarten

Available from: University of Wisconsin

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Abstract/Notes: In this study, the author examined the level of Normalization kindergarten children display in a Montessori classroom and a traditional classroom. Normalization can be demonstrated through the child’s love of work, concentration, self-discipline and sociability. Data was gathered from the child and lead teacher through classroom observations, teacher questionnaires, child-interviews and a self-control test. Classroom observations in both environments gave insight into the child’s ability to focus and concentrate, as well as observable indications of a love of learning. Teacher questionnaire results were compiled and compared revealing children in Montessori classrooms have more room for choice, multi-sensory material use and more developed literacy skills. The child-interview results indicated that Montessori children were more sociable and self-reliant than traditional school children. Children attending Montessori kindergarten showed a greater level of self-discipline than traditional school children in the self-control test. Ideally, children attending a Montessori children’s house should continue their education for kindergarten into their third and final year. The discussion considers the ongoing benefits of staying in a Montessori environment for the kindergarten year.

Language: English

Published: River Falls, Wisconsin, 2014

Article

Normalization and Normality Across the Planes of Development

Publication: NAMTA Journal, vol. 22, no. 2

Pages: 122-136

David Kahn - Writings

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Abstract/Notes: Clarifies the meanings of the terms "normalization" and "normality," broadens the discussion of normality beyond Montessori's first plane of development, and explores the unique conditions conducive to normality in the second and third planes. (EV)

Language: English

ISSN: 1522-9734

Article

Theory into Practice: Advancing Normalization for the Child under Three

Available from: ERIC

Publication: NAMTA Journal, vol. 42, no. 2

Pages: 63-96

⛔ No DOI found

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Abstract/Notes: Alyssa Conklin-Moore discusses normalization in the child under three from several perspectives. She takes an extensive look at the child, including orienting parents to the Montessori environment, the child's entrance into the environment, addressing the sensitive periods, and fostering independence, contribution, and community. She reminds the guide of aspects to constantly keep in mind when considering the environment, including the outdoor environment. Importantly, she reminds the practitioner to constantly self-reflect. From start to finish, she offers practical tools that are deeply rooted in a strong Montessori philosophy. [This talk was presented at the NAMTA conference titled Finding the Hook: Montessori Strategies to Support Concentration, October 6-9, 2016, in Columbia, MD.]

Language: English

ISSN: 1522-9734

Article

Guiding the Process of Normalization

Publication: Communications: Journal of the Association Montessori Internationale (2009-2012), vol. 2010, no. 1

Pages: 39–50

⛔ No DOI found

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Abstract/Notes: Montessori saw two major processes that appear opposites in children's development. The process of normalization was considered the 'most important single result of our whole work'. It occurs when love of work, concentration, self-discipline, and sociability all appear. The other process, deviations in development, results from obstacles in the developmental process and occurs frequently in normal children. Dr Zener interviewed 165 Montessori teachers and tabulated in how far and what way the interviewees followed Montessori's recommendations on how best to approach and deal with deviations. Her statistics extrapolating theoretical questions with the current practice have been combined in a refreshing and illuminating article.

Language: English

ISSN: 1877-539X

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