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Building the Self: Self-Regulation, the Successor to Normalization

Presenters: Biff Maier
For: Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary teachers
CPD Hours: 1.5
Available: On Demand

Individual Rental Group Rental


On-Demand Webinar

This presentation is available for a 30-day rental via Vimeo On Demand, allowing you to view the webinar at any time, as often as you would like, within your rental period.

$55/individual (Certificate of Continuing Professional Development for 1 person)
$200/group (CPD certificates for up to 20 persons)


This webinar presents recent research in self-regulation and its compatibility with Montessori’s vision of the normalized child. We will define self-regulation in 2 contexts essential to Montessori. The first context is a developmental one, in which we contrast the way normalization occurs in early childhood with the conscious self-regulation undertaken by older children—and even adults. Barry Zimmerman, from CUNY, has described the cycle of self-regulation as consisting of planning, monitoring, and reflecting, a sequence that is very much like the 3-period lesson. We will detail the characteristics of each period for the elementary and early adolescent planes.

The second context is a social one, in which we claim that democracy in the classroom is fundamental to the Montessori vision of peace. Montessori explained, “The liberty of the child should have as its limit the collective interest.” The prepared environment encourages responsible, independent reasoning only when everyone participates freely and fully in the life of the community, including having a say in the decisions that affect them. We will outline the characteristics of such a community. To further explore this aspect of self-regulation, we will use Urie Bronfenbrenner’s “ecological systems of human development” to show how the webs of relationships produces trust and empowerment. 

Learner Outcomes

  1. You will be able to frame Montessori practices within the context of current psychological research.
  2. You will understand self-regulation as the successor of normalization, and understand how it is rooted in the creation of a democratic community.
  3. You will understand the characteristics of such a democratic community and how to nurture them.

Biff Maier, MA, is director of Faculty and Curriculum Development at Lexington Montessori School in Lexington, MA, where he also teaches Upper Elementary students. Involved with Montessori since 1974, Biff is an AMS workshop presenter and a former member of the AMS Board of Directors, for which he served as chair of the Teachers Section. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood, EL-I). AMI-credentialed, 6 – 12. Biff is the proud parent of 2 Montessori graduates.

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