Thank you it is great to be here.
Thank you all, the class will be starting soon.

Before we start, can you tell me if Montessori is a method you
1. understand,
2. don’t know or
3. are indifferent to?

[30/07, 6:15 p.m.] Mrs Foluke: First I would like to thank Mr .Odetola Ebenezer Israel for giving me this great opportunity to share a subject that is so dear to my heart. I am also thankful that you all are here to take part in this live session. I do not take this lightly and I will speak (type) from my heart.
[30/07, 6:17 p.m.] Mrs Foluke: Thank you all for your answers. It helps to know that we are all familiar with the Montessori Method
[30/07, 6:19 p.m.] Mrs Foluke: My name is Ayopeju Falekulo, a Montessorian, Montessori Teacher Trainer and Consultant and I am here to talk about “Montessori – It’s relevance and what we can adapt in the Traditional setting.
[30/07, 6:21 p.m.] Mrs Foluke: I now respect teachers and I do not think there is any more noble a profession than that of teaching. I did not start off thinking like this though. First I hated school, my teachers and then the profession itself. I was advised to read Education at University but I refused.
I spent a lot of time following different passions, music, drama, theatre, administration, children’s entertainment and finally when I hit on Montessori, I knew the search was over. This truly is my calling, I love it and would ask for no other duty in life but to help others find the beauty of Montessori and most importantly for children to find the joy of learning through this beautiful method.
[30/07, 6:26 p.m.] Mrs Foluke: From your answer to my initial question it is important for us to start with:

What The Montessori Method is not?
There are a lot of misconceptions about Montessori and it’s methods. Before we go any further it might be great to get some myths out of the way.
Myth 1. Montessori is a very expensive way to educate a child or run a school!
It is not as expensive as we would like to think. Yes the materials are expensive, there are ways round this. But more importantly is it not more expensive for the country to continue to churn out uneducated graduates year in year out? There are now many Montessori Public Schools in USA and at least one that I know of in UK. This could very well be a trend that Nigeria could try and emulate. Expense is relative if it yields the desired results.
I run a fully loaded Montessori school. We did not break the bank to start and run the school. Is it tough? Yes, but it is not impossible!
Myth 2: Montessori is all play and no work.
Adults believe that when children handle those Montessori Materials they are playing. I will tell you something though, please take the time out to come to a Montessori Open Day session or an Apparatus training and you will think differently. The materials are hands on materials to enable the child learn about their environment. I like to call them the Keys to the Universe for the child to learn about their world.
If you tell a Montessori child who has been sitting and working through some material for a while that he is playing, you will see how quickly the child will correct you by telling you very politely that he is not playing but working.
Myth 3: Montessori teachers don’t teach.
Yes they may not spend the whole time talking at the children but they spend time instead, observing and planning and presenting the next lessons, so the children can get hands on experience and learn from the self-correcting apparatus.
Myth 4: Montessori is for Preschool children. Maria Montessori, the lady who started this method did begin with nursery school children. But the method itself is based on the planes of development from birth to adulthood. So you find that the method moves children from birth to Nursery, Primary and Secondary Education. She wrote enough for people to understand what must be done to create Montessori Secondary Schools. There is even one in Nigeria!
There are so many other myths but let us park this section here and move on to What Montessori Education is all about.

Before we do so do you have any questions?
No questions yet so we are moving on.

What Montessori is:
Montessori is a Method of educating the child started by Maria Montessori in the 1900’s. She was a Medical doctor turned educationist. She found her calling after trying so hard to avoid studying to become a teacher. I understand her completely.
The child was the most important factor in all that she did. She studied the child understood the child and created a child centred learning environment and she transformed the teacher into someone who understood the child and helped the child to learn about life, how to grow up to be useful, relevant and happy in his community.
Education in the Montessori setting is an aid to life. We help our children to find their place and function as independent, self-confident and self-disciplined members of the society who will become solution providers and leaders for their communities, nation and the world. Education is therefore not a means of acquiring facts and figures knowledge, but it is a way of helping the child to learn how to live in his world and be relevant and useful.
Montessori expects you to know, follow and respect the child.

Montessori expects the teacher to be a guide and director who opens the world for the child to learn from, understand and grow to know so well. The job of a teacher is to help the child learn to love to learn.

Montessori expects the environment to be prepared for the child, to meet each child’s developmental needs.

The method is more like you having an Independent Individual Educational Plan for each child that you are following.
How the Montessori Method is relevant to Education in Nigeria today.

The curriculum in a Montessori setting is based on what the child needs at each stage of development.

Deep learning occurs in understanding Mathematics, Language, Reading and Writing Skills and the immediate environment, the Country and the World as a whole.

Montessori children are great communicators and more importantly the really do love and understand Mathematics.
I want to believe that we all disapprove of forcing children to cram without understanding? One of the first things that stood out to me when I came across the Montessori Method was the fact that you can help a child understand concepts from the concrete to the abstract. Understanding is paramount, so the child can then learn to think, if he understands. This is an important twist that the method will give our education system. We do not need children who will cram and pour down facts and then forget all about these same facts immediately the exams are over! We need people who will understand concepts and be able to think outside of the box to provide solid solutions to 21st Century problems.
The Method is also one that allows children to evolve naturally in their present so that they can be prepared to operate effectively in their future. We need to realize that we cannot prepare the children for our today. We need to let them grow for their tomorrow, their future.

Think about it- how many of you could have predicted the way technology, digital technology and the virtual world operates today? More is yet to come! We keep going on about ICT, but the truth is this may not even be relevant when our two year old children today become twenty year old adults tomorrow.
Montessori prepares children for the workplace, team work, working with different people with joy and without fear. Montessori helps children to respect others and the environment. These are qualities needed in Nigeria yesterday, today and even tomorrow. Unity is a need, respecting other cultures in our land is paramount to our survival as a nation.
So how can we adopt and adapt this Method to help our children learn in the Traditional environment?

1. Use the Language and Mathematics curriculum for our Preschool Years especially in the public sector. You do not need to use the apparatus. It can be streamlined, but the essence of the method, the step by step nature of the presentations, would make a big difference. You would be working from the concrete to the abstract, a very important twist that will take us from “I hate Maths” and “They cannot read!” to success stories. I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that over 9 million youths cannot read in Nigeria! Once understanding is in place then a lot of magic will begin to unfold.

2. Get the children to do more activity based, hands on work in the Nursery and Primary sections of your school. Children learn better this way.
3. Enable your children to move around and talk amongst themselves. This aids brain development and their communication skills.

Let children in the Primary school work on projects together. They need to learn teamwork and how to relate and help each other out. This how the children in this stage of life prefer to learn.(6 – 12 years)
5. Get rid of the cane if you still use this to frighten the children into submission. Good practices would need you to explain and discuss class rules instead, and get the children to agree to what should and should not be allowed to happen in the classroom, they will regulate themselves.

6. I guess the one that resonates so much in my heart is this one. Practice inclusion, no matter what label you want to stick on the child, please ensure that you are carrying them along as well, taking each child in your classroom from where they are to where they need to be.

In conclusion:

We can take a few of these steps one by one so that we transform our schools and classrooms into a 21st Century place of learning where children learn to learn and love to learn. The goal is for tomorrow to be better, brighter and safer for the coming generations.
Question Time!

Responses
Mowe: Good evening ma. Good evening fellow educator. Thanks so for this. I have learnt something great tonight.
My question is this. How do we educate parents who believe that children at 2 should start writing letter A -z or numbers 1-100?

From her
Start helping them to understand that this is not helpful for their child even before they enroll in your school. I spend at least 30 mins talking to each prospective parent and this is one of the issues we discuss. Also hold regular forums with your parents, help them to see what their children are learning.
Responses
I have had cases where a 1yr and 8month old baby was withdrawn from this school just becos the mother wanted him to start writing numbers and alphabets.
From her
I have had similar instances too. My conclusion was they were not my parents. My parents will stay and they have.

Responses
Thank you ma. My question is: What are the disadvantages of this method on other levels beyond reception?
And why do some children still have difficulty in the reading some words in the primary
My question:
For one that is about starting a pre-school is it advisable to blend our Nigerian curriculum with the Montessori? Bearing in mind that one that is just starting will not have access to all the Montessori materials.

2. A piece of advice for one that is just starting up.

Does this method has defaults or say what are the disadvantages on other stages?

Just to add to what our amiable guest has said. The Montessori materials allows the pupils to develop great reasoning abilities.
Our guest speaker said no disadvantages at all. Is there a method, experiment…with advantages without any disadvantage? Kindly clear my doubt please.
My question is this, how do you determine when a child is ready to move to the next stage in a Montessori class. Do you have curriculum for them? You know we usually have ages 3-6 together. How do I know when my age 3/is ready to move to the next stage? Should I run the term style like we do in Nigeria before a child can move to the next stage?
U can use the kids in your class. Example, bring out 3 children at your left, and 3 at your right then ask him to count them altogether
If u use about 10 different concrete examples for him consistently , he will grab it… Except if the child is having learning disabilities or he is a special child..
I’ve really not experienced a Montessori class. Met children from Montessori school. But from the classes I see online, if you have all these materials in a pre k class how do you stop the kids from destroying the materials
How much time do you spend doing all these practical things and how much time do you spend talking
My first question is this: have you ever taught purely hausa-muslim kids, who understand only Hausa and their Muslim culture? If yes, how did you use Montessori for them without them frustrating your efforts? Thanks.

From her
Teaching reading skills is not completed in nursery school
Lots of work still needs to be done to complete the task.
This is one of my core areas of expertise. You need to decide what you want and go for it. The materials is not always the issue. Gaining the knowledgea, planing and improvising is key.
We teach the children right from the beginning to learn to respect people and materials. Not to hurt other or spoil things. They are children. Accidents do happen, but they are wonderful learners.
No I haven’t. But if I have children like that, start from the beginning, Language acquisition, you must respect their cultural tendencies though, but show them how you need them to behave in school. Carry their parents along as well.
How do you give assignments to Montessori kids, especially when they don’t have the materials at home? Or no assignments?
Hygiene would be too wide a scope though. We usually would break this down into smaller lessons :
How to wash your hands.
How to wash your face.
How to cut your nails.
How to comb your hair.
How to blow your nose.
etc.

Ohhhhh
Just coming online

Thank you ma God bless you
@eben, I must truly commend what U’re doing on this platform. U’re just getting it ryt. Keep up the efforts.
A big thanks to Mr.eben… Thanks for making a difference!

 

Ayopeju Falekulo is a dedicated Educationist, a Montessori Teacher Trainer and Consultant. She has a wide experience in working with children which spans over 25 years. She has a first degree in Theatre Arts and Drama (B.A. Hon.) from the University of Ife, (O.A.U)
Ayopeju is a certified NLP Practitioner, as well as a certified Early Childhood Education Expert. She has attended various courses and also holds a Certificate (USA) and Diploma in Montessori Education (Birth to 6 years. Nigeria). She is a Member of Montessori Centre International (UK), Montessori Alliance (IR) and The Montessori Family Alliance (USA).
Ayopeju is the Proprietor of Addlo Montessori School House and Chief Consultant /Director of Studies of Addlo Montessori Training Center, where they run online courses, onsite Apparatus training and Montessori school consultations. She is also the publisher of The Kidzone Magazine, the Founder of EduRead Competition and the author of the newly published book Teach Your Child to Read.
She is blessed with a loving and very supportive family: her husband and two sons.