Continuously examining and re-examining our educational practice: Championing quality Montessori education for a better Africa
An effective educator must be one who deeply understands her work and how his/her work fits into the 21 st century. As educators, we must be open to learn from others even as we seek to perfect our practice.
Researches have shown that students who attend Montessori schools foster higher levels of executive functioning skills such as self-discipline, autonomy over learning, deep focus, critical reasoning and problem solving. Other studies have shown that students who attended Montessori elementary schools significantly outperform their peer groups in Secondary school exams.
To achieve the above benefits, we need to be true followers of Montessori. To be a follower of Montessori requires more than being able to develop a prepared environment and/or present lessons. The development and practice of Montessori requires a deep understanding of her work and how it fits into the contemporary world, how it fits into our African and Nigerian society and how it satisfied our educational needs, given our different cultures. The body of Montessori research has been growing worldwide, thanks to many passionate educators who work on these researches. The benefits of these researches are available to the World Montessori community and indeed to everyone who is interested in high quality education for children and a high quality, peaceful society that benefits everyone.
In Africa, we must now become active in joining this incredible movement to make our part of the planet a better place by dramatically improving the quality of education we offer our children. Since the importance of quality Montessori education is no longer in doubt and the correlation between the Montessori Method and the child’s social and emotional well- being is very clear, we must create our own Montessori research activities to link the evidence from these researches to the African culture and situation. Together, the African Montessori community can partner to build a better Africa and world through more access to the Montessori education. In so doing, we would be working to develop a new generation of creative and independent thinkers.