Assessment on the Role of Technology in Improving Children Learning Capacity in Montessori Schools In Lagos State

Edwin A and Ologeh I

Published on: 2022-09-01


This study discusses a study of technology rich learning approach to promote teaching. Research suggests that technology used inappropriately have a significant effect in teaching and learning. Integrating technology into the classroom is an approach to develop better understanding of basic concepts provided it is applied appropriately. There is a great awareness about technology integration; only few practicing teachers profess to know exactly how to proceed. The fact is that real integration requires change. However, what seems to be lacking is a model that teachers can use to guide students through the necessary changes they will need to make to be successful in integrating new technology into their classroom. The purpose of the study was to assess the difference between children exposed to technological education through Montessori schools and those in traditional schools. It also aims at knowing the cost of Montessori education and how to bring technology into public schools.


Technology; Montessori; Human Development; Computer; Education


Technology is got from two Greek words Techne meaning art, skill, cunning of hands, and the second is logia which is the making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, and method of organization, in order to solve a problem, improve preexisting solution to a problem, achieve a goal, or perform a specific function [1]. Technology plays a vital role in schools because it prepares the students to meet high standards of education, help new and aspiring teachers to become highly qualified experts in their subject areas and provides administrators with better data that can improve decision making and policy implementation (Accessible technology for all students 2005). Montessori education is a model of human development. It has two basic elements; firstly students engage in psychological means of interacting with the environment, secondly children under the age of six have an innate path of psychological development. The purpose of Montessori education is to help every child develop the fundamental skills already within him to master the creative learning process all through his life. The Montessori system is characterized by emphasis on independence, freedom within limits and respect for a child's natural individual psychological development in the society. In a standard Montessori class, a set of special learning materials are introduced to the children and each class is encouraged to choose whatever material he or she wants to work with and can use it for as long he or she is interested. This directly helps to develop the child's power of concentration and self-discipline. The major function of a teacher in a Montessori system is to guild the children on the usage of these materials and not to instruct them. 

The various technologies used in Montessori schools which enables students to understand what they are taught and also to support students with pronunciation, definitions, comprehensions and translations are;

  1. Computers
  2. Television
  3. Video
  4. Internet
  5. Calculator
  6. Music player
  7. Scanner
  8. Cameras
  9. Electronic toys

Montessori education is not about the children alone, but also about the teachers. It is part of the responsibility of teachers, both at the high school and college level, is to prepare students for entering the job market. Thus, teachers must learn all they can to help their students to be a success in the twenty first century. One piece of all possible types of technology as a teaching tool in the classroom to empower their students as they develop their critical thinking skills necessary to solve the problems they encounter is the computer. Montessori education teachers incorporate technology into their lessons, and their mode of instruction. This is based on the teacher's perception of the process which determines whether he/she will take the actions necessary to learn how to use technology, relate the technology to the students as well as teach with it. There has been a failure in education to find the right blend of technologies whose benefit varies. Technology has the potential to imitate existing educational practice, and combine idea and product innovation to encourage students to engage in deeper activities. Technology in education has the potential of transforming education, so students develop 21st century literacy skills. A clear plan for implementation provides framework for the successful and efficient use of educational technology. The goal of implementing technology in the classroom is to make education more effective and to offer students new resources and options. Technology implementation also should have an impact on the teaching strategies and methodologies of the teachers.

Literature Review

The history of technology in school can be traced back to the emergence of very early tools, e.g., paintings on cave walls. But more recent history starts with the introduction of educational films (1990s) or Sidney Pressey's mechanical teaching machines in the 1920s. the first large scale usage of new technology can be trace to United States World Word II training of soldiers through training films and other mediated materials. The 1980s and 1990s produced a variety of schools that can be put under the umbrella of the label- computer based learning (CBL). CBL focused on the interaction between the students and computer drills plus tutorials on one hand or micro world or simulation on the other. Preferred technologies were micro-words (computer environment where students can explore and build), simulations (computer environment where learners can play with parameters of dynamic systems) and hypertext. Digitized communication and networking in education started in the mid-80s and became popular in the mid-90s, in particular through the World Wide Web (WWW), email and forums. The history of Montessori education dates back to 1907, when Maria Montessori opened the casa dei bambini, also known as children's house, in a low income district of Rome. Her unique philosophy sparked the interest of educators worldwide, and in the following decades, Montessori schools opened throughout Europe, in north and South America, and finally on every continent but Antarctica Montessori education is different from traditional education and the Key differences between them are listed below.

Montessori Approach

  • Emphasis is on cognitive development
  • Teacher has unobtrusive role in the room
  • Environment & method encourage self-discipline
  • Mainly individual instruction; mixed age groupings
  • Mixed age grouping encourages children to teach and help one another
  • Child chooses his/her own work
  • Child discovers own concepts from self-teaching materials
  • Child works as long as he/she wishes on chosen project
  • Child sets own learning pace
  • Child spots errors in feedback from material
  • Child reinforces own learning by repetition of work and internal feelings of success

Traditional Approach

  • Emphasis is on social development
  • Teacher is the center of room as "controller"
  • Teacher acts as primary enforcer of discipline
  • Mainly group instruction; same age grouping
  • Most teaching is done by the teacher
  • Curriculum is structured for child
  • Child is guided to concepts by teacher
  • Child is generally allotted specific time for work
  • Instruction pace is set by group norm
  • If work is corrected, errors usually pointed out by the teacher
  • Learning is reinforced externally by required repetition, rewards and punishments
  • Child usually assigned own chair, required to participate, sit and listen during group time.

The list above shows the great difference between Montessori educations and traditional education. It is obvious from the list that Montessori education is ideal in all respect.

Difference between Montessori and Traditional students: A Case Study of Inner City Montessori and Traditional Schools

A study comparing outcomes of children at a public inner-city Montessori school with children who attended traditional preschools indicates that Montessori education leads to children with better social and academic skills. Montessori education is characterized by multi-age classrooms, a special set of educational materials, student-chosen work in long time blocks, a collaborative environment with student mentors, absence of grades and tests, and individual and small group instruction in academic and social skills.  Study authors Angeline Lillard, a University of Virginia professor of psychology, and Nicole Else-Quest, a former graduate student in psychology at the University of Wisconsin carried out a study on Montessori and traditional students at Inner City.  In their study, the children who attended the Montessori school, and the children who did not, were tested for their cognitive and academic skills, and for their social and behavioral skills. The scholars found significant advantages for the Montessori students in the tests for various age groups. Lilard and Else-Quest said the positive social effects of Montessori education on the children are particularly remarkable because the home environment overwhelms all other influences in the classroom. Their study also shows that Montessori students proved to be significantly better prepared for elementary school in reading and math skills than the Non-Montessori children. They also tested better on "executive function," the ability to adapt to changing and more complex problems, and indicator of future school and life success. Montessori children also displayed better abilities on the social and behavioral tests, demonstrating a greater sense of justice and fairness. And on the playground they were much more likely to engage in emotionally positive play with peers, and less likely to engage in rough play. The scholars also found out that parents who seek to enroll their children in a Montessori school are different from parents who do not. This was an important factor because parents generally are the dominant influence on child outcomes.

Technology Employed in Education

There are various types of technologies currently used in classrooms; examples are:

  • Computer in the classroom: Having a computer in the classroom is an asset to any teacher. With a computer in the classroom, teachers are able to demonstrate a new lesson, present new material, illustrate how to use new programs, and show new websites.
  • Class website: An easy way to display the student's work is to create a web page for the class. Once a web page is designed, teachers can post homework assignments, student work, famous quotes, trivia games, and so much more online. In today's society, children should know how to use the computer to navigate their way through a website, the reason one should be created where they can be an online published author.
  • Wireless classroom microphones: Noisy classrooms are a daily occurrence, and with the help of microphones, students are able to hear their teachers more clearly. Children learn better when they hear the teacher clearly. The benefit for teachers is that they no longer lose their voices at the end of the day.
  • Mobile devices: Mobile devices can be used to enhance the experience in the classroom by providing the possibility for teachers to get feedback.
  • Interactive Whiteboards: An interactive whiteboard that provides touch control of computer applications can be very useful. These enhance the experience in the classroom by showing anything that can be on a computer screen. This not only aids in visual learning, but it is interactive so the students can draw, write, or manipulate images on the interactive whiteboard.
  • Digital video:  Digital video eliminates the need for in-classroom hardware (players) and allows teachers and students to access video clips immediately by not utilizing the public Internet.
  • Online media: Streamed video websites can be used to enhance a classroom lesson (e.g. United Streaming, Teacher Tube, etc.)
  • Online study tools: Tools that motivate studying by making studying more fun or individualized for the student (e.g. Study Cocoa)
  • Digital Games: The field of educational games and serious games has been growing significantly over the last few years. The digital games are being provided as tools for the classroom and have a lot of positive feedback including higher motivation for students.
  • Toys: Toys were literally made so children could mold their creativity into a tangible object with toys like legos and play-dols.
  • Kids TV shows: Kids TV shows or cartoons teach children moral and academic shows e.g. Sesame Street, Barney and friends etc.

There are many other tools being used depending on the school board and funds available. These may include: digital cameras, video cameras, document cameras, or LCD projectors.

Recent Trends and Study

History of Montessori Education in Nigeria

Today, as it has been for countries now, education remains a means of tackling poverty, inequality and the total development of any nation. The establishment of Montessori schools is now a new trend especially among the nursery and primary schools in Nigeria. Montessori schools understand what the system is really all about and believed that children learn best at their own pace and in their own way. In Nigeria, many of the teachers in these Montessori schools man their pupils the same way it is done in the traditional schools. Many of them do not even know the basic element of Montessori teaching system and all of these are as a result of lack of training for the teachers. Meanwhile, the blame cannot be all on the teachers, the school owners are also responsible for whatever mode of teaching is employed by the teachers in any school. The Montessori Method has been making inroads into Nigeria in small pockets for several decades and in the last decade has grown to become a force to be reckoned with. Over the last decade, there has been an explosion of Montessori awareness in Nigeria, and a proliferation of schools and teacher training programs bearing the name. In 2007, Association of Montessori educators in Nigeria (AMEN) was birthed, spearheaded by Mrs. Adebola Atoyebi of Heritage House Montessori school and teacher education program. Working with other like-minded professionals, it kicked off with an inaugural meeting and a lecture. However, there was a lull in the activities of the organization until recently, when Montessorians were once again confronted with the need to work as a unit. The organization is being re-birthed, with a new executive. The rate of increase in Montessori schools in Nigeria is on the rise. This gets to show that both the school owners and the parents have seen the wide gap that exist between the Montessori and traditional education, and the impact it have on their children in ensuring that the children is trained not only to compete with their colleagues in other counties, but also to prepare them for the job market.

Increases in the Exposure of Teachers to Technological Tools in Education

The exposure of teachers to technological tools in education has really helped them in developing an understanding of what technology education is all about. It has helped teachers to perform better on the work they currently do and improve/add on to the experience they already have in teaching. It also provides teachers with hands on experience in technology activities and gave them a broad range of manageable teaching activities to begin with. It provides opportunities for teachers to share their practices and good ideas with each other to build a replica of successful activities.


Private Schools versus Government Schools in Lagos

Many parents prefer private schools to public schools because they believe things are better in the former. They are convinced that their children will be well taught and they will get value for their money in private schools. It is also their believe that there is a breakdown in the public school system which has affected the quality of education. Government failure in educational sector is reflecting in public schools decay. Also, most private schools really don’t have what it takes to fill the gap, because they are run unethically. They break rules in order to make money and retain pupils, award marks to pupil who fail in order to promote them and please their parents. Government should take into consideration these setbacks and appoint boards which can offer solutions to the problems facing both the private and public schools.

Comparison of Students under the Montessori and Traditional Education

Below is the summary of the outcome of the study of Angeline Lillard and Nicole Else-Quest, comparing children at a public inner-city Montessori school with children who attended traditional preschools. The indicates that Montessori education leads to children with better social and academic skills.

Educational Comparison

Traditional Approach to Education

Montessori Approach to Education

Children grouped chronologically

Non-graded (two or three year age span)

Class seated at desks much of time

Students “work” at tables, group lessons on floor with freedom of movement

Class, as a group, studies one subject at a time

Children pursue their own self-paced curriculum, individually or in small groups, in various parts of environment

Class schedules and frequent interruptions limit child’s involvement

Long blocks of time and relatively few interruptions permit invaluable concentration

Postponement of cognitive development until first grade

Critical cognitive skills developed before age six

Basal readers (traditional “see and say”) or “whole language” (non-traditional “see and say”)

Phonetic-based, multi-sensorial; more flexible writing and reading opportunities

Teacher “corrects” pupils’ “errors”

Children learn from peers, self-correcting materials; teacher’s role as a guide

Children are different.  Some can learn - others cannot

All children can learn.  They are the same all over the world

No implicit trust and respect for every child

Implicit trust and respect for every child.

Teacher centered

Child centered

Teacher is transmitter of knowledge

Children learn through their own discovery and experience

Homogeneous grouping

Multiage grouping for community atmosphere

Answers are provided by teacher

Children correct themselves through control of error

Time periods allotted

No time restrictions

Some are held back, some are pushed ahead

Each child learns at his/her own pace

Children are dependent on the teacher

Children work independently

Teacher-directed with very little choice

Children are self-directed and make their own choice

Subjects are compartmentalized

Subjects are intertwined



Rewards and punishment (grades)


 Cost of Setting up a Montessori School

The cost of establishing a Montessori school is higher than a traditional one because of the quality demanded in the procurement of Montessori materials. These costs are affected by inflations and exchange rates. Because Montessori schools are operated independently of one another, tuition varies widely. The tuition is usually tied to the salaries of staff, the size of the school, the cost of living, the cost of setup, the environment in which the school is situated and many other factors. The cost of running the school and that of maintenance varies from school to school but runs into hundreds of thousands in Nigerian currency.

Information on Various Fees Charged as Various Montessori Schools in the USA and Nigeria

Below are list of fees charged at Montessori schools in the United States of America

Age Group


Fees/ month


3 hours

$ 3,480 —$8,000


3 hours

$3,500 — $5,000



$3, 5 00 — $6,000



$4,700 — $12,000

Also in Nigeria, the school fees of Montessori education in Lagos state are in categories. The first (High) category is where Green Springs School, Ikeja Lagos belongs. Their charges are estimated to be within the range of N334, 000 to N775, 000 per term depending on the stage of the child. The second category (Medium) charges within the range of N150, 000 to N300, 000 per term. Emerald Schools Gbagada and Ibafo falls within this range. The third (low) category (e.g. Zion Saints and Heritage Schools Ikorodu) charge within the range of N50, 000 to N150, 000 per term. Going by the figures quoted both nationally and internationally, it is certain that a lot of people may not be able to afford the Montessori pattern of education despite the fact that it is perceived as one of the best way to ensure that a child is equipped with the best education.

Promoting the Implementation of Technology in Public Schools in Lagos

Whenever government establishes and implements education measures, most often, a certain specific focus is selected first, such as curriculum, reforming and administrative personnel at schools. This basic plan for the promotion of education is meant to review individual measures to ensure comprehensive promotion of educational measures.

  • Technology implementation can be introduced and promoted using the following techniques in public schools
  • Inclusion of technological aided lessons in the curriculum: Vision aided lessons like computer session, watching of educational videos and practical sessions must be included in public Schools’ curriculum.
  • Provision of technological tools to public schools: Tools like computers, television and DVD set, electronic toys and vision aided project pieces should be provided to public schools to aid learning. A good example is the provision of opon imo (tablet) in Osun state to all public secondary school pupils.
  • Training of Teachers: Teachers rally need basic technical knowledge about how to use a tool, as well as how to integrate the tool into existing curriculum (CEO forum 2000). In order to achieve full scale change, schools need to ensure that strong professional development programs for teachers are in place.
  • Train the trainers: Schools administrators are to oversee the training of teachers and how good they are implementing it. The school administrators help ensure that the use of technology is prioritized and that teacher feel comfortable trying new things

Reasons for Implementing Technology in Public Schools

When done effectively, technology has a positive impact on student learning. It can:

  • Increase student motivation for learning.
  • Improve communication of learning goals.
  • Facilitate higher-order thinking skills.
  • Build valuable skills that students will use in college and in the workplace.
  • Expand students’ understanding from novice to mastering.

There is no denying that computer technology has become as common place as the telephone in Nigeria. To make learning relevant to students, this reality needs to be acknowledged in the form of technology based lessons.

How Technology Changes the Way Students Learn

Students still learn the same way that they always have: by comparing new information with previous acquired knowledge and skills. However, students today have different preferences for how information is presented based on their experiences with computer technology. The difference in the learning process is the array of tools available to the learner. Computer technology automates previously laborious processes, allowing students to focus on developing higher order thinking skills.

Technology Activities for Public Schools

There are literally various methods of using technology in classrooms. Online tools can be used for collaboration: The internet provides a rich source of information and multimedia tools allow students to assemble presentations that are both educational and entertaining. The following ideas can be used in virtually any classroom, regardless of course content.

  • Create a class website.

The web is an excellent way to communicate with students and their parents or guardians. It entails course information, assignments, lecture notes and presentations link to interesting sites, challenges, study tools, links to textbook, websites, tablets and many other features.

  • Take part in a web event.

These online events allow classes to observe and interact in educational activities occurring in real time. Using chart room technology, these events are exciting in both students and educators. Students can often ask experts questions and can read or hear what other students from around the world are asking.

  • Participate in an online research project, the internet is filled with ongoing projects that allow students to contribute by collecting, submitting, and analyzing data, submitting ideas, or contributing work online.
  • Have students create a multimedia presentation.

Ask students to use various digital media, such as digital video clips, audio clips and digital photographs to assemble a multimedia presentation.

  • Use common productivity software for teaching and learning.

Software that is commonly used to increase productivity in offices and in homes can also be effectively adapted to school use. Common products such as word processing software, spreadsheets and presentation-making applications, have a multitude of uses in the classroom. Whether used to organize data collected in a science project, to track revisions in the writing process or to create a time of events.

Additional Forms of Technology for the Classroom

There are numerous other forms of hardware and software that can help engage students in technology-assisted learning. These include peripheral or Course – Specific Technologies like:

Computer-based labs.


Scientific monitoring devices, such as probes and sensors.

Drawing software.

Animation software.

Global positioning system.

Digital Cameras.

Digital video editing suites.

How to Help Teachers Use Technology in the Classroom

To assist teachers improve on technology, the 5J Approach can be adopted. The five “J”s, approach is

  • Job-related assistance: The teacher’s primary role is to help students understand particular subject matter. Everything else is secondary. Therefore, the focus of any computer related professional development should not be on the technology itself, but on how computers can improve performance in these core areas of the teacher’s ‘job’.
  • Just enough assistance: Teachers don’t need to know everything about a particular piece of software. They only need “just enough” to help them complete a curriculum related or instructional task. Anything beyond this is wasted effort.
  • Just in time assistance: The third ‘J’ is a truism in the field of professional development. Professional development should support teachers’ learning just in time – when they are ready to both learn and apply what they have learned with students. This is needed to reduce latency. Latency is often a major issue in professional development. Too much time elapses between teacher learning and implementation of learning. By providing professional development close to the point of classroom implementation, this lag time and loss of learning is reduced.
  • Just in case assistance: This fourth ‘J’ therefore focuses on helping teachers address these control issues by adopting a just-in-case attitude toward computers. This approach focuses on carefully planning the classroom activity. By remembering that computers are just one of many learning tools, teachers can reduce their chances of being caught unaware when computers fail technically or instructionally.
  • Just try it assistance: Central to change is action, and this is where professional development often breaks down. “Just try it” is the most important ‘J’ principle of them all. Without application in the classroom, professional development is a waste of time, money, and effort.

Role of Government

Government should promote the establishment of community schools, school management council system that will give parents, guardians and local citizens to participate in school administration with the aim of creating reliable schools. The government should encourage employers to ensure a work life balance of their employees by optimizing their working conditions to allow for their participation in learning activities. Also government should encourage the boards of education, and parties engaged in education to increase and expand their partnership and corporation with businesses.

Summary Conclusion and Recommendation

In summary, children can’t help learning; simply by living, children learn from their environment. Children are born to learn, and Montessori education is a remarkable learning system. Children learn because they are thinking beings, but what they learn depends greatly on their teachers, experience and environment. The primary objective of Montessori Education is to prepare students for entering the job market, and to help students be a success in the twenty first century through the application of technology in the educational sector, especially in the classrooms.


In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity, it is a prerequisite. Yet, we have one of the highest high school drop-out rates of any industrialized nation. Half of the students who begin college never finish. This is a prescription for economic decline. An excellent education remains the clearest, surest route to the middle class. To compete with the other countries we must strengthen the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) aspect of our education, which is the bedrock of technology. Every child in this country should get a world class education from the day they are born until the day they graduate from college.


The section states the various recommendations for the government, teachers and school owners.

The Government

The government should ensure that adequate policies are put in place. Such policies include;

  1. Setting up effective governing boards for both private and public schools that will monitor the quality of education taught in the schools.
  2. Making mathematics and science education a priority; ensuring that these subjects are giving serious attention.
  3. Addressing drop-out crisis; provision of funding for school districts to invest in technology acquisition.
  4. Expansion of high quality after school opportunities; giving the youths the required skills they need after graduation.
  5. Recruit, prepare, retain and reward teachers; ensuring that adequate motivations are given to teachers so that they can perform their duties effectively.

School Owners

  1. The school owners are to maintain standards. They should dare parents to secure a good name and not because of loss of students compromise on their standards. They are also to treat their staff well, so they can put in their best in teaching the students.
  2. The school owners should encourage parents to allow them to instill services of excellence in their children. They are to enjoin the parents to provide tools that will inspire the children while reading their books at home E.g. television and video games.


  1. The teachers are should endeavor to impact the required knowledge, skills and techniques that the students require to excel in their academics.
  2. Teachers should also ensure that there is a teacher to student relationship, so that the student can be able to express his or her problems to the teacher without fear.


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