Digging Deeper: What Is Montessori Education?

Digging Deeper: What Is Montessori Education?

You are most probably familiar with the term “Montessori” but are not so well-versed on its definition. You may have noticed that the term is commonly associated with schools for young children. So, what exactly is Montessori? Is it a kind of religious school? An educational program intended for gifted children? Well, the answer is ‘no’, so here we delve into the actual definition of “Montessori”—what it is, where it originated, how it benefits school children, and whether or not a Montessori preschool in Maryland is good for your children.

In a nutshell, Montessori is a method of education that offers an alternative to the modern educational culture focused on standardization and memorization. The Montessori Method of education, instead, focuses on teaching children to think critically, discover and learn things at their own pace, and develop their skills and abilities.

The Montessori Method is rooted in the life-long research of Italian physician and educator, Dr. Maria Montessori. Being the first female physician in Italy, Dr. Montessori was fascinated with how children learn, and the way each one develops differently. Working at a daycare program in the slums of Rome has led Dr. Montessori to believe that children are naturally curious, independent, and possessing a drive to want to learn everything in the world around them. She then created the educational method that focuses on providing a carefully prepared environment to fully encourage children to learn through their own means and unlock their full potential.

The essential elements that make up the Montessori Method of education are:

  • Individualized Learning

    The idea that children learn and develop according to their inner timetable, so, in a Montessori classroom, new concepts are introduced to the children when they show the interest and readiness to learn.

  • Mixed-Age Classroom

    Having observed distinct “planes of development”, or three-year periods in which children share interests, tendencies, and characteristics, Dr. Montessori developed the method to include children of different ages grouped together, in order to encourage peer-teaching and a sense of community.

  • Freedom within Limits

    The Montessori Method possesses a broad curriculum—giving children the freedom to pursue their own interests, while of course being guided by teachers in order to make responsible choices; this results to children becoming independent and self-motivated.

  • Learning by “Doing”

    Instead of rows of desks, blackboards, and worksheets, a Montessori classroom is filled with beautiful learning materials specifically designed to encourage hands-on learning and to provide a better understanding of abstract concepts.

Top Hat Montessori is a Montessori school in Gaithersburg, Maryland that offers your children a wonderful learning experience in an environment that is conducive to their personal growth and development. We guide children on learning at their own pace and encourage them to discover more about themselves and the world around them.

We are also a reliable infant care and daycare provider in Maryland—making sure to give your infant and toddler the proper and loving care they need.

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The world is a better place when diverse people come together and learn from each other. We are patient with each other’s different points of view, and seek to understand first, before


Every person has a light inside themselves, and we respect the value of that light inside ourselves and others. We never demean or criticize a child, another staff member, or a parent.


Close contact with others can naturally lead to conflict. We seek to turn that conflict to creativity and open minded problem solving. We speak to each other often, sharing ideas and getting help with issues.


A passion for learning keeps us all feeling young and excited about life. We share our excitement for learning with the children, encouraging their curiosity and teach them how to find answers to their questions.


In a community, each person must take care of themselves, and shares a responsibility for the care of their environment. We all check for tasks that need to be done, lending a hand whenever possible.


We strive to maintain a sense of peace inside ourselves, and to create a sense of peace around us. We do not call out across a room; we do not hurry or rush; as adults, we restrain our emotional responses to the children so that we may calmly guide them.