This paper aims to analyze some of the Maria Montessori’s principles combining them with a psychoanalytic thesis by Bruno Bettelheim contained in The Uses of Enchantment (1976). The comparison between this two theoretical matrices – one on the side of infant growth and on a child’s level, the other one on the side of the relationship between the reality experienced by the child himself and his unconscious reality – provides a perspective and analysis framework highly functional in early childhood education and care. The author, by this way, draws paths of development lightening up the impervious road – but completely devoid of bifurcations – of the possible and plausible encounter between the Montessori’s reality principle and the childish imagination described by the psychoanalyst. Through the practice of storytelling, where fantasy and reality merge but do not mingle, the author proposes paths of sensitization to the contact with the book (the real and the magic object at the same time) for a kind of education that knows how to listen to otherness.
Keywords: early childhood; nursery; Montessori Method of Education