The Secret Of Childhood Maria Montessori Book Review


The Secret of Childhood

In her 1936 book, “The Secret of Childhood”, Maria Montessori details the results, conclusions, and opinions she had reached after several years of investigating children’s conduct. Maria’s view of children is holistic and considers the body, mind, and soul. The book details her findings in three major parts or categories and several subcategories divided into chapters.

The first category of the book discusses the concept of the spiritual embryo. According to Maria Montessori, it is more natural for the world to adjust itself to the needs of children than for children to adapt themselves to the world. The first subcategory looks at the fascinating reality today where child psychology is dominant in almost all disciplines of medicine and philosophy. The second subcategory expounds on the concept of spiritual embryo and notes that life begins at conception. In the third subcategory, the book explores the idea that even the smallest baby has a mental life of their own. Therefore, even a newborn baby has a fully formed language even though they may lack the motor skills to express the language. The fourth subcategory looks at the impediments that adults might have in the development of children.

Subsequently, the second major category or part of the book focuses mainly on the education of children. The author notes that self-reflection to expose weak points is a useful tool that adults can employ if they wish to help children learn effectively. In the first subcategory, the author looks at the role of the teacher in children’s learning while in the second subcategory, she explores the role of the child’s environment. In the fourth subcategory, she stresses her belief that one of the most important parts of a child’s education is their observation of their environment. The last subcategory under education is a discussion of the concept of psychic deviations.

Lastly, the third major category of the book looks at the relationship a child has with the society they grow in. The author makes the observation that a child who is unable to develop their individuality is like a balloonist in the dessert helplessly watching the wind blow away their balloon. The author discusses the two realities of growth of the individual relative to their environment in this category. In the first subcategory, she discusses intimate and foundational relationships with the environment that inform foundational growth and development. In the second subcategory, she explores how socialization and education influences one’s interaction with their environment.


Demme, E. (2019). The secret of childhood (Montessori)- Book review. Retrieved from

Montessori, M. (1982). The secret of childhood. Ballantine Books.

Shugurensky, D. (2002). Maria Montessori publishes the secret of childhood. Retrieved from

Wordpress. (2019). Montessori philosophy. Retrieved from

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