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News From Headquarters

Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc.

Caleb Gattegno


vol. I no. 4

June 1972

First published in 1972. Reprinted in 2009. Copyright Š 1972-2009 Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc. Author: Caleb Gattegno All rights reserved ISBN 978-0-87825-263-3 Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc. 2nd Floor 99 University Place, New York, N.Y. 10003-4555

Special Issue Shortly after you receive this Newsletter we may be at our Fifth Avenue address (80 Fifth Ave. - 14th floor) with much more space than we have had at 821 Broadway. This will allow us to carry many more activities than was possible at our present address. In fact, this extension of activities has forced us to keep the rooms on the eighth floor at 80 Fifth Avenue. We will also be greatly helped by having 821 Broadway available for six more months. By the end of the summer we will know exactly what the extent of our expansion this year has been and whether our new premises will accommodate our various operations. We will keep you posted.

Table of Contents

LeoColor............................................................................... 1 Opening Of New Offices ........................................................ 3 Staff Changes........................................................................ 5 The Twin Parks School ......................................................... 7 My Visit To The Twin Parks School ....................................... 9 Next Year At The Twin Parks School .................................... 11 Our Increased Involvement With NYC Schools ................... 13 Where We Are Contributing Solutions ................................17 My Life And My Work ......................................................... 19 “My Life And My Work” Series ........................................................ 19 New Publications................................................................ 25 Hindi In The Classroom Of Gattegno Language Schools ..... 27


Three years ago the Words in Color version for television was on its way (c.f. Speaking Freely, May 1970) and Paul Klein named it pop up after the first English sentence in the film. Twelve minutes of pop ups were bought by NBC at cost, and the initial investment went back into making 12 minutes of the Spanish language version. At the end of May, 1972, the whole solution to the teaching of Spanish literacy was on hand with a total length of 34 minutes of TV time. The film is superbly produced and our friends of International Cinemedia Centre in Montreal, Joe Koenig, Director, and the animator Koos Hillenaar, can take pride in it. The scenario is Dr. Gattegno’s. He is also responsible for the production, the pedagogical value, and the financing. The film, in its super 8 cassette form, has been tested in two bilingual schools in New York City since January, and many Spanish New Yorkers learned to read — some in minutes, literally — with joy and ease. Like the pop ups, LeoColor is a solution to a problem of great magnitude as well as one of the select products of EDUCATIONAL SOLUTIONS. Shown recently to TV people in Mexico City and San Juan, Puerto Rico, it received a welcome and an unreserved recognition. It may soon be on the air in a number of places in Hispano America. In the U.S., similar interest for LeoColor has been shown by Spanish speaking Americans on both coasts, and it may be on the air on their special stations.


Opening Of New Offices

Starting in August, Educational Solutions Inc. will be able to serve more directly its friends and educational customers in the Washington D.C. area. We are opening an office with one person in charge. She is Ms. Elaine Rhymers who studied with us for over three years in New York and California, and helped teachers in West Virginia during this year. She will need assistance from other members of the staff to cope with the growing interest in that area. We are pleased to be able to count the personnel of the Wilde Lake High School, Columbia, Maryland, among the friends of the subordination of teaching to learning. In the United Kingdom, where Dr. Gattegno spent 20 years and where he published for the first time his projects in mathematics, reading, science and foreign languages (not counting the 50 volumes of the My Life and My Work series and his first films) his set-up will now be known as Educational Solutions Ltd. and will be closely linked with our headquarters in New York City. A new development in Europe is the formation of Educational Solutions Europe, by a group of friends who are active promoters of the subordination of teaching to learning in French speaking countries. This summer three weeklong seminars organized by this group will take place, one in Munich and two in Aix en Provence. Next September a Language School will open in Geneva. Ms. Priscilla Mareno who has been working with our approaches in New York City will go there to teach English The Silent Way for at least one year.


News From Headquarters

For all information write to our indefatigable collaborator Ms. Cecilia Carreras, 12 Av. Peschier, 1206 Geneva, Switzerland.


Staff Changes

Ms. Jane Orton who ran our New Haven office is leaving for Paris where she and her husband Torrey will teach at the Ecole Active Bilingue. They will, no doubt, contaminate their colleagues since they have used successfully our solutions for some time and will continue to do so at that school. We are very sorry not to have Jane help us here when we are so much in need of competent personnel. Ms. Lesley Apt is taking a year off to study in Europe. Ms. Maria del Carmen Gagliardo, after one and a half years with us, will return to her native Argentina to serve the people of her country and assist them in using the powers of children in their own education. She served us well by being dedicated to each of her charges everywhere. Added to our staff are: Dr. Ian Spence, a precision teaching specialist who was with us parttime at the Twin Parks School during this school year; as teacher of teachers from September 1st in New York City. Sally Kolker, formerly of C.S. 133 in Manhattan; as teacher of teachers. Carmen Pannell, formerly of C.E.C., Manhattan; as teacher of teachers.


News From Headquarters

Mr. Ted Swartz, an intermediate school teacher, specialist in remedial reading through Words in Color; as teacher of teachers from September 1st, in New York City. Ms. Zulie Catir, a high school math teacher, who was with us part-time this year at Rafael Hernandez in the Bronx; as teacher of teachers, in New York City. Ms. Mary Seager, who worked with us for three years while teaching elementary children in the Boston area, (in Acton this year); as teacher of teachers, from September 1st. Ms. Jeanette Parsons, who worked for two years at a school in Harlem, showing how much children can learn when well taught; as teacher of teachers, in New York City, from September 1st. Ms. Idi Elfrida Henderikse, a specialist in teaching handicapped children; as teacher of teachers, from September 1st, in New York City. To assist us in these moments of great pressure from city schools asking for our services, Bob Perrault and Len Allison will join us on a part-time basis. They will each give us one day a week. Mira Erickson, Rosalyn Bennett and Ghislaine Graf will also go to the schools to relieve pressure. All will act as teachers of teachers.


The Twin Parks School

Our report on the Twin Parks School, the first truly experimental school, will be one of four to be made public. We had hoped that the report would be ready by now, but our reporters have been too busy so far and we may decide to dedicate the whole next issue of the newsletter to this significant matter. Next issue is scheduled to appear around August 15th. Attention contributors! No one goes on vacation before sending in one’s report! or everyone uses one’s vacation to write it! Special mention should be made here of the contribution made by Caroline Mirthes who worked part-time at the Twin Parks School throughout the year. Her inconspicuous work during the year produced the end result which is extremely varied and very informative. It is the School Magazine which the school agreed to use as its own report. It shows how subtle Caroline's work at the Experimental School has been. Although this will not be her contribution to our joint report, it is part of her work in and on the school. In the report she helped compile she obtained contributions from all the segments of the school, from the superintendent of the district to the children. It is a most illuminating document that represents what so many people felt or think of this year at the Twin Parks School, but at the same time it can only give a fragmented picture of what went on


News From Headquarters

in the two thousand human cells that made the experimental school year. We welcome here a volunteered article by Mrs. Gattegno, who felt that her experiences of a day’s visit to some classes of the Twin Parks School may help present a facet of the school about which nothing has been written. We are glad she let us publish the article.


My Visit To The Twin Parks School

Last year in August when I returned from Europe after vacationing there with my children — the time during which Dr. Gattegno conducted the five-week summer workshop for the teachers who were to work in the Twin Parks School — I was invited to attend one of the last two days of this workshop. Watching what went on in the workshop on that day, I must admit, I did not get the impression that that group of teachers had reached anywhere near the competence and the state of mind adequate to embark upon the tremendous task of participating in an experimental school — of the kind I was aware Dr. Gattegno had in mind. Indeed I had my doubts then regarding the preparation of the would-be faculty of the school to meet the challenge. During the course of the year I kept getting sporadic reports from one person or another connected with the school on what was going on. Katherine would come, for instance, and over a cup of tea relate to me the delightful stories of the happenings at the school. But then, “children — one and all — have a way of generating delight through their being,” I would say to myself without asking the question, “is something special going on in the school?” Then last month Mrs. Hercules in an informal, hut in her very genuine warm manner said to me, “When will you come to visit our school?” This was re-enforced by Katherine’s asking me if I would come. Caleb had also suggested from time to time during the year that I visit the Twin Parks School. My visit materialized only last week. On the 31st of May I visited the Lower school.


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What I observed there is with me in the form of a feeling of well-being; of the kind one senses when one witnesses the harmonious flow of energy that is integrally related to the “good” that it itself brings into being. I neither sought nor found perfection at the school. I did not even find any effort towards achieving perfection. Rather I found teachers committed to bringing their best to the children. And, unlike seeking perfection, being one’s best from one moment to the other has no ceiling. I was struck by the extent to which the teachers were free from fear of making mistakes, and therefore from the tension it generates. As a result of this I found them free to learn from their mistakes on the spot. This relaxed attitude towards mistakes and an ability to learn from them seemed to help effectively the functioning of the children for whom the reality of their own mistakes and of their learning from them gained a more realistic meaning. I suspect the way and the spirit in which the consultants have worked with the faculty over the year has contributed a great deal to the awareness of a special link between mistakes and learning, and how mistakes help the process of learning. The children (I met two or three) who were not attending any classes were not being oppressed by the condemning glances of teachers. They, it seemed to me, commanded and received respect for using their time in the way they know it was best to be used by them for the moment. Short conversations and warm smiles were exchanged between them and the teachers as they happened to pass by each other. These “nonworkers” seemed to belong to the school as much as those interested in the class activities. In each classroom I saw various groups working either with the teacher, on their own, or with the paraprofessionals (mainly mothers). Children, 5, 6 and 7 years old seemed to be aware of the fact that whatever activity each group or individual was engaged in was important for that group or that person. They


Next Year At The Twin Parks School

Educational Solutions’ contract with District 12 of the New York City Schools indicates that if the project is continued, there will be a smaller request for services from us during the second year. We will have three teachers of teachers helping in areas which, at this moment, are less strong than is desired: the bilingual side, mathematics at all levels, and innovative techniques in several areas. Dr. Gattegno’s presence will be on request. Another staff member will give all his time to make mathematics literacy as accessible to all as English or Spanish literacy has been this year. Ms. Seager will devote herself to the problems of bilingualism. The third position may be “multi-headed” since the requests from the school are varied and not usually carried out by one individual. There will be no professorial seminar to watch in a systematic manner what the Experimental School could teach the nation's educators. However, we hope that the school will remain open as it was this year, since this is a school which has shown that what made it experimental was what went on in the people, and that humanization of education is a reality now at least in one place.


Our Increased Involvement With NYC Schools

There has been an increased number of those who have adopted the formula of improving education by improving teachers. This is evident from the fact that New York City schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx are asking a larger number of their teachers to take our workshops for reading, mathematics and foreign languages, and to learn to use our materials and techniques. Increased seminar space which will be available from July 1st, will be needed to accommodate the many workshops we are arranging to take care of these interested people. District 12 in the Bronx asked us to give a Spanish Silent Way course of 80 hours to one hundred teachers in their summer in-service training program. Besides our involvement in the Twin Park School, we have been asked to consider assisting teachers at two more schools in this district, (I.S. 133X and C.S. 211X) next year. We may be working in one or two more schools in District 12 which we are happy to serve. In District 5, in Manhattan, where we have been for some years (three years in the 201 Complex and one more year in District 5 proper) four more schools are being added to the 4 in which we are already working. In District 5 proper, two teachers will be going back to the district after a year of association with us as teachers of teachers. We hope to be able


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to specially assist four of the district teachers who will take the place of our colleagues next year. In District 4, in Manhattan, where we have had a modest place in the Escuela Infantil (174 E. 104th St.) from its start, and for one year at P. S. 57, we will increase our services at P.S. 57, and no doubt in other schools. Our contribution has helped clarify some aspects of bilingualism and has created hope for a successful general bilingual education in the linguistically mixed areas of New York City. District 1 in Manhattan has increased its request for services and materials. We very much hope that soon it will be possible to add to our projects in bilingualism schools of this district whose Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese) speaking student population could benefit from our experience in solving bilingual problems in education. In the Bronx, we will continue to be at the Rafael Hernandez Bilingual Elementary School (District 9, C.S. 235X) and even expand our contribution there. We cannot help expressing our joy at seeing the school that opened on February 1st this year make so much progress in so short a time. The dedication of supervisors and teachers quickly eliminated many obstacles they faced at the opening of school. In Brooklyn, we will be at I.S. 55 (District 23) next year as we were in the past two years. The association with this school will involve us with some elementary school teachers in feeder schools, an arrangement that we may pursue more systematically in the future. In this borough we may also be deeply involved in District 19, C.S. 202. We have been asked to make a presentation to school boards, and to the teaching staff of elementary schools in the above 3 boroughs regarding the establishment of links between Educational Solutions and schools. Our main problem today is to maintain the increase in our staff of teachers of teachers so that we do not disappoint teachers who want to subordinate teaching to learning in their classroom.


Our Increased Involvement With NYC Schools

New York City has many times the number of teacher we are serving, and no one can forecast how quickly the more alert ones will turn to us. To prepare for that is a new kind of challenge defying our capacity to find solutions. In fact, it is not an educational problem and therefore it seems harder to solve. We must add to these requests the continuation of our services to three private schools, one child care center and the courses of our Language School, in order to assess our commitments to education in New York City.


Where We Are Contributing Solutions

Because so much of what we are now offering rests on Dr. Gattegno’s investigations in the field of learning and teaching, we are known mainly for the subordination of teaching to learning in the basic skills, although it is known too that we have something to contribute to the teaching of science, social science and literature. Through the TV programs pop ups and LeoColor , we have pioneered the mass solutions of mass problems. We now know that the cost of eradicating illiteracy on earth is in the range of almost one thousandth of what experts in the field have calculated. This changes billions into millions and millions into thousands. The picture in that area is now very different from what it was only a year ago. This kind of contribution is what we would like to extend and be known for, and thus further justify the choice of the name for our Corporation. Indeed we are not in the educational business field to provide materials and services, although we have them, too. Our business is solutions. Our way of working is to let a challenge educate us and come up with what works as an answer. We then make this answer available through services and new materials. Contrast this with what happened with a number of innovations like using the computer to teach, say, reading and math, or using the overhead projector that is a convenience, or a copier that can only duplicate, or even ITA that is a new typeface and not a way to meet the challenges of reading. In our investigations on


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teaching we are always engaged in looking at people using their powers. Our job is to help them become aware — as they can — of what to do with themselves to be on top of the required learning. We are successful not because of our bright ideas but because we only do what is truly required in the meeting of the challenges. More and more educators are finding this scientific approach to education and teaching both accessible to them and often inspiring. In the previous section we mentioned the extension of our involvement in New York City Schools. Since we use no advertising and have used no promotion besides word of mouth, in this country where competition is so strong and so well supported by bright packaging and displays at conventions, we may have something to contribute as a new solution to meeting educators’ needs. We give them not what they are used to but what actually makes a difference in their lives: we make them incomparably more effective, less tired, and have them even discover themselves and their creativeness. Our solutions, in a word, result from our taking into account the learner that has been neglected traditionally and is still being neglected. Our solutions are no miracle, they follow from study, the most strenuous study that does not attempt to confuse one’s wishes for success and the demands of a situation. Because of our work in this direction a science of education has been established and it will supply solutions not available through any corporation. Perhaps the orientation of education towards solving its problems and developing itself both as a science and a technology will give the whole field the serene atmosphere one expects to go with the search for truth. We know that we barely started our own work and barely began to see the bright horizon where no one wastes his life and all know their place and rights. In a true democracy the child-person is a real contributor to the well-being of all as are other members. The future is with him. Solutions to education are true only when that future is an integral part of what is offered now.


My Life And My Work

We can announce that this project is taking form. We now have a director of the series and its editor, Ms. Roberta Leigh, who has been associated with Dr. Gattegno since 1966. Ms. Leigh is bringing with her as her assistant Ms. Mary Kasanof whom we have also known for many years. The letter which Dr. Gattegno used in England to recruit authors for this series is a part of this issue of our newsletter. Our staff can make it available to some of their friends who are potential authors. Anyone who can qualify should send details to Ms. Leigh at our headquarters. She will do the follow-up work according to the needs of the projects and its guidelines. Let us mention that most writers in the English edition wrote their first book when they wrote for the series. Since they had something to say it was a relatively easy job. Help from our team to hesitant writers will always be forthcoming.

“My Life And My Work� Series It is the exceptional adolescent who, looking to the future, has a clear idea of how he wishes to use his life, or of the possibilities which exist. Only rarely do we meet a young


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man or woman who is already set on the path of a future profession. In a majority of cases, after passing through school and obtaining their diplomas, they take up some job or go to college with little serious idea of the target for their endeavors. This is often a cause of anxiety for them, for they realize that the decisions taken or avoided during these vital years may affect the direction taken for the whole of their lives. Too often the talks on careers and the guidance offered by various individuals and organizations are centered not so much on the future happiness of the young person, as on the needs of society or of the organizations themselves. Particularly when there is full employment or a scarcity of certain types of trained personnel, the inducements offered to attract young people into jobs tend to be based on prospects of promotion and financial benefits, rather than on the possibilities for personal fulfillment. Must it be like that, or can we help the young generation in their judgment of the individual significance of various careers? Can we clarify for them what is involved in the pursuit of the various professions and so open the way for an informed personal appeal? We believe that positive help can be derived from contact, as intimate as can be realized in writing and pictures, with mature adults who have themselves found their life's work rewarding in the widest sense, people who will take their young readers into their confidence and attempt deliberately to interest them in the kind of life they themselves have led. The writer who has a true story to tell will increase his chances of reaching the motive springs of his readers’ minds. Our aim is to produce a series of books written by men and women from many different walks of life, but having in common, that in terms of personal fulfillment (perhaps 20

My Life And My Work

also, but not necessarily, of renown and material reward), the careers they describe have been, for them, a success. If such a series were made available in school libraries, our adolescents could gain insight into a number of very different lives. One youngster, finding inspiration in this reading, might decide: “I should like to be in this person’s place.” Another, feeling somewhat overwhelmed: “This job is not for me” or “I should have to work very hard to take up that job” or perhaps “I think I could make the grade in time and reach such a level of achievement as to be honored as this man was” — and so on. The contributors to such a series will need to keep in mind that, while they themselves have actually lived the events they are to put down on paper, the reader has at his disposal only the power of imagination; what is presented to him as real, he will transform into images. These can be very powerful, generating the energy that will make him move forward on the selected path and to keep going in spite of the odds, the difficulties and disappointments met. A writer will be most helpful if he uses his art to speak to his reader as an equal. Every one of us who has spent many years in one profession knows how much there is still left to learn, to find out and to understand. How rarely can one truly say: “On such-and-such a day I was really on top of all that my work requires of me.” Indeed, most of us accept that we are lifelong apprentices in our chosen vocation. The books in this series should be autobiographical in structure, since we want to use the springs of inspiration contained in the retelling of exciting genuine experiences; but the writer will have to choose the events to be included in the text that help to build up a vivid picture, one that is human, consistent and meaningful. Imagination will be needed if each author is to select


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from a full life those incidents which can best be lived by proxy, and so awaken in the reader a desire to go and do likewise. Perhaps writers will be assisted if they think of their script as a picture painted by an impressionist artist in order to convey an atmosphere. Just as a few brush strokes can suggest the essence of form, so the recounting of a few well-chosen incidents from a life can project a dynamic image capable of generating a force of enthusiasm. To reduce to a minimum the amount of detail needed to convey their ideas will certainly be the writers' most difficult task, but this is necessary if the texts are to remain in the range of 32,000 to 35,000 words, as is essential for such a series. Good use may also be made of diagrams, tables, illustrations and photographs, both for variety and economy. The main topics with which we should like contributors to concern themselves are how they came to choose or to find themselves in their profession; what demands on character, physique, time and other resources are made by it, permanently or occasionally; what frustrations and joys are met; what social, moral or spiritual issues are involved in it; and how a man grows as a person through living fully his professional life. The rewards of dedication should be particularly brought out. Such books, well written, will serve to humanize the careers they describe and will, we hope, awaken in the reader an awareness of the challenge that is represented. It is the humanization that we value most. Too many young people today see nothing but abstractions behind the various ways of life offered by the professions. They lack experience, and the conviction that dedication to a career can give, in return, a world of rewards much more important than financial payment.


My Life And My Work

Whenever we can move our young readers to see a human horizon against which the events of a life are projected and measured, we shall contribute to a reduction of the haphazard placement of young people in jobs and to a diminution of boredom and futility and waste. Since this series is directed specifically to the adolescent reader, we should bear in mind that he is very often outward-going, conscious of his new powers at the physical, intellectual and spiritual levels, and so is ready to give himself to a cause or to a leader. We may, then, seek to inspire, but we should avoid propaganda or any suggestion of cant. A certain restraint will be necessary. We should hope that our own text will add to what others contribute. We may show enthusiasm for our work indeed, but a willingness to concede, at the same time, that one life may be as good and as rewarding as another. C. Gattegno


New Publications

A. In the early fall we will see the appearance of a new edition of Dr. Gattegno’s book “Teaching Foreign Languages in Schools.” The original text has been revised and Americanized in its spellings. A number of appendices have been added. They have been written by people who use The Silent Way in schools. Examples for Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish will illustrate a number of points where The Silent Way has been found particularly helpful. B. Soon after this book we are publishing an entirely new text for the teachers of mathematics. Written by Dr. Gattegno, the book offers for the first time, techniques of teaching used by teachers trained at Educational Solutions workshops but not known to the general public. C. Outerbridge and Lazard of New York City will be publishing at the turn of this year two new books. One is an anthology of Dr. Gattegno’s writings compiled by Bob Perrault. The other is Dr. Gattegno’s new book on how humans learn from the moment of conception: “Inside A Baby’s Mind.” These books will be added to the list made available by Educational Solutions. D. Extended notes on the pop ups will become available in September. E. Our Home Kit for Reading by Words in Color, “Rainbow English,” will include a parent’s guide that may also be of use to teachers.


News From Headquarters

F. During the next six months we will publish a collection of miniFidels in several languages, as part of the Comparative Phonetics kit. The same colors will be used for the same sounds whatever the language. This should help learners to recognize what they already know, and at the same time it will help them learn sounds of a new language which are not part of the language or languages they are familiar with.


Hindi In The Classroom Of Gattegno Language Schools

They called up after having sat in a Hindi course at a nearby university. They have learned a lot about Hindi: present, past, future and subjunctive of some verbs, the alphabet. They could read and write. But they wanted to use Hindi. They wanted therefore a “conversational course.” Our Hindi specialist, Mrs. Gattegno, was summoned for the job. A home-made Fidel inherited from times past and Ghislaine’s superb ad hoc production of Hindi Chart 1 were the only “additional” materials. Initially we were reluctant to invite outside participants who had no acquaintance with any aspect of Hindi. But this was dropped as our teacher advanced in her inner preparation for meeting the students. So, several absolute beginners joined in, and in the first minutes of the seminar they were hearing not only the voices of the “advanced” students stringing many Hindi sounds into meaningful sentences, but also their own voices doing the same. When the situations with the rods were introduced they were a challenge to all because of the complexity of their nature. But they also presented a good testing ground for the level of familiarity with Hindi of the advanced students. While all were working on a particular


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structure, the teacher would pose questions whose answers were contained in the structures mastered by the whole class. This provided her with instant feedback about the advanced group and at the same time afforded an opportunity to the beginners to hear more Hindi and get used to its melodic background. As a bonus, the intellectual guess and the perception of the situation about which questions were asked, made the sorting out of the meanings a relatively simple job for beginners. One feature of this experiment seems particularly important: the increased amount of language which was heard at the beginning of the workshop. While it is apparent that all students benefited greatly from it, it is interesting to observe that it was the beginners who innocently took a plunge into whole sentences, and used them spontaneously, allowing the melody and other non-verbal components to be their guide. On the other hand, the advanced students provided piece by piece analysis which allowed clarification of individual word —or sound components. So the freedom to be reached by the language of the “innocent” and the need to reach the particular structures of the “already initiated” gradually blended together to the advantage of all. Free composition on Saturday morning confirmed the impact of this spontaneously devised technique on another level. It revealed that the writing of individual students, the abundance of it in fact, was not in the least conditioned by the student's previous familiarity with the Hindi script or the lack of it. It was clearly a free expression of different perceptions generated by different people and presented in correct Hindi. By that time everybody in the class had obviously acquired a lot of Hindi. That it was hardly “conversational” Hindi was clear to all. That all students had great facility in conversing in Hindi was equally true!! Hindi peculiarities, some of which are a bit more peculiar than others, (for example, an affirmative sentence places the verb to be at the end!, some adjectives when used as qualifiers for masculine nouns end with an a!) did not seem to pose any problems. 28

Hindi In The Classroom Of Gattegno Language Schools

The students not only invented much of the language but were able to get a sense of a different mode of thought that is characteristic of Hindi users, even though their perception of what was made available in the course was as varied as the students themselves were. For one, the entry into the spirit of Hindi was, at the beginning, through the gestures of the silent teacher, which to her were reminiscent of Indian dancing!! That the teacher had a lot to do with these experiences cannot be denied. However, the existence in all of us of receptiveness to the ways of being different from those in which we get stuck uniculturally, seems to have had a more crucial role. The group delighted at times, worked hard, but more importantly, there was a meeting of cultures experienced by all. The class is coming back for more in the next couple of weeks. We may have to find a draftsman to produce some new pictures which will be more conducive to the needs of Hindi, and we will need to develop more materials. But we can add Hindi to our fall workshop schedule.


About Caleb Gattegno Caleb Gattegno is the teacher every student dreams of; he doesn’t require his students to memorize anything, he doesn’t shout or at times even say a word, and his students learn at an accelerated rate because they are truly interested. In a world where memorization, recitation, and standardized tests are still the norm, Gattegno was truly ahead of his time. Born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1911, Gattegno was a scholar of many fields. He held a doctorate of mathematics, a doctorate of arts in psychology, a master of arts in education, and a bachelor of science in physics and chemistry. He held a scientific view of education, and believed illiteracy was a problem that could be solved. He questioned the role of time and algebra in the process of learning to read, and, most importantly, questioned the role of the teacher. The focus in all subjects, he insisted, should always be placed on learning, not on teaching. He called this principle the Subordination of Teaching to Learning. Gattegno travelled around the world 10 times conducting seminars on his teaching methods, and had himself learned about 40 languages. He wrote more than 120 books during his career, and from 1971 until his death in 1988 he published the Educational Solutions newsletter five times a year. He was survived by his second wife Shakti Gattegno and his four children.

News From Headquarters  
News From Headquarters  

Newsletter, Vol. I No. 4 June 1972