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August 1972

Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc.

Caleb Gattegno


vol. I no. 5

August 1972

First published in 1972. Reprinted in 2009. Copyright Š 1972-2009 Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc. Author: Caleb Gattegno All rights reserved ISBN 978-0-87825-264-0 Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc. 2nd Floor 99 University Place, New York, N.Y. 10003-4555

Although we announced in our last issue that we were going to be in our new premises on July 1st, we found that it was wiser to remain until August 8th at 821 Broadway. At last we have our new home. It looks pleasant. Our colleagues and close friends who followed its transmutations have liked its final look. You are welcome to visit us and bring your friends. We have a space for exhibits and a room with a library that we shall occasionally use as a clinic room. In our recording room sometimes it will be possible to hear tapes of past seminars or videotapes we are now making. As always in our kitchen there will be one or more cups of coffee for our friends. Seminars on the 14th floor will be inaugurated on the 21st inst. with Dr. G’s advanced seminar announced in our summer brochures. Our new telephone number is: 212 924-1744.

Table of Contents

News Items ........................................................................... 1 Mathematics Lab Project ...................................................... 5 The Twin Parks School Magazine.......................................... 7 The Home Kits Division ........................................................ 9 In-Sight Into Mathematics For All..................................................... 9 My Life And My Work ......................................................... 13 Know Your Colleagues 1 ......................................................15 David H Wheeler .............................................................................. 15 Ian Spence .........................................................................................17 Caroline Chinlund ............................................................................ 19 Awareness Seminars .......................................................... 21

News Items

Ms. Brenda I. Briggs, professor of mathematical education at Southampton University in England, who came this summer as a visitor to this country, gave some of the participants in our workshops the opportunity to share her experience as a teacher of teachers. This happy occasion may serve to cross-fertilize education on both sides of the Atlantic. Katherine Mitchell met 300 British teachers at seminars on mathematics and on reading as part of her vacation visit to Great Britain. Starting in Ayrshire, Scotland and ending in Reading, England, after meetings in London, she too managed to be a tourist and make a contribution to education. Ms. Roberta Leigh, the editor of My Life and My Work (U.S. edition) spent some time in Reading, England last month with Ms. Rachel Bleackley, the editor of the British edition. She learned much that will help her as she starts work on the series here. Dr. Gattegno spent his “holidays� in Europe looking with interested people at some aspects of the subordination of teaching to learning. In Geneva it was foreign language teaching; in Munich, the new math curriculum adopted by the Laender of West Germany; in Aix en Provence, for one week the education of the handicapped, and for another, the revitalization of education through awareness. Educational Solutions (Europe) will follow up these impulses.


August 1972

Ms. Clermonde Dominicé, who returns to us at the end of this month, spent six months in Bangladesh as a delegate of the C.I.C.R. working on the immensely complex problems of re-uniting millions of families scattered by the war and helping refugees to find their relatives. She left behind a vast organization of trained natives to pursue this urgent work. From a letter of John Pint (California Branch) to Dr. Gattegno: “. . . . I contacted hundreds of people and agencies last year. The fruit of this work was (among others) a four day workshop in San Francisco the last week of June. The twenty-five participants were from two ESL (English as a Second Language) schools that pride themselves in being the most “alive” in S.F. Their reactions and questions were really different from what I’d been hearing all year long. They had, on their own, seen the inadequacy of the various audio-lingual methods and were searching for something better. They pointed out that the Silent Way was dealing with human education and awareness. They knew the students I worked with and could comment intelligently on every breakthrough. They really got into the discussions of the powers of babies, so much so that I felt I was involved in the kind of awareness seminars I knew in New York. One of the sharpest gentlemen in the workshop commented at the end that he had been slowly growing more pessimistic about teaching, almost ready to give it all up — and now, for the first time in years, he was anxious to get back to the classroom. I had not heard this sort of comment (reflecting inspiration as well as awareness) since leaving New York. Since many of the teachers have very advanced ESL classes, we went deep into the pictures and worksheets, WIC worksheets 8 – 14, restriction games from A Way With Words, the use of Short Passages, and the real and apparent problems of “advanced” students. We discovered much: both answers and questions. . . . I’d like to bring up a subject that may interest other Educational Solutions employees outside New York City: our own education. Of course, we learn more in every workshop, in every demonstration, in our own reflections, etc., but I feel that the greatest breakthroughs in my awareness have come because of my participation in conversations


News Items

and workshops with the New York staff. The San Jose workshop was wonderful, opened many doors for me, but there’s so much more I need to go into (that may not interest the general public:) •

I’ve never been a participant in any Silent Way foreign language course from start to finish. I’d like to be in a week-long course of, say, Chinese. . an important language on the West coast.

A workshop dealing with a deeper look at foreign language teaching and how to bring in aspects of WIC would benefit me.

A special workshop on LeoColor.

Workshops on time, love, private study of foreign languages, sleep, the self that makes our body and our decisions, education for love.

Would it be unreasonable to expect Educational Solutions to encourage staff members to spend two weeks or a month every year in New York City improving their education? Perhaps the company couldn’t afford to pay the transportation costs, but if the value of such yearly trips for “continuing education” were officially recognized, we might plan for them and try to save up the money on our own.” From a letter of Priscilla Marano (Educational Solutions Geneva) to Dr. Gattegno: “. . . I shall be seeing Jane Orton in Paris on the 9th. I have all sorts of dates of seminars and invitations for her to work with the Geneva group if she wishes. As there is an introduction to the Silent Way scheduled for August 26th here, I shall be delighted to talk with her for awhile. As I listen to more of what the group here think they need and want, I feel more relaxed with the situation. Much that they wish to explore is in my powers and some are areas on and in which I have worked. Now that I meet it all first hand, I feel my biggest limitation will be the lack of facility with French. Also, I wish now I had greater use of Chinese or Serbo-Croatian as I think that the experience with an unknown language is an advantage in the introduction to the Silent Way. If Cecilia makes all the arrangements about slide photos with Ghislaine, 3

August 1972

perhaps we will try Serbo-Croatian anyway. It is far more difficult here to find a language which no-one in the group knows. The investigation of the subordination of teaching to learning for adolescents I shall enjoy, and I think that I have done some work here. The group will probably study the “affective education” work and its application to their various concerns. Please do see that we receive any English publications during the year — articles, newsletters or whatever, tapes or abstracts of seminars.”


Mathematics Lab Project

Professor Wheeler (David to us) at his office at 80 Fifth Avenue, is already at work on Educational Solutions’ version of a math lab. As is the case with all of our products, foremost in our consideration of this one is that it is designed as a solution to an educational problem; thus it is the problem and its challenges rather than bright ideas which will mold the product and determine its form. The challenge this time is the co-presence of the heritage which is the result of thousands of years of work by mathematicians all over the world and a strategy for quickly putting anyone who approaches as a newcomer to mathematics in touch with what is characteristic of this activity. We need to benefit from the work of those keen minds who, in meeting the unknown have solved problems seen by them for the first time, and to find strategies for making the next generation capable of meeting its unknown in the shape of the mathematics of the future. Finding and enlisting people capable of giving this project the human support it requires is clearly the first step. All our math staff will be involved to the extent of its competence and inclination. This may be quite short of the needs of the project, and we would welcome nominations from our colleagues of friends or acquaintances whom Professor Wheeler should contact in order to move ahead. Besides the Math Lab, Professor Wheeler has been given a number of jobs related to our work in the field of mathematics. In particular he will coordinate the efforts of our many math consultants so that Educational Solutions provides the schools in which we are entrusted


August 1972

with improving math teaching with the best approaches our joint research generates. Whenever possible, he will arrange conferences and seminars so that everyone on our staff is apprised of any finding made by any of us the effect of which is an improvement of mathematics education.


The Twin Parks School Magazine

Caroline Mirthes, who was part-time on our staff last year and acted as consultant on creative writing at the Twin Parks School, worked hard and sensitively in the last weeks of last academic year to produce on behalf of the school population a magazine with the name Twin Parks School. Although very many people contributed to make this a truly collective work, Caroline took upon herself the responsibility of gathering the material, of classifying it, arranging, cutting, explaining whenever necessary and seeing to it that it reflected a true picture of the first year of the Twin Parks School. In fact the close relationship of the editor and the administration (including the School Board and the P.T.A.) insured that the image generated, however fleeting, was recognizable. This document will gain new dimensions when it is seen as one of a number produced by the four groups looking at the school. Educational Solutions’ report will contain a contribution of Ms. Mirthes as one of the consultants who spent one school year in the experimental school trying to make teachers put into practice what she understood by humanizing education. We must thank Caroline for her creative work shown in this magazine.


The Home Kits Division

At our new premises we have one new division. For a few years we have known that keen parents are all around us and that we must do something to assist them in providing at home the tools for supplementing what schools offer their children. We now have a Home Kits Division, distributing by direct mail the math kit (now ready) and the reading kit (ready in October.) To test the market the following text will be included in each of the items mailed by Educational Solutions. We shall ask some P.T.A.s to inform their membership of the availability of home kits, and in special areas where we are known, we shall ourselves announce that this solution to some students’ problems exists.

In-Sight Into Mathematics For All The Gattegno Algebricks Approach Educational Solutions, Inc., in serving schools from Boston to Los Angeles, and from Seattle to Miami, has found that there is a need for a way to provide at home an opportunity to engage in what might not have been sufficiently resolved at school. In a compact and inexpensive kit we have put together the solution to generating with joy and certainty the fundamentals of mathematics.


August 1972

What we supply the student — of any age — is not just the materials, but rather the insights that will make the students see for themselves the world of mathematics, and to find their way as if they had generated the math themselves. Indeed, what makes a person into a mathematician is that he sees relationships and their dynamics. This kit provides the means to gain this sensitivity. ALGEBRICKS are colored rods which as a building material invite arrangement in endless patterns. The text which accompanies the rods describes some patterns which lead very quickly to a clear perspective on the four operations of arithmetic. Through these patterns it becomes visible that the operations are connected with each other, and in definite ways; this simplifies calculations to an amazing degree. The book Arithmestics provides a study of the mathematics of numbers, easy and interesting for anyone who follows the colored patterns and the explanations that go with them. The six booklets provide graduated exercises, answerable by making the patterns and reading them in a variety of ways. They also pose suggestions for one's own discoveries. The book Now Johnny Can Do Arithmetic has been written especially for parents to work with their children in discovering the exciting world of mathematics. Step by step the process of becoming a mathematician is unfolded, in everyday language. Practice and insight is produced through a number of interesting games, many of which give profound insights into number theory. The PRODUCT CARDS and the PRODUCT CHART serve specific purposes: replacing tedious exercises of memorization of multiplication tables by exciting and mathematically true games that leave the student knowing all the products while providing additional insights. For example: players of these games will know at once that 5/9 of 45 is also called 25 or that 7/8 of 64 is also called 56.


The Home Kits Division

Because the approach to learning is through the medium of games, exciting and easily learned, no user of this kit will forget what he needs to know to work out everyday mathematical problems. Further, this kit will provide the user with the mathematical foundation that will make growth and enjoyment in mathematics possible. In preparation: a kit for the teaching of reading in the home. This kit is a version of the classroom WORDS IN COLOR approach, and the television approach to reading known as “pop ups� (seen on the NBCTV network every Saturday morning in between entertainment programs.) For information write: Ms. Yolanda Maranga, Educational Solutions, Inc., 80 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10011.


My Life And My Work

In our last newsletter we made available to you and for your use the letter Dr. Gattegno prepared for the recruitment of writers for this series. The American series will begin to appear in 1973 and we shall let you know at once in this newsletter which volumes have been published. The series has been conceived as a solution to a real problem of our modern world: how can each young man or woman know what society has to offer to people of varying temperament and talents so that they can be fulfilled while serving their communities? Of course, the written word only reaches the literate and a solution that offers several hundred books as an answer to a challenge may be discouraging. These apparent drawbacks can be met by making films or filmstrips accompanied by recorded talks. It is also important to note that the same volumes serve three purposes on the shelves of school libraries. One is guidance in the choice of a career; another is to provide good reading material, biographical in nature and in a lively language, concerned with specialized topics, good stories for sure, success stories in addition. A third purpose, and not the least important, of this series, is to fill a gap in social studies, that of the absence of actual detailed descriptions of the lives of those people in an advanced society who work in offices and shops, earning a living while making society function smoothly.


August 1972

The series promises to offer much and serve many people. We hope to make this a regular column so that we can keep you posted on developments.


Know Your Colleagues 1

In this issue begins a new column to be written by us, each choosing his own mode of self-introduction. We start with Professor David H. Wheeler, Dr. Ian Spence and Caroline Chinlund, and in each subsequent issue we will add three names until our Who's Who is completed.

David H Wheeler I was involved in math education in England for 25 years, 12 as a high school teacher in the London area, and 13 on the faculty of the University of Leicester School of Education. During my last five years at Leicester I was deputy director of the division concerned with postgraduate teacher education. Much of my spare time professional activity has been devoted to working for the Association of Teachers of Mathematics (ATM), which Caleb Gattegno founded in 1952. I was its Secretary (1959-64), President (1964-5) and Editor of its journal. Mathematics Teaching (1967-72). I contributed to Some lessons in mathematics and Mathematical reflections, translated Lucienne FÊlix’s Modern mathematics and the teacher, and assembled and led a writing team which produced Notes on mathematics in primary schools (all ATMsponsored and published by Cambridge University Press). Another ATM group, under my leadership, is currently working on a further book for elementary school teachers. 15

August 1972

I’ve worked with BBC Schools Television, as a consultant for Maths Today (for 11-13 year old students), and as the deviser of five programs in its Maths Workshop series (for 9-10 year old students). Just before arriving here I completed a book on Real Numbers to be used in an Open University course for teachers of high school mathematics. I've written a number of articles which have appeared in The Times Educational Supplement, The New Era, Forum, The Journal of Curriculum Studies, etc., and edited a series of books, Mathematical Topics for Teachers. I was on the editorial committee for UNESCO’s New Trends in School Mathematics (vol.2), participated in the annual conference of the French Association de professeurs de mathématiques in 1971, and have attended international seminars in St. Andrews and Geneva. I was a founder member of the Joint Mathematical Council, an organization representing all mathematical interests in the United Kingdom, and a founder Fellow (1966) of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. When not involved with math or math education, I spend most of my time on music. I prefer playing (piano, harpsichord, flute, singing) to listening, although I do both, and prefer playing with others to playing on my own. I'm torn at present between a desire to keep up (and improve) the skills I already have and a wish to experience again the excitement of trying to master another instrument. I’ve become a member of the Educational Solutions team because I believe that it sees more clearly than most what the real problems in education are. I want to share in and contribute to this work. Although I do not yet know exactly how I can, my contact with Caleb Gattegno over twenty years has never failed to make me clarify my thought and sharpen my awareness, so it seems a logical step to come to New York to continue more intensively what began so long ago.


Know Your Colleagues 1

Ian Spence I am reminded of the line from the popular song, “. . . it’s only just begun” (Bacharach, 1970), for it describes my awareness of myself and students everywhere as fellow knowers. My trip to this awareness has been an exciting Odyssey in search of answers to the question; “How do you help others best?” At Educational Solutions, my immediate task is to become experienced in the art of using myself and the substantive materials of the classroom (such as Words in Color materials) to most efficiently provide the learner what he needs when he challenges me with his attention and interest. In my use of materials, I am fortunate to be in a position fraught with learning opportunities, because I am a novice in terms of man-hours before the charts. Of course, my use of myself in meeting the challenge of the learner is effected by my past experience. I would like to think of my history as having heightened ray awareness, but at this moment, I am not sure this is the case. I was born and brought up on the Canadian prairies, experiencing urban schools, and summers on the farm. Highlights that stand out in my memory as having taught me a lot include a summer of logging and sawing lumber (algebra); the discipline of gardening, weeding fields, and berry picking; and the drudgery of practicing my violin. I also loved building things with Meccano sets and lumber, gadgeteering with electricity, or working in a photographic darkroom, and as a result of these interests, thought about being an engineer. A year in Iran and the Middle East (made possible by my father’s sabbatical with the United Nations) gave me what I thought was a deep respect for other cultures, but I also emerged from my travels wanting to help “the less fortunate” by being a Social Worker. Before and after my formal training at McGill University, I tried my hand at being a Probation Officer, Social Worker with veterans in Montreal, and with Eskimos and Indians in the Canadian Arctic, Psychiatric Social Worker in treatment centers for adolescents, and finally, administrator of a treatment unit. These several settings allowed me to become a practitioner of therapy using Freudian theories, Reality therapy, 17

August 1972

Sensitivity Groups, and Conjoint Family therapy. In all of my roles, I found myself somewhat incidental to the helping process. The people with the most impact were those who lived with the client all of the time, and often they were the least trained. And the clients who solved their problems did so almost entirely through their own initiative. I also suspected that the clients were often held back by our wellmeaning decisions that were so often based on scanty, biased information. I decided that I could be more helpful by developing a good training program for the child-care workers who took care of the boys and girls in treatment centers. The closest applicable program that I could find was in Special Education. While enrolled in the Doctoral program at Yeshiva University, I came across Precision Teaching, a measuring tool which allows a person to count the frequency daily of a chart, discover patterns of increase, decrease, or fluctuation of the behavior as the weeks go by. Belatedly, I realized that the Precision Teaching method could be adapted in treatment centers so that the boys and girls could measure and prove their own progress, and concerned child-care workers could measure what they were doing while the improvement was taking place. Thus, instead of developing a substantive curriculum for child-care workers, I found a better answer lay in giving them a tool by which they could measure whether the methods they tried were being effective. In other words, the learner could most efficiently measure what worked best for him. Dr. Ogden Lindsley, the originator of Precision Teaching, introduced me to the work of Dr. Gattegno, impressing me by describing a teaching style in which the strategy was to increase learning opportunities. And since then, I’ve begun to appreciate the way of teaching which recognizes the tremendous powers of children, and makes use of their knowledge.


Know Your Colleagues 1

Caroline Chinlund I spent my childhood in Detroit, Michigan as the oldest of four children, playing the violin, experimenting with other crafts and arts, devoted to school and feeling humanly out of it most of the time. I ran away to college in Cambridge, Mass., and discovered that there was a place where I fit in. I directed plays acted by students and gathered enough momentum as a result of the satisfaction I had in doing it and encouragement from professors and colleagues to undertake a professional life in the theatre in New York City. This launching of a career did not take into account the light craft I was and the heavy seas of New York. What skill I had was not the requirement for survival, and I soon found myself typing and taking shorthand for a Broadway producer, overwhelmed by the demands of being a secretary, having lost my vision and my confidence. Several years in the theatre and television in which 1 got some knowhow and saw a variety of worlds prepared me for the recognition as I decided to be a teacher, that I was leaving a field where work-lifetime is thin and fraught with politics and red tape for one where it is as dense and dynamic as one lets it be. The turning point in this change was my marriage to Steve, who inspired me to find a more human sort of work. Having taken a graduate degree in education did not prepare me for the classroom; as a new teacher my whole body was seized by the demands of all I had to face as a keeper of order and decision maker. My stomach kept me from having breakfast every morning and after school I was tired. There were ups and downs, but the one fixed point for this year was my work with Madeleine Goutard in mathematics. During that and the following year I began to attend Dr. Gattegno’s seminars. Mathematics and all the delight and challenge it had brought to me was my entry into the universe of awareness, so that I think my life has a point of division into Beforemath and Aftermath.


August 1972

In this era of Aftermath I have come to feel I have a place in the classroom. Collaborating with colleagues at Horace Mann, I have explored the uses of WORDS IN COLOR and mathematics and learned, ways of working with other teachers which bring more of what we do with children to the level of perception. I have come to recognize what good luck I have had in being in the right place at the right time: first, to work with a headmaster and head of school who provided Madeleine Goutard and seminars with Dr. G . and encouraged the collaboration and experimentation that brought so much to us all; then, to be part of Dr. Gattegno’s awareness seminars which for me have been the beginning of a new self, so transformed am I by this tool of awareness. In 1971, my fifth year in a classroom, I left school at spring vacation to give birth to a son, and then last fall joined the staff of Educational Solutions as math consultant at Horace Mann, the East Harlem Block Schools and later, the Neighborhood Children’s Center.


Awareness Seminars

Dr. Gattegno’s yearly sequence of weekend seminars since 1966 has been on various studies of awareness. Last year the 30 hour seminars on two successive monthly weekends were respectively on Time, on Integrity and on Criteria. This year in a similar format the two weekends (Oct 6-7 and Nov 3-4; Dec 1-2 and Jan 5-6; Feb 2-3 and March 2-3) will permit study to a considerable depth of: 1

The role of relativity in living

2 Self awareness and love 3 The notion of total health These are research seminars and each problem proposes its method of attack.


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.

August 1972  
August 1972  

Newsletter, Vol. I No. 5, August 1972