Person: Gattegno, Caleb
Caleb Gattegno was an Egyption mathematical educator who is best known for his innovative approaches to teaching and learning mathematics, foreign languages and reading.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- The level that Gattegno reached studying on his own was quite remarkable for, at the age of twenty, in 1931, he sat the external degree examinations of the University of Marseille in Cairo.
- Gattegno did not stop studying at this stage and, after teaching for four years at the Lycée Français in Alexandria, in 1936, he was awarded the Diplôme d'Etudes Supérieurs de Mathématiques from the University of Marseille, again taking the external examinations in Cairo.
- In the same year Gattegno published Les enfants et nous - Causerie pédagogique Ⓣ(Children and us - Instructional talk), also in Les Lettres françaises (Cairo) Ⓣ(French letters (Cairo)).
- In 1945 Gattegno went to England, spending the year 1945-46 as a Visiting Professor of Mathematics at the University of Liverpool.
- Gattegno did much more than teach, however, for he also studied, founded organisations and ran summer schools.
- Another project that Gattegno started while in London was translating Jean Piaget from French to English.
- Gattegno was unhappy about certain aspects of Piaget's The Child's Conception of Number and, after consulting with Piaget, he made considerable changes to the English translation to fit with Gattegno's own ideas.
- It was Gattegno who knew how to publicise Cuisenaire's ideas and together they published Numbers in colour (1954).
- Also in 1954 Gattegno set up the Cuisenaire Company in England with himself as the director.
- Gattegno was based in London until 1965 although he spent much time travelling to various countries around the world.
- Developed by the linguist Dr Caleb Cattegno, the method is based on color-coding the sounds of a language and can even be successful with color-blind students.
- The number of books that Caleb Gattegno wrote is truly amazing.
- We give a small sample of the books that Gattegno wrote with some extracts from Prefaces and some reviews.
- In 1980 Caleb Gattegno addressed a meeting of the Canadian Mathematics Education Study Group, giving the talk Reflections on Forty Years of Work on Mathematics Teaching.
- For people to remain in control of their learning powers, Gattegno saw the need to radically transform education.
Born 11 November 1911, Alexandria, Egypt. Died 28 July 1988, Paris, France.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive