Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc.

Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc.

April 05, 2011 06:01 ET

Leading Educators Celebrate Gattegno Centennial in Collective Memoir

The Gattegno Effect Slated For Fall Publication

NEW YORK, NEW YORK--(Marketwire - April 5, 2011) -

Editors Note: There is a video and Facebook page associated with this release.

Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc. (ESWI) today announced it is compiling a collective memoir about Dr. Caleb Gattegno in recognition the 100th anniversary since his birth.

The Gattegno Effect: 100 Voices on One of History's Greatest Educators will be released this fall and will feature the submissions of 100 leading educators from all over the world recounting their experiences of knowing Dr. Gattegno personally and through his work.

"We are proud to carry forward the legacy of one of history's foremost innovators," said ESWI CEO Eaton Donald. "Dr. Gattegno created this company to solve the problems of education and we feel that this memoir is well in keeping with serving that purpose. We hope it inspires people to be more, do more, and expect more than they previously thought possible."

Dr. Gattegno was born in Alexandria, Egypt on November 11, 1911. By the time of his death in 1988, his highly unique approaches and materials for teaching math, foreign languages and literacy were being employed in 46 countries on six continents. His vast scientifically-based inquiries had produced seminal books on the potential of mass media and new technologies to facilitate the learning of reading and writing, which found early expression in the successful "Pop Up" series designed for U.S. network commercial television, and the "Infused Reading" program for the Apple computer. Dr. Gattegno's theories and materials continue to be developed and applied throughout the world.

"The memoir, by drawing its materials from all over the world and in multi-lingual form, reflects the universal appeal of Dr. Gattegno's work today," said Donald.

Authors Took Path Less Traveled 

Each memoir submission represents a personal journey toward understanding and applying Dr. Gattegno's monumental pedagogy, which is based on the precept that "only awareness is educable in man." For those who chose this journey, it meant taking the path less traveled in education. Much of what is revealed in the memoir is why that was a satisfying professional choice and one that could also strike a blow towards personal liberation.

Meanwhile, the collective journey reveals to us "Dr. G," a man who was considered as much a role model, philosopher, psychologist, scientist, inventor and author, as he was a great teacher.

Typically, the authors find Dr. Gattegno while seeking to better themselves as teachers through a deeper understanding of how students best learn. 

Such was the case with Australian teacher Andrew Weiler, whose faith and hope in the alternative school movement of the 1970s had been quickly shattered when he realized that the movement's tools fell far short of its rhetoric. However, soon after encountering Dr. Gattegno's approach to teaching foreign languages – The Silent Way, Weiler states: "(it) educated both myself and my students alike, prompting my creativity and encouraging attentiveness and creativity … I continually built on my understandings from these experiences, my unfolding awareness, and the experiences of my students."

The tools he acquired from Dr. Gattegno's approach allowed Weiler to successfully create his own program for teaching Indonesian to Australia engineers, a testament, he recounts, to the creative versatility of Dr. Gattegno's fundamental approach to education.

Human Beings As 'Pure Learning Systems'

Yoko Yasuda, now a teacher in Tokyo, describes the discovery of Dr. Gattegno's work as akin to looking for a box of matches and finding a volcano. 

Her search for betterment began as a young student in 1993. She was seeking the best ways and methods to teach Japanese to foreign students. In choosing The Silent Way, she got more than she bargained for: "I learned that learning is related to existence," she recounts.

During her practical training, she was also constantly asked to consider: "'What is learning?' 'What am I made of?' and 'How have I been learning?'"

"I came to think of a human being as a pure learning system and how its power could face any kind of challenge in the future," she recounts. 

The Miracle of Communication

The memoir also delves into elements of Dr. Gattegno's public personae. English Professor Bill Bernhardt, relates how, "listening to Dr. G speak was an act of discovery, even though it could be difficult to follow the exact thread of his discourse. As he often remarked, 'language is for expression rather than for communication. Communication — when it occurs — is a miracle.'" 

Bernhardt goes on to dissect characteristics of Dr. Gattegno's ways of expression, including his liberal use of aphorisms, such as, "'I don't prepare a lesson — I prepare myself' and 'When you write a note, the paper remembers — you forget.'"

A Feast of Gattegno Sayings and Expressions

The memoir is a feast of Dr. Gattegno sayings and expressions that create a picture of not only a brilliant scientist and educator but also a man possessed of uncommon and infectious wisdom. (In one of his famously eloquent New York Times articles, writer McCandish Phillips compared Dr. Gattegno to Copernicus, the ultimate challenger of conventional wisdom, but at the same time noted that Dr. Gattegno came off as someone, "no more radical sounding than a favorite uncle.")

Steve DeGiulio, currently an English Professor in New Mexico, in his memoir recounts a story where: "A teacher who was inspired by observing Gattegno, but frustrated at his own less successful efforts, asked him, 'How do you get them to respect you?' The answer came in a very quiet voice, 'By being someone they respect.'"

Other Gattegno Centennial Events

Other events planned for the Gattegno Centennial include his being honored at the annual meeting of the prestigious Association of Teachers of Mathematics (ATM), April 18-21, in Telford, U.K. Dr. Gattegno was instrumental in founding the organization. In Haiti, a new school will be built to carry on the Gattegno mathematics approach, which has been in place there for more than a decade. The Bronx School for Better Learning in New York will be marking the centennial with a cake cutting. Other centennial events are planned in Japan, France, Switzerland and Australia. For an evolving list of events and details, please click here.

About Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc.

Since 1968 Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc., has been a leading force in developing new approaches and products in the educational field based on the scientific research and groundbreaking pedagogies developed by its founder Dr. Caleb Gattegno. Today, the company continues to re-invigorate its vast riches of unique educational approaches, materials and technologies in highly creative ways that serve its mandate of making the learning of mathematics (Visual and Tangible Math), a second language (The Silent Way) and basic literacy skills (Words in Color) easily accessible and highly integrated in the daily activities of people regardless of who they are and where in the world they live.

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