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Caleb Gattegno
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Educator
    (November 11, 1911-July 28, 1988)
    Born in Alexandria, Egypt
    Founder of the International Commission for the Study and Improvement of Mathematics Education (1951), Association for Teaching Aids in Mathematics (1952, later Association of Teachers of Mathematics) and Cuisenaire Company (1986)
    Developer of teaching methods such as The Silent Way (languages), Visible & Tangible Math, and Words in Color (literacy)
    Gut-TEN-yo.
    He referred to a unit of measuring learning effort – which he based on an ‘energy budget’ for learning — as an ‘ogden.’
    His arrival in Addis Ababa on a UNESCO mission got the entire city shut down for the Christmas holidays in the late 1950s.
    Though he founded the company, he was not the inventor of the rods associated with its namesake (it was Georges Cuisenaire, a Belgian headmaster).
    Words in Color – synesthesia personified – was the basis for NBC’s Pop-Up, shown on its Saturday-morning blocs for much of the 1970s.
    You’ll easily remember his date of birth: 11-11-11.
    He believed that retention and awareness were better foundations for learning (and thus cost fewer ‘ogdens’ than lectures) than repetitious drills and brain bugs.
    He held teaching posts at Alexandria’s Lycee francais and the Universities of Liverpool and London.
    That mission in Addis Ababa? Inspired the Words in Color program.
    By his death at age 76, in Paris, he had mastered some 40 different languages and circled the globe some ten times.
    He is exactly the type of educator any self-respecting student dreams of.

Credit: Cool It All Right?


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