Quotes from The Gattegno Effect

"Somehow students feel the difference in your attitude: their work often becomes far more imaginative and efficient and results come as a by-product."
Dr. Cecilia Bartoli

"Dr. Mataira: 'At the end of the 20 minute session I was elated. I had actually composed a number of sentences and I knew exactly what the function of each word was without any explanation.'"
Te Ataarangi

"Dr. G: 'You're boring them. You don't vary the activities enough. You have to learn how to play their games the way they do.'"
Allen Rozelle, Teacher, Santa Cruz, California

"Gattegno calls on teachers to become scientists of education in their classrooms by using the tool of watchfulness."
Alf Coles, Senior Lecturer in Education (Mathematics), University of Bristol

 "This Gattegno approach to group study seemed to me the ultimate refinement of the Socratic Method."
John Pint, Teacher/Author/Columnist in Mexico

"I had never been part of a class which was so concentrated, so eager to learn, so implicated in what was happening. I could actually feel myself learning."
Dr. Roslyn Young

"I hear his voice saying, 'Don't take anything for granted!'"
Fusako Allard, Teacher in Japan

“ . . . his work is all encompassing; his Science of Education is in fact a Science of Life."
Dr. Caroline Brandt, Communications Skills Instructor, Abu Dhabi, UAE

"The idea of subordinating teaching to learning is essentially humbling in its spirit . . . "
Dr. Caroline Brandt, Communications Skills Instructor, Abu Dhabi, UAE

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Sima Gandhi

HUMANIZING TEACHING [from The Gattegno Effect]

It was obvious to those who got to know Dr. Gattegno that he had an exceptionally well cultivated mind. Those who came to know him personally found that he was a perpetual learner. He had varied intellectual interests and he pursued most of them seriously. In the process, he equipped himself with a broad ranging philosophical, as well as scientific background, which he used as a springboard for his original creative thinking.

Almost from the start of his career as a teacher, he worked on developing "the Science of Education," and, it became his life-long project. Gattegno's science of education is supported by his philosophy of education as much as his philosophy of education is substantiated by his science of education.

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Sima Gandhi
Harvard Educational Review

The Problem of Reading is Solved

Dr. Caleb Gattegno holds that reading is a relatively simple process of matching the sound system of a language with its written system.  Children can be easily taught to do this, helped by color-coded instructional material, since they internalized the algebraic and temporal structure of their language when they learned to talk.

As a scientist I came to the problem of reading as I did to problems in the field of mathematics or physics, by first defining them and then attempting to find solutions.

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Sima Gandhi
Caleb Gattegno Bibliography

Caleb Gattegno was a prolific writer with over 100 works published in multiple languages.

Bibliography of Dr. Caleb Gattegno


“Les cas essentiellement g.od.siques des .quations de Hamilton-Jacobi int.grables par s.paration des


Unpublished D. Phil. thesis. Basle University.


“Contribution . l’.tude psychologique du Trac.”

Bulletin de l’Institut d’Egypte.

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Sima Gandhi
About Caleb Gattegno

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. In his view, the role of the teacher is not to inform students of facts, but to lead them to make discoveries through their own insights.  He called this principle the Subordination of Teaching to Learning.   He defined learning as the following process:

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Sima Gandhi
Caleb Gattegno Biography

Biography of Caleb Gattegno

(1937) Les cas essentiellement géodésiques des équations de Hamilton-Jacobi intégrables par séparation des variables, unpublished D Phil thesis, Basle University

(1941) Contribution à l'étude psychologique du Trac.' Bulletin de l'Institut d'Egypte

(1943) "Les problèmes de l'éducation de l'après guerre" in Le Progrès Egyptien, novembre

(1944) "Les enfants et nous" Causerie pédagogique in Les Lettres françaises, Le Caire.

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Sima Gandhi