Caleb Gattegno - A Founder of ATM

Dr. Caleb Gattegno believed that all human beings are inherently gifted with virtually limitless powers of self-learning. Awareness and command of those powers are fundamental to our self-fulfillment, more so than any particular thing we can learn. For people to remain in control of their learning powers, Gattegno saw the need to radically transform education.

200px-GattegnoBG (1)Gattegno is one of the most significant contributors to the advancement of the field of education. He was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1911, and died in Paris, France in 1988. As an educator, he was widely known for his ability to achieve remarkable results with students of all ages and abilities. For many of those who studied with him, Gattegno was much more than an educator.

Gattegno earned a doctorate of mathematics, a doctorate of arts in psychology, a master of arts in education, and bachelor degrees in both physics and chemistry. Throughout his career he held positions at various universities including the University of Liverpool and the University of London, and founded several organizations and companies. He wrote over 120 books and 500 articles in scientific and other journals in approximately a dozen countries. At the time of his death, Gattegno could read and speak 40 languages, and had traveled around the word about 10 times.

Teaching to inspire, not to inform. Caleb Gattegno, 1988

On the 8th April 1988 Caleb accepted an invitation to talk at the ATM conference in Winchester. This was to be his last contribution to ATM before he died from cancer only a few months later.

Audio clips from these talks have been made available below.


What is the cost of learning • Teaching is to inspire, not to inform • Mastery and beyond • Let us begin with the learners • It only takes two years to be master of arithmetic • It is what you are not what you know that matters • How do children use their minds • Doing 5 years in 18 months • Cuisenaire Rods • Criteria not knowledge  Addition of fractions • Copernicus • Closing remark 


ATM would like to offer their thanks to Shakti Gattegno for granting permission to make the clips available on our site.

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February 2017

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ATM - MA - London Branch Meeting

04/02/2017 10:00 - 12:30 View

Saturday 4th February 10:00 to 12:30 Venue: University College London, Institute of Education (UCL/IOE) Room 804, Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL Title: Teaching mathematics for social justice - Pete Wright

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