Front Matter

Mrs Shakti Gattegno, whose husband Caleb (1911-1988) called his approach “the subordination of teaching to learning”, said “Dr Gattegno’s approach and the realm of electronic technology need to be blended in a manner that neither one would end up eclipsed by the other. Dr Benson is sensitive to this requirement.” Maths targets can be achieved by teaching algebra first. Press Release, Sociality, 2005

For over forty years, the Algebra Project has been working at the forefront of a civil rights struggle against a root cause of racial inequity in the United States: math education. Bob Moses (1935-2021), its founder, reviewing the Tizard approach in 2007, said “In our country we have an education movement which is University based and school affiliated that holds itself accountable for three types of University products: tests and exams, instructional materials, and instruction for future teachers. However, successful intervention also requires holding ourselves accountable for the students who graduate from our high schools. That is why there is a need for organization to bring together parents, young people, mentors, mathematicians and teachers. It is said that it takes a village to raise a child, true enough, but in the twenty-first century’s global technology it takes a global village to make and deliver on the promise of a quality education for every child.” Ian Benson, The Primary Mathematics: Lessons from the Gattegno School, Lambert Academic, page 8, 2011

“Some schools have developed schemes and use programmes that first stress the concrete, abstract and algebraic aspects of mathematics, and then apply them to understanding number and calculation. For example, `Cuisenaire’ resources were used very effectively in one school visited by the panel, where the defining criteria for success were undoubtedly the enthusiasm and expertise of the head teacher and the staff for this approach.” Sir Peter Williams, Independent Review of Mathematics Teaching in the Early Years and Primary Schools, page 61, 2009

“The creativity of the teacher is related to, interconnected with, the creativity of the child. The more the child is becoming creative, the more the teacher becomes creative. And the more the teacher is creative, the more the children are creative. It is interconnected. But, when we have people who help teachers, who are consultants, coach - as we used to set out - the coach also should be creative. But, the creativity of the coach should be interconnected with the creativity of the teacher. We work with what the teacher does. So we don’t have classes who are looking so much one like another. We have differences because when there is creativity of the teacher, there is creativity of the class as a whole.” Madelaine Goutard, interview with Ian Benson, 2009

” The National Association of Educational Inspectors Advisers and Consultants grew in membership and professional activity in the opening years of the 21st Century and contracted Sociality to enhance our website and seize the growing opportunities provided by the internet to improve our communications and profile. Their technical expertise and collaborative approach proved invaluable and considerable progress was achieved with their support. In addition, Sociality’s wider philosophy dovetailed well with our strong commitment to education and children’s services.” John Chowcat, General Secretary NAEIAC 2000 to 2013

“I have very much enjoyed Conceptual Mathematics. I have lent it to two students this year, one of who enjoyed it so much he bought his own copy (the same student started a Haskell club: he’s very keen on this sort of thing). I wish there was a way to introduce the perspective CM offers into the general curriculum. I’m interested in any thoughts/developments you have to share here”. Teacher, English Mathematics School, 2015

“After an initial successful 8 week trial in Spring 2015, I adopted the algebraFirst™ approach to teaching number to my class of Year 1 children in September 2016. The project is part of the work led by Professor Ian Benson, facilitator for Sociality Mathematics, a CPD Network. His robust trials have already seen many successes and gains in children’s mathematical understanding of concepts such as fractions, algebra and the use of the four operations. The algebraFirst™ approach involves using Cuisenaire rods to teach these concepts during daily mathematics lessons using Gattegno’s textbook 1: ‘Mathematics with Numbers in Colour’. Rachel Rudge, Mind the Gap Both Ways: How Teaching Informs Research Decisions, in James Underwood (editor), Kaleidoscope Education Research Conference, University of Cambridge, 2016

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