1954 and all that...
The Cuisenaire® Company was founded 60 years ago in Reading, England. This was the first of the companies founded by Dr Caleb Gattegno when he embarked on his mission to bring the news of M. Georges Cuisenaire's invention to schools and teachers around the world. The Company's first headquarters was a flat in Milman Road, Reading and the operation was run by Miss Florence Parker, later Mrs Florence Carter – described by Gattegno as 'the Mother' of the company. She organised the manufacture of the rods; their distribution; promotion through educational exhibitions and courses for teachers and even taking the parcels to the post office. A few years later she also acquired for the company the property at 11 Crown Street, Reading. In the meantime Dr Gattegno was fully occupied giving courses to teachers throughout the UK and overseas whilst simultaneously writing the guide books for teachers and the pupils' textbook series. As he worked in one country after another, new branches of our company were established in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Israel and Germany. Agencies were appointed elsewhere and his books translated into all these languages. The demand for Cuisenaire® Rods had grown considerably and the property at Crown Street was transformed into a factory/warehouse, with adequate accommodation for office staff in sales, accounts and customer service. Demonstrators were appointed whose function was to provide help and give courses on the use of the rods to schools throughout the UK. Articles appeared in the Educational Press in Britain and around the world and in the early 1960's the popular 'Tonight' programme featured the work and achievements with the rods in a south London school. All these years later it is not unusual to hear from parents whose children began their work in mathematics using Cuisenaire® Rods at school. Now these children are parents and the grandparents want Cuisenaire® Rods for their children's children.
Educational Explorers Ltd, the publishing arm of Gattegno's organisation, was formed in 1960 and became the publisher for all the projects and titles referred to on this website. It was also during the sixties that Dr Gattegno developed and published 'Words in Colour' for teaching the reading and writing of British English to English speakers. This was followed by editions for North American English and in time a French edition 'Lecture en Couleur' and a Spanish one 'Letras en Color'. A Reading Clinic was established in a second property in Silver Street and operated for 8 or 9 years. Here with 'Words in Colour' we helped young people and some adults overcome their difficulties in learning to read. Within a year the 'The Silent Way' was published, a set of materials and techniques designed to overcome the problems of learning a second language. This project has versions for English as a second language, French, Spanish, Japanese, German and Italian as well as prototype editions for Arabic and some Chinese languages.
Another ambitious project, launched under the editorship of Mrs Rachel Bleackley was aimed at conveying first hand information on careers to teenage readers. This series 'My Life and My Work' eventually comprising some 65 titles, was written by authors who were active in their various professions and successful – thought not necessarily at the top, whose stories conveyed to young readers not only what was required to achieve entry to their particular field, but what it was like to be in it; what were the demands and what were the qualities one would need to bring to it and in particular what were the spiritual rewards obtained through the work in question.
In 1973 Educational Solutions (UK) Ltd was formed and became the holding company for the group.
Almost all the projects we have either manufactured or published spring from the work of Dr Gattegno. His contribution to education is known and valued around the world. He is the author of about 120 books mostly published originally in English, some published first in French and German. The links indicated on our 'links you may find useful page' will take you to the websites of other organisations whose raison d'être is the work of Dr Gattegno.