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ERIC Number: EJ848436
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 50
ISSN: ISSN-1071-6084
The Gary Plan and Technology Education: What Might Have Been?
Volk, Kenneth S.
Journal of Technology Studies, v31 n1 p39-48 Win 2005
The Gary plan of "work-study-play" was the brainchild of William Wirt (1874-1938), though largely influenced by the philosophy of John Dewey (1859-1952). Introduced in 1907 to the schools of Gary, Indiana, by Superintendent of Schools Wirt, the Gary plan had organizational and curriculum features that fostered hands-on activities relating to occupations and daily life. It was considered progressive in nature, with an articulated and broad program being offered from primary through secondary grades. The increased notoriety of the plan's social and financial benefits led New York City to invite Wirt as a consultant to transform its overstretched schools. What followed were several acrimonious years of position papers, posturing, and propaganda by all sides, culminating in a swift end to the plan. The demise of the Gary plan in New York and then slowly in other locales throughout the nation that introduced it raises questions as to what might have been, especially as it accentuated manual arts and training, forerunners to today's technology education programs. This article first presents the issues, actors, and events surrounding the Gary plan and associated reform efforts in New York City. The inclusion of manual arts and vocational education as a fundamental feature of the plan also described. On a macro level, the politics of American education is examined as to how other reform efforts have been influenced by various factions. Finally, efforts to improve and change technology education through the recent "Standards for Technological Literacy" (International Technology Education Association [ITEA], 2000) are examined as to their potential for success, based on the outcomes and lessons learned from the past. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
Epsilon Pi Tau. International Office, Technology Building, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403-0296. Tel: 419-372-2425; Fax: 419-372-9502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indiana; New York