Gerald Lee Gutek is a professor emeritus of education at Loyola University Chicago, where he taught, with a joint appointment in history, from 1963 to 1997 and also served as dean of education from 1979 to 1985. He has been a visiting professor at Loyola University of Los Angeles (now Loyola Marymount), Michigan State University, Northern Michigan University, Otterbein College, and the University of Glasgow in Scotland. He is the author of more than twenty books in the history of education, biography, philosophy of education, and historical travel, including Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education: A Biographical Introduction (5th edition, 2011) and An Historical Introduction to American Education (3rd edition, 2012). Most recently, he is a coauthor, with Patricia A. Gutek, of Bringing Montessori to America: S. S. McClure, Maria Montessori, and the Campaign to Publicize Montessori Education (2016), a Choice outstanding academic book.
The presentation’s historical context occurs when Montessori education, popularized by S. S. McClure and the press, attracted public interest. However, it had little support among professional educators. In this situation, the actual implementation of Montessori education fell on Americans Montessori had trained as directresses, namely George, Pyle, Parkhurst, and Naumburg. The focusing questions are: How did personal and professional relationships between Montessori and her American trainees affect the success of the implementation? How did Montessori’s style of leadership affect the implementation?