For over a century and a half, Americans have sought to reform the public schools as a way of improving not just education but society. They have translated their cultural anxieties and hopes into dramatic demands for educational reform. Individually Guided Education (IGE) was one of these educational reform efforts which extended over a period of fifteen years, beginning in 1964. IGE was conceptualized as a comprehensive alternative system of schooling designed to produce higher educational achievements by providing effectively for differences among students in rate of learning, learning style, and other characteristics (Klausmeier, 1972, p. 48). IGE, combining progressive ideas with newly developed technologies by the 1960s, was built up of carefully researched and tested components, including a tested dissemination strategy that led to state-wide adoptions and implementation in many states by the late 1970s. The program was widely acclaimed and used, until Federal support for professional development and technical support activities was withdrawn (Marshall & John, 1992, p. 8).
One of the nation's drives toward educational reform in the 1990s is characterized as standards-based education movement. The press for standards was evidenced by the efforts of federal and state legislators, presidential and gubernatorial candidates, teachers and subject-matter specialists, councils, governmental agencies, and private foundations (Glaser & Linn, 1993, p. xiii). Advocates for standards education point out the need for the common curriculum, the variation in current grading practices, the lack of attention to educational outputs, and the example of other countries (Marzano & Kendall, 1999). By contrast, some critics (Brandt, 1995; Diegmueller, 1995; Eisner, 1995) raised such issues as resources, educational apartheid, standards as new attempts at previous failed reforms, content, and volume of material. A critical review of this standards education movement reveals that the movement is in many respects similar to IGE in that the movement attempts to integrate standards, assessment, and accountability as recommended, for example, by the Pennsylvania Governor's Advisory Commission. 1 This paper examines the development, implementation, and evaluation of IGE in the 1960s-1970s and provides some historical insights relevant to the standards-based education movement.
In the following I will first trace the historical forerunners of IGE and origins from which IGE was developed. Then I will describe the development and diffusion of IGE and present a brief description of seven components of IGE. Following this, I will examine the results of a large scale evaluation study which was conducted by the researchers at the Wisconsin Research and Development Center. Finally, I will discuss IGE from a broader historical perspective and draw some conclusions about what can be learned from the IGE reform experience, especially in relation to the standardsbased education movement.
"A Federally Supported Educational Reform Program: Individually Guided Education, 1964-1979,"
Education and Culture: Vol. 16
, Article 3.
Available at: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/eandc/vol16/iss1/art3