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Carleton W. Washburne educational publications

Identifier: MSS 558 large

Scope and Contents

This collection of publications by Washburne, spanning from approximately 1915-1968, address childhood education, arguing that the purpose of education should extend beyond basic subjects and job-oriented training but equip the student for citizenship in a democracy. Washburne developed the innovative Winnetka Plan of Individual Work, inspired by the Dalton Plan (in-depth study of subject modules by students at an individual pace) and the Montessori principles, and was revolutionary in it's scalability and success within the Chicago suburb school district. The Winnetka Plan provided a year's allotment of study, but enabled every student to complete the modules at their own pace, whether it took a year and a half or half a year with the benefits being pared down repetition, structured pedagogy and evaluation, and increased efficiency during the school day to allow for a greater balance of study and socialization/self-selected activities.


  • Creation: 1915 - 1968


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Access

The material is stored offsite in Remote Storage. Please contact Special Collections 3 working days in advance if you wish to use it.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the authors of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections, Michigan State University Libraries.

Biographical / Historical

Carleton Wolsey Washburne (1889-1968) was a superintendent of the Winnetka (Illinois) public schools who developed the innovative Winnetka Plan of education. He was a Michigan State University professor of education from 1961 until his death.


.8 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



The publications are arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Washburne's daughter, Margaret Washburne Plagge, in 2002.

Processing Information

Lydia Tang processed this collection in 2017.

Finding Aid for the Carleton W. Washburne collection of education publications
4 Published And Cataloged
Lydia Tang and John Stone
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections Repository

MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing MI 48823 USA