Gutek, Gerald Lee. | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
Gerald L. Gutek is a professor emeritus of education at Loyola University Chicago. He received his Ph.D. in Education in 1964 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he specialized in the history of education under the direction of Professor Archibald W. Anderson. Gutek's doctoral dissertation was "The Educational Theory of George S. Counts during the Depression of the 1930s." He served on the faculty of the Department and the School of Education at Loyola University, from 1963 through 1991, where he taught the history and philosophy of education. Gutek was Dean of the School of Education at Loyola from 1979 through 1985 and Acting Dean in 1989. His books and articles are on the history of education, philosophy of education, and comparative education.
As a graduate student at the University of Illinois, Gutek first became acquainted with Counts through his publications, especially his much quoted book "Dare the School Build a New Order?" In the early 1960s, he attended a lecture delivered by Counts at the University of Illinois and recalls that Counts presentation had three or four conclusions. Still a dynamic speaker, Counts would conclude, sit down, and, responding to sustained applause, rise, approach the podium, and make a new, insightful conclusion. Fortunately, Gutek recalls that he took the advice of his doctoral director who encouraged him to analyze Counts educational ideas as his dissertation topic. Engaged in the research, Gutek traveled to Carbondale, Illinois in 1963 to interview Counts, then a distinguished professor at Southern Illinois University. Receptive to Gutek's questions, Counts answered them all, sharing his ideas and recollections on education. Counts encouraged Gutek's research but was determined not to influence the students interpretation.
Completing his dissertation, "An Analysis of the Social and Educational Theory of George S. Counts During the Depression of the 1930s," Gutek received his Ph.D. in 1964. He wrote two books on Counts: The Educational Theory of George S. Counts (Ohio State University Press, 1971) and George S. Counts and American Civilization: The Educator as Social Theorist (Mercer University Press, 1984). Gutek's last meeting with Counts was in Chicago when he introduced him as the featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Midwest History of Education Society.
In 1976, at Loyola University, Professor Gutek taught a graduate seminar on Counts. He also maintained contact with two Counts scholar--Professor Lawrence Dennis and William Eaton--who taught at Southern Illinois University. Gutek continues his interest in Counts and has contributed a chapter, "George S. Counts and the Origins of Social Reconstructionism," to Social Reconstructionism: People, Politics, Perspectives, Karen Riley, ed. (Information Age Publishers, 2006).