T H E    P L A I N S T O N    C H R O N I C L E S
A u t h o r,   D r.   E d w i n   M.   S w e n g e l


E.M. "Mac" Swengel, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Education
School of Education
United States International University
San Diego, California

Musical Swengel Family


DR. EDWIN M. SWENGEL (1917-2010) was a man of many talents.  He remodeled a one-room schoolhouse into a family home, farmed in Illinois, and founded a community orchestra there.  But most of all, he was an educator.  He earned a bachelor's and a master's degree from the University of Illinois and later a doctorate from UCLA.  As he taught at various levels, he realized that our educational system is basically flawed.  He spent years writing about his ideas, including The Plainston Chronicles, Volumes I and II.

Born in 1917 in the small town of Neoga (pop.1100), in southeast-central Illinois, "Mac" Swengel followed a family tradition into teaching.

After receiving his A.B. in history with minors in English and education from the University of Illinois in 1938, he returned to his hometown for two years of high school teaching.

In 1939, he married Elizabeth Loeffler, also a U. of I. graduate and a high school teacher.

In the summer of 1963, the Montessori movement lured Mac to Los Angeles for his basic American Montessori Society teacher training. 

After a year's intern teaching in the Montessori school he helped to establish in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, Mac, with his wife and youngest daughter, moved to Los Angeles to spend five varied but intensive years---three as director of Montessori schools and teacher training courses, and a year each in UCLA's Psychology Clinic School (renamed Fernald School) and the Center for Study of Evaluation.

He enrolled in UCLA's Graduate School of Education in 1965 and received his Ph.D. in 1969, having majored in early childhood curriculum with developmental psychology as a cognate area.

Yak Phonics was originated, piloted, and formally tested as his doctoral research project during 1968-69.

In 1969, Dr. Swengel joined the staff of United States International University, where he supervised student teachers at both elementary and secondary levels, and taught courses in social, historical, philosophical and psychological foundations of education, reading and language arts.

He designed a State-approved program for California's Reading Specialist Credential, implemented in the fall of 1974.

In retirement, Dr. Swengel spent his time teaching and advising graduate students in Master degree programs offered by USIU's School of Education.


A u t h o r,   J a n e   S w e n g e l   C r e a s o n

Jane Swengel Creason

JANE SWENGEL CREASON, Mac's eldest daughter, also earned a bachelor's and a master's degree from the University of Illinois.  She has taught from fifth grade through the college levels.  She and her husband live in the remodeled schoolhouse on the family farm.  She has written three novels for young people, When the War Came to Hannah, The Heron Stayed and All the Right Pieces, in which the lead character finds himself in an experimental school based on the Plainston Chronicles model.  After the passing of her father, she took his notes for “Conspiracy” and spent a couple of years co-creating the book.






Copyright 2021 by E.M Swengel