Wirt, William Albert, 1874–1938, American educator, b. Markle, Ind., grad. DePauw Univ. (Ph.B., 1898; Ph.D., 1916). In 1907 he became superintendent of schools in Gary, Ind., where he developed a plan of school operation (see progressive education) known variously as the Gary plan, the platoon system, and Wirt's "Work-Study-Play" plan. This system increased the utilization of the school plant by alternating classes between regular and special teachers.