The book opens with a brief description of patterns of industrialization and urbanization in Latin America. The authors then shift to consider the economy of the Venezuelan Gyayana development zone, which spawned the city that bears the region's name. Industrialization and rapid urban growth have created educational complexities and opportunities, and most of Part I of the book focuses on the Ciudad Guayana's future and the schools.
Part II describes the creation of a means to implement the plan developed by the authors. They recomend decentralization of decision making and planning from the capital, and the concentration of local efforts into a Guayana Center for Educational Research, Planning, and Services.
Part III reviews the founding of the Center and its activities between 1966 and 1968 as well as development in the educational institutions of Ciudad Guayana, This section comments on the successes and failures of the Center's three main programs: informal education (literacy and basic education), math and science (middle-school level), and the technical education. The authors suggest where they may have gone wrong in their attempts at implementation.
There are technical appendixes on the sampling scheme and the survey instrumentation, and a detailed description of the factor analysis, canonical correlation, multiple stepwise regression, and multiple discriminant analysis used in the sections offering multivariate perspectives on the barrio families and progress of children through school.
"The book is a unique and extremely valuable addition to the sparse literature on educational planning in urban areas of developing countries. Will be indispensable for education collections as well as for those on urban affairs."—Choice