UW education researcher dies at 94

John Goodlad, an influential educational researcher and former professor in the UW College of Education, died Nov. 29. He was 94.

Goodlad’s education began in a one-room Vancouver, B.C., Canadian school house. From there, he worked his way to UCLA, where he worked for 25 years, and finished his career at the University of Washington as an education professor from 1985 to 1991.

Via The Daily

While at the UW, Goodlad created the Center for Education Renewal, as well as the Seattle-based Institute for Educational Inquiry.

Goodlad’s most famous work was a four-year study surveying students, teachers, principals, and parents, while observing more than 1,000 classes in 38 schools across the country. The study, “A Place Called School,” (1984) was created to figure out what exactly an American education was like, and, furthermore, how to improve it.

In his findings, he discovered that content varied across the same courses, and sometimes even within the same school. Goodlad also observed how students had preferred classroom decision-making rather than classroom lectures.

Although critics noted that Goodlad did not include measures of student achievement nor data correlation through changing situations, Goodlad believed measurements of effective schooling shouldn’t rely on test scores.

Goodlad’s list of works is lengthy. He contributed to more than 100 books and published more than 200 articles.

In Goodlad’s “In Praise of Education,” (1997) he defined education as a fundamental right in democratic societies, essential to developing individual and collective democratic intelligence.

Goodlad additionally served as president of both the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the American Educational Research Association, and as a charter member of the National Academy of Education.

He argued that teaching was an ethical imperative, and a key part of that is knowing who you are.

Memorial contributions can be made to the John Goodlad Endowed Fellowship, which provides scholarships to students in the UW’s College of Education.






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