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Reading and Teaching Ivor Goodson


Yvonne Downs

Ivor Goodson is an immense and vital contributor to the study of education and to educational research. His influence extends across continents, taking in theory and practice, and including topics as diverse as curriculum history and the history of school subjects; change management and reform; teachers’ lives and careers; professional and learning identities; narrative and educational policy and life politics. To all this he brings a coherence born of his convictions and his commitment to social justice. This book traces the contours of his morally inflected approach to scholarship, highlighting its contribution to a politics of transformation, all the while acknowledging and encapsulating the practical, passionate, principled humanity that continues to drive Goodson’s scholarship.
This book will be of interest to students and teachers of education, to teachers and educational researchers, as well as to those with a passion for the history and politics of education.


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It has been a challenge and a privilege to have spent so much time with Ivor in the course of researching for and writing this book. He has been wise and generous in his reading of my reading of his life/work. To encounter him, in his writings and through other media, or face to face, is to be infected with optimism. Liz Briggs has been a star. Always cheerful, always just at the end of an email, she saved me countless hours by providing ready access to Ivor’s work. I owe Pat Sikes, teacher, mentor, most loved friend, more than words can say. I am better for knowing her. James Downs has generously read innumerable drafts and when I was lost he had the knack of asking just the right question. My sons Wilf and Jonah Skinner light up my life and keep me grounded. Paul Downs was there when I needed a shoulder to cry on. He has made it a joy to be a step-mum. I value beyond measure the friendship of the girls I met at school, Belinda, Bev, Carol, Claire, Krystyna, Sue and the truly wonderful Juan. When the going got tough I focused on our next night out. Juan, who in the midst of her own sorrow thought of me, teaches me every day how to be a good person. I could never leave out my sisters and brothers, Monika, Kurt, Dušanka Elizabeth, Mark and Kristina. I am secure in their presence, even in...

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