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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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Section 1. Reading Ivor Goodson


Chapter 1 Preamble I am still interested in inclusive ways of being a social man. (Goodson, 2011, p. 1) The overarching purpose of the chapters that constitute “Reading Ivor Goodson” is to provide an opportunity for readers old and new to acquaint themselves with the meaning of the term life/work. I will be using this term to express the coherence between Ivor‟s life politics and his work as a public intellectual and to foreground the integrity of the way in which he carries out his mission to serve his tribe and other tribes who are similarly positioned through his scholarship. Spending some time with Ivor‟s ideas, his scholarship, and his published work furnishes an interpretive lens through which deeper insights and fresh perspectives may be gained. My initial concern was that this might be a redundant rather than a necessary undertaking, but on the contrary, despite the fact that Ivor has been consistent and unambiguous about his purpose and the underlying motivations for the work he does, the message has not always come through, or it has been misheard or ignored. Ragna Adlandsvik (Goodson, 2011) articulates the task before me when she states how important it is to keep explaining Ivor‟s position because his arguments have not yet been understood or have been misinterpreted. Finding a way to do this is no small matter. As a teacher and even before he formally entered academe, Ivor was writing about education. The weight and volume of his published work...

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