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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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Concluding Remarks


Although I have now come to the end of the line I have pursued through Reading and Teaching Ivor Goodson, I have no sense of having offered a comprehensive representation of Ivor’s life/work. In terms of subject matter, for example, there are many aspects of Ivor’s scholarship that I have not visited or done so only fleetingly. Most important among these are his contributions to social policy, his work as a publisher and its contribution to his public intellectual role, and the significance of his transnational perspective. Therefore, had it been my intention to package Ivor between the covers of this book so that he might be understood here, I would now be found wanting. But I would have been found wanting in any case. As consistent and coherent as I found the man and his concerns and preoccupations, both in the reading and the meeting, he is all too aware of shifts and changes on the broader sociopolitical stage and their potential to reposition the import of his work. He could not remain unresponsive to them or complacent about the meaning of his scholarship. It would, in short, be impossible to pin him down once and for all. His continued and prolific published output alone would militate against this. Therefore, while the questions he asks today are still fired by his desire not only to understand but also to change understandings of the social world, he moves continuously in and out of those sites of engagement, according to where...

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