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Reading and Teaching Ivor Goodson

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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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Chapter 9. Preamble

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Chapter 9

Preamble

At the moment I do write a lot, but I least trust that. What I do trust, is the word, the delivered—what we are doing now, talking to each other. Eye contact, word—that is what I love.

(Goodson, 2011, p. 6)

I will be approaching the task of “Teaching Ivor Goodson” from three different directions—biography, scholarship, and learning and pedagogy—but the starting point for all three is a “pedagogic encounter” with Ivor that took place in his office at the University of Brighton on a dank October day in 2012. I will come back to the reasons for taking these particular approaches shortly, but first it is important to give some background to this meeting because it had a particular purpose, of a different order to that of our first meeting, which I detail in the Introduction. I had by the time of our second meeting read and reread a sizeable proportion of Ivor’s output and had written much of “Reading Ivor Goodson.” I was therefore anxious to discuss aspects of my interpretations with him, face to face. The conceptual lens I took to the reading is, after all, my own invention, and I wanted to get a sense of how Ivor felt about this. He had always been eager and interested to read what I had written but had refrained from commentary. His restraint had on the one hand been reassuring and confidence inspiring,...

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