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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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Chapter 11. Scholarship


Chapter 11


The primary substantive foci of the conversation that follows are the activities that, to a large extent, describe the parameters of an academic career: research, theoretical and conceptual development, writing and the contribution to knowledge. All of these can be accessed through Ivor’s writings but approaching these topics through the medium of a dialogic exchange has the potential to generate insights into the processes and ideas that underpin and inform his thinking and his position. We also get a richer and more evocative portrayal of some of the key aspects of Ivor’s academic identity (which he would rather depict as a social identity), in which the centrality of holding on to social values and the interplay between prefigurative and strategic politics are particularly significant.

With regards to our discussion about the research aspects of scholarship, we are also able to cover some ground here that was not part of our purview in “Reading Ivor Goodson.” Most importantly, Ivor gives his views on the ethics of research and on methodologies for researching with human beings, which also inform his ideas about the politics and relationships of power in research situations. In setting out his thoughts about what we might usefully call “researcher identity,” including the qualities, conduct, and duties that attach to the role, we can detect both normative and practical aspects. His insistence that as a researcher one needs to stay alert to changes on the broader stage and to be...

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