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.
I want to go on living my own intellectual project.
(Goodson, 2011, p. 8)
Ivor Goodson is one of the most important thinkers and researchers on education and schooling of our times. His paper “Life Histories and the Study of Schooling” (1980–1981) rehabilitated life history methodology, establishing it as a critical approach to educational research. His book on the social construction and social histories of the curriculum, School Subjects and Curriculum Change, first published in 1983, secured his immediate elevation to the rank of professor, the ink on his PhD being barely dry. Since then Ivor has worked continuously and with unwavering commitment as, to use his own terms, a public intellectual. His output is prodigious. His reach, both geographically and intellectually, is awe-inspiring. He has broken fresh ground theoretically, particularly but by no means exclusively in the areas of curriculum and narrative and in conceptualizing change. Methodologically he has revitalized research agendas, insisting, for example, that including teachers and other public service professionals, their lives, dreams, and politics, is crucial to formulating, implementing, and analyzing public, particularly educational, policy. Bringing his historian’s orientation to empirical research and his historian’s concern for context and supporting documentation to sociological perspectives, he argues that the success, but more often the failure, of educational reform is traceable in no small way to the people who are responsible for its implementation on a daily basis. Their mediating influence is what counts in evaluations of efficacy, rather than...
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