• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.


John Goodlad

Page history last edited by Monique Lester 9 years, 2 months ago

John Goodlad

A study of a prominent leader who first recognized the problem of American schools and, in turn, helped to reform it.

Presented by Monique Lester

Historical Context of Work


-John Goodlad was prominent during the American Education durinng the last half of the twentieth century.

-He is the world's most remembered advocate for renewing education.

-He created The Moral Dimensions of Teaching which details the following: enculturating the young in a social and political democracy, providing access   to  knowledge for all children and youth, practicing a nurturing pedagogy, and ensuring responsible stewardship of schools.

-His most renowned work is A Place Called School. This book is a landmark study that is a large study of U.S. schools. Goodlad began his teaching career in a rural one-room school and has subsequently taught at every grade level beginning with first grade through graduate work. He also has taught in more than ten countries. 

-He discovered that American education had gone seriously wrong while serving as dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Los Angeles. Therefore, he proceeded to write a study of schooling that depicted what was really going on in American Schools. This study, unlike previous studies, included what he called "thick descriptions" of schools-composites of observations by students, teachers, parents, principals, and trained observers. Goodlad lead more than twenty trained researchers who gathered information from schools all over America to understand every aspect of schooling. Goodlad and his researchers were able to make detailed observations of more than one thousand classrooms. They found that schools were not happy places. They found lack of joy, laughter, praise, and corrective support for students. However, they did find that these things were present in primary grades and elementary grades with a huge decrease in the middle school years. Most noticed problem was that students were passive: listening to the teacher and simply remembering what the teacher said: no active learning was taking place. As a result, Goodlad suggested that teachers began by believing that every child is capable of learning, and this only takes place when the student is given guidance, support, feedback, and patience. In addition, teachers must be trained to display thier excellence. According to Goodlad, teachers prove their excellence by making sure that an overwhelming percentage of students master the material. John Goodlad believes that real reform begans with teacher reform.  

Education and Influences

John Goodlad attended a six-room school when he was a young boy. He felt isolated because of long walks to and from school and absences from school due to illness (measles, chicken pox, etc...). He believes that this forced him to read. He normally would read a novel a day during time of illness. Because he grew up during the great depression, he was among a society that was very poor. He had aspirations of becoming a doctor or a lawyer but could not afford to pay for college. Therefore, completed a fifth year of high school, which in those days, enabled one to obtain an education equal to one year of university studies. Shortly after, he proceeded to a normal school where he qualified for an elementary school teaching certificate. While working as a teacher and a principal, he attended the University of British Columbia during the summer sessions and earned both a bachelors degree and a masters degree. He later attended the University of Chicago where he was a full time college student for the first time and earned his doctorates degree. The values learned from his parents, teaching in a one-room school, and working in Atlanta during racial unrest were all factors that contributed to his research.

Work Life

-Atlanta Teacher Education Service,

-Emory University, Agnes Scott College, 

-University of Chicago; 

-University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he served as director of the Laboratory School 

-Dean of the Graduate School of Education (ranked first in America the last seven years of his tenure). 

-Professor (1985) and director of the Center for Educational Renewal (1986) at the University of Washington. 

-The educator has authored or co-authored more than 30 books, 

-has written chapters and papers in more than 100 other books and yearbooks;

-has more than 200 articles in professional journals and encyclopedias.

-His writings have been translated into Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, and Hebrew.

-He also has received numerous awards, including seven honorary degrees.

Impact on Best Practices?

-Goodlad's study motivated many teacher-training institutions to recreate their requirements.

-By the end of 1980s, many schools demanded that future teachers get a degree in their subject matter first and then be trained in pedagogy.

-Because teachers were often found to be frustrated, burned out, and suffering from low morale, Goodlad called for opening up new career paths for teachers and opened up new staffing patterns.

-These changes are present in education today and has helped pave the way for the idea "master teacher."



Problems or Failures

Although John Goodlad did not have any personal failures, his vision for school reform has failed. He believes that schools have not failed but, instead, educational reform which has been politically driven has failed. In addition, he believes that the real problems have not been addressed. 



-Sirotnik, K. A. (2001). Renewing schools & teacher education: An odyssey in educational change. Washington, D. C.: AACTE Publication, p. 28. Program folder. Institute for Educational Inquiry, Seattle, WA., April, 2003. 


-Goodlad, John, I., What Schools Are For, Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation (1994). 

-John I. Goodlad, A Place Called School (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1984).





Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.