Past President John Goodlad Dies
December 2014


AERA Past President John I. Goodlad died November 29 at his home in Seattle at age 94. Goodlad, professor emeritus in the University of Washington’s College of Education and co-founder of the Center for Educational Renewal, served as AERA President in 1967–1968. A memorial symposium will be held at the 2015 AERA Annual Meeting.

Goodlad was an influential education researcher and teacher whose work over the past 60 years had a major impact on schools and the education of educators. Goodlad’s research focused on examining curriculum inquiry, teacher education, the functions of schooling, and grading procedures.

“John's legacy to his students and colleagues was his insistence that schooling is a moral enterprise that shapes our democracy,” said AERA President Elect Jeannie Oakes, a former student of Goodlad’s. “His impressive body of empirical research aimed at improving teaching and learning never strayed from that compelling idea.”

AERA 2007 Past President Eva Baker, who Goodlad hired as an assistant professor and appointed as director of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing at UCLA, added, “John was a practice-grounded intellectual. He influenced generations with his model of the University Elementary School. He was a strong proponent of theoretically oriented research paired with attention to community, school, teacher, and student contexts.”   

Goodlad authored, co-authored, or edited over three dozen books; wrote chapters in more than 100 other books; and published more than 200 articles in professional journals and encyclopedias. Attracting wide international interest, his books were translated into Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, and Hebrew.

He received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his research and scholarship. In 1993, he won AERA's Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award. In 1985, his book A Place Called School (1984) received AERA’s Outstanding Book Award. The 1968 AERA Annual Meeting, held during Goodlad’s presidency, was hosted in Chicago, the same location as the upcoming 2015 AERA Annual Meeting this April.

Goodlad was born in Canada and first taught in a one-room, eight-grade schoolhouse in British Columbia. In 1949, he earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and went on to earn 20 honorary doctorates from colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. In addition to his position at the University of Washington, Goodlad held faculty positions at Emory University, the University of Chicago, and the University of California at Los Angeles.

In 1984, Goodlad created the Center for Educational Renewal at the University of Washington, and in 1992, he created the independent Institute for Educational Inquiry, with the goal of applying research findings to school practice.

Goodlad is survived by a daughter, Paula; a son, Stephen; and five grandsons.

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