Remembering John Goodlad

December 5, 2014

As many of you are by now aware, Dr. John Goodlad, UW Professor Emeritus, passed away last week at the age of 94. On behalf of the education programs across the University of Washington, we wish to express our condolences to his family and to pay tribute to John’s extraordinary contributions to the quality of public schooling and its critical role in a democratic society.

During his 70-year career in education John witnessed the coming and going of a myriad of school reform movements, numerous changes in teacher preparation and professional development, and continually shifting public policy. Through it all, John firmly held onto his own clear and optimistic vision of schools, teacher education, and a just society. In sharing that vision over the decades, John permanently inspired the work and lives of many generations of teachers, administrators, academics, and policymakers––ourselves included.

John himself was a consummate teacher. Whether in front of large audiences, with small groups, or in one-on-one conversations, he had a warm and personal way of helping individuals to explore and grasp important, complex ideas.

A prolific writer, John reached millions in the U.S. and abroad through his many books and other publications. He was also an outstanding researcher. John’s meticulous four-year study of schools, which led to the publication of A Place Called School, was named the Outstanding Book of the Year by the American Educational Research Association. John’s collected research and writing generated new ways of thinking about schooling that continue to influence data-based improvements in many areas of education.

As UW faculty/administrators, we are particularly fortunate to have an opportunity to help fulfill John’s vision. An offshoot of John’s Institute for Educational Inquiry, the Goodlad Institute for Educational Renewal was established in 2008 as a joint project of the three UW campuses. Our goal has been to stimulate innovation in education through school-university partnerships, leadership development, collaborative civic processes, and related research. We have been encouraged by the success of the Institute's projects and will work together to seek ways to advance this compelling vision for public education.

John was an active member of the UW academic community for almost 30 years. The College of Education, the University, and the wider community were fortunate beneficiaries of John’s scholarship and his personal outreach to diverse groups of educators and policymakers. It is impossible to overstate the significance of John’s achievements. He had that rare gift of combining remarkable intellect with exceptional humanity.

Signed,

Kenyon Chan, Chancellor, UW Tacoma
Deborah McCutchen, Dean, College of Education, UW Seattle
Bradley Portin, Dean-designate, School of Educational Studies, UW Bothell
Tom Bellamy, Professor and Director, The Goodlad Institute for Educational Renewal