John Goodlad died on November 29, 2014, at his home in Seattle, aged 94. Dr. Goodlad was an influential educational researcher and teacher whose work over six decades had a major impact on schools and the education of educators. He completed his doctorate at the University of Chicago and held 20 honorary doctorates from US and Canadian colleges and universities.
Dr. Goodlad was a professor at UCLA, serving as dean of the Graduate School of Education for 16 years. Under his direction, the Graduate School of Education became one of the top-ranked schools in the nation. In 1984, he accepted an offer from the University of Washington to teach and do research. He created the Center for Educational Renewal to conduct research on teacher education and school renewal. He also created the independent Seattle-based Institute for Educational Inquiry in 1992 to apply research findings to school practice and to conduct educational leadership training programs. Dr. Goodlad was perhaps best known for his four-year study of schools, considered by many to be “the most extensive on-site examination of U.S. schools ever undertaken.” The study resulted in his 1984 publication, A Place Called School, which received the Outstanding Book of the Year Award from the American Educational Research Association and Distinguished Book of the Year Award from Kappa Delta Pi.
Dr. Goodlad and colleagues subsequently conducted a major five-year study of teacher education, resulting in five books, including Goodlad’s summary volume, Teachers for Our Nation’s Schools, which won the Outstanding Writing Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education in 1990. In 1986, Goodlad subsequently created a national network of schools and universities focusing on the simultaneous improvement of schools and teacher education that today includes 27 colleges and universities and 160 school districts. He was president of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, president of the American Educational Research Association, and charter member of the National Academy of Education.
In 1993 he received the American Educational Research Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to Educational Research. In 1999, he was a recipient of the Conant Award for Outstanding Service to Education from the Education Commission of the States; in 2002, he received the first Brock International Prize in Education; in 2003, he received the New York Academy of Public Education Medal; in 2004, he received the American Education Award from the American Association of School Administrators; and in 2005, he received the Association of Teacher Educators Distinguished Educator Award. In 2009, he received the Outstanding Friend of Public Education from the Horace Mann League and the Outstanding Achievement Award from the John Dewey Society.
He is survived by his daughter, Paula; son, Stephen, and five grandsons.