Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-4758-0424-9 • Paperback • July 2016 • $26.00 • (£19.99)
978-1-4758-0425-6 • eBook • July 2016 • $24.50 • (£18.99)
John I. Goodlad is the author of A Place Called School, the groundbreaking study of the effectiveness of the American system of education. For over sixty years, he has been a leading force in improving public schooling in North America. John died in November 2014.
Prologue by Stephen J. Goodlad
Part One: As a Pupil
Chapter 1: The Early Years
Chapter 2: The Middle Years
Chapter 3: The High School Years and a Little Beyond
Chapter 4: Becoming a Teacher
Part Two: As a Teacher
Chapter 5: Chalk Dust
Chapter 6: Promotions
Chapter 7: Loss of Innocence
Part Three: As a Hybrid Educator
Chapter 8: The Higher Learning
Chapter 9: Renewing School Cultures
Chapter 10: Nourishing Educational Belief
Chapter 11: Tidying the Mind in an Untidy World
Chapter 12: Toward Schools Commonly Good
Epilogue by Roger Soder
[Goodlad’s] reminiscing is interwoven with a deep understanding of changing educational policy and reform movements, substantiated by learning theory. His work, Romances with Schools: A Life of Education, represents more than one person’s account of his education; it is an argument for democratic schooling that captures students’ imaginations and acts as an invitation to educators to engage in continual inquiry into the purposes and practices of schooling, what Goodlad refers to as ‘educational renewal’…. For those who are familiar with Dr. Goodlad’s work on educational renewal, this book provides a nice perspective on the work that came before his national network…. [T]his genre-crossing book that chronicles the hybrid career of an educational innovator deserves critical engagement, wherever one should choose to place it in their collection.
— Education Review
Throughout this book Goodlad presents himself as the smart, sober voice in the room. He keeps us grounded, reminding us of the key issues, the monsters in the night, the things we must remember. One chapter is titled ‘Tidying the Mind in an Untidy World,’ and this is what Goodlad does in his writing. All educators have their own romances with schools. It is difficult to read this book without recalling our own experiences as educators and relating our experiences to his. He takes on the issues that we educators—whether novice or seasoned—have struggled with and will continue to face, and shows us how to fight and win. This book marks the vitality of these ideas, shows how important they are to our democracy, and elucidates how quickly they might slip away. We always recognize the fear of change. The danger of not changing, however, should be the greater terror, and that is the moral imperative the thoughtful reader of this book must take away.… Romances with Schools is a fitting paean to his life’s work: the education of our youth and those who teach them.
— Mid-Western Educational Researcher (MWER)
One of America’s leading school reformers . . . [a] humane, sensible, and creative educator. He was a formidable philosopher on wheels.
— Carl F. Kaestle, University Professor of Education, History, and Public Policy, emeritus, Brown University
Throughout his professional life, John Goodlad was a ‘drummer for alternatives,’ always asking ‘Why?’ In Romances with Schools, the gentle professor recounted intimate details of his journey (from humble beginnings in British Columbia to international renown) and shared what he learned along the way. Insistent upon the moral dimensions of teaching and learning, Goodlad reserved his scorn for those who would base all educational decisions on so-called ‘scientific research.’ Most of what passes for educational reform, he said, is mere ‘monkeying around,’ and this trivialization threatens the foundations of our democracy. Romances with Schools, John Goodlad’s gift to his many admirers, ought to read by everyone who cares about public education.
— John Merrow, Former Host and Executive Producer of National Public Radio’s “The Merrow Report”
Honest, revealing, occasionally acerbic and always thoughtful. It may be that age and vast experience allowed him this luxury, but the rest of us stand to gain immensely from his boldness. Reading his educational autobiography, tracing the changes in schools and all that went with them over almost 90 years through his own experiences offers a rare treat: the people, ideas, passing fads, and vivid stories, stories, stories. When last had I read a book to match his for vivid recollections of childhood schooling—his memories of each and every teacher, of fellow students, the smell of chalk, the daily traumas, his early teaching experiences in Canada’s one-room schoolhouses and reform schools, as well as his many years of focused attention to what democratic schooling is all about? A tour de force—and in his way, a call to arms! I loved it.
— Deborah Meier, MacArthur Award-winning founder of the Central Park East Schools in New York and the Mission Hill School in Boston