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John Nisbet Award Winner

Ivor Goodson, Professor

Professor at University of Brighton & Tallinn University

Ivor Goodson is professor of Learning Theory at the University of Brighton. He has worked in universities in England, Canada and the USA, and held visiting positions in many countries.

Early in his career his PhD explored the construction of school subject knowledge and its relationship to social processes. This led to his first book School Subjects and Curriculum Change, which is now in its 3rd edition. Following that book, which was published in 1983, he produced a series of books which aim to explore the curriculum as a site of social contestation and social distribution. The series Studies in Curriculum History was commissioned by Falmer Press in 1984 and led to the publication of over 20 books which established the history and sociology of curriculum construction, not just in the United Kingdom but around the world. His own contributions to the series includes the books Defining the Curriculum, The Making of Curriculum, Studying School Subjects and Subject Knowledge. Alongside his work on curriculum he began to develop a range of qualitative methodologies focussing on life history approaches. The first book, Biography, Identity and Schooling, sought to explain how life history methods could connect our understanding of personal motives and missions to wider social movements and processes. In particular his work explored the relationship between teacher’s life purposes and their work. The pioneering book Teachers’ Lives and Careers published in 1985 and co-edited with Stephen Ball opened up a new field of study focussing on the teachers life and work. This was followed by Studying Teachers Lives published in 1992 which took further the focus on teachers’ lives and explored both the methodologies and the substantive findings emerging in this field.

Ivor Goodson's contributions

BERA John Nisbet Fellowship

Since 2014 BERA has awarded the John Nisbet Fellowship to one or more people who are deemed to have made an outstanding contribution to educational research over their career. Named in honour of...