John Goodlad: Late Dean Led UCLA Graduate School of Education as One of Top-Schools in the Nation

Goodlad was the author of "A Place Called School," a seminal book written with data from the largest study of U.S. schooling ever conducted.

John Goodlad, former dean of the UCLA Graduate School of Education from 1967 to 1983, died in Seattle last week at age 94. The renowned researcher and educator wrote more than three dozen books, many of which have been translated into multiple languages, including Japanese, Chinese, French, Italian, Spanish, and Hebrew. “A Place Called School,” which was published in 1984, with data gathered from more than 27,000 students, teachers, and parents. It 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.

John Goodlad was the dean of UCLA's Graduate School of Education from 1967 to 1983, after serving as director of UCLA's University Elementary School (UES), now UCLA Lab School.
John Goodlad was the dean of UCLA’s Graduate School of Education from 1967 to 1983, after serving as director of UCLA’s University Elementary School (UES), now UCLA Lab School.

In 1960, John Goodlad was appointed director of UCLA’s University Elementary School (now UCLA Lab School) and soon after was named dean of the UCLA Graduate School of Education. A leader in the non-graded school movement, Goodlad encouraged the implementation of team teaching and multi-age grouping. His writings, based on his work and research at UES, stimulated these practices throughout the country. Goodlad was often credited with launching research efforts on school improvement, and was known for maintain the position that teaching is an ethical act.

“The passing of John Goodlad, a giant in our field, brings profound sadness to the entire UCLA Ed & IS community,” says Dean Marcelo Suárez-Orozco. “We mourn our former Dean and we also remember and celebrate a life in full dedicated to the idea that teaching is, above all, an ethical act in the service of bettering the human condition.”

Goodlad served as president of the Institute for Educational Inquiry in Seattle and had held professorships at Emory University, the University of Chicago, the University of Washington. He earned his doctorate at the University of Chicago and held 20 honorary doctorates from colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada. In addition to professorships and administrative positions, Goodlad was an experienced classroom teacher in all grade levels and in a variety of institutions, including a one-room, eight-grade rural school in Canada.

To read an obituary for John Goodlad in the Washington Post, click here.