The reformer knows best: destroying the teacher's vocation

Ivor Goodson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drawing on data from a major Spencer Foundation study, this article examines the effects of major restructuring initiatives in New York State on a gifted and utterly committed teacher. It challenges the now ubiquitous assumption that "the reformer knows best" and reveals the gradual demise of an immensely gifted, dedicated teacher - a man whose mission to educate is compulsive, continuous and coherent - at the hands of "reforms" which turn out to destroy the lives of students, teachers, and whole communities. Reforms which deny, ignore or otherwise disvalue the sense of mission of excellent teachers such as the person whose story is told in this article turn out to be counter-productive and exemplify the global warming of vocational purpose.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-264
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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