Current Activities

Ivor Goodson is Professor of Learning Theory at the Education Research Centre, Mayfield House, the University of Brighton, UK. He has had a distinguished academic career and, in addition to his post at the University of Brighton, is also currently Stint Foundation Professor at the Department of Education, Uppsala University, Sweden and Research Associate at the Von Hugel Institute, St Edmunds College, University of Cambridge.

He is currently working on a research project entitled ‘Research Challenges’ for the University of Brighton and is a partner on the Alfa III (3 million Euros) ‘Programa Marco Interuniversitario Para Una Política De Equidad Y Cohesión Social En La Educación Superior’ research project – funded by the EU.

His recently completed major projects:

An AHRC funded project entitled ‘Cultural Geographies of Counter-Diasporic Migration: The Second Generation Returns “Home”’ which is a joint enterprise with the University of Sussex.

The first project, ‘Learning Lives’, conducted in association with colleagues at the universities of Exeter, Stirling and Leeds, looks at people's learning trajectories across the life course. This is investigated by employing regular life history and life course interviews with around 120 participants. In most cases eight life history interviews will be conducted and also a number of follow up thematic life course interviews. The intention is to understand critical incidents in people's learning lives and to develop an understanding of how people manage their lives through learning. A particular focus is to begin to understand the pattern of narration which people employ in storying their lives. It is argued that if we understand patterns of narration and life story telling we can begin to look for ‘pedagogic levers’ which engage with the deep narration processes that are part of human nature. The intention is to develop a different learning theory from the dominant cognitive model. The cognitive model uses prescribed curriculum to teach people pre-digested blocks of knowledge. This is done whether that knowledge fits in with their on-going life purposes and life stories and whether or not it fits in with peoples on-going life narration and life stories. Set against that narrative learning will aim to harmonise learning episodes with people's on-going life missions.

The second project, ‘Professional Knowledge’, looks at the life histories of teachers, nurses and other professionals in eight European countries. The project is funded by the European Union. Again the intention is to use life history methods to understand the professional missions and purposes of people working in the caring professions. Here a particular concern is to show how new reforms and restructuring initiatives in the professions either harmonise or collide with the sort of life missions which professionals take into their work.

Both the ESRC and EU projects were 4-year projects and terminated in the year 2008.