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Selected Works

Learning, Curriculum and Life Politics: the selected works of Ivor F. Goodson

Coming to Curriculum

These then, were the hopes I set off with as I left my working class home in a Berkshire village to settle in another village in Leicestershire and begin teaching in a 'comprehensive school' (Goodson 1988).

One point that is not sufficiently covered in this account is my increasing commitment to a youth culture focussing on a general hedonism and immersion in pop music.  This commitment - as the aforementioned Sugarman article noted - often went hand-in-hand with the rejection of the grammar school curriculum by working class students.  At the time of my teenage years, 1956-1962, Rock 'n Roll was a major presence in Reading - The Rolling Stones were a local band (Marianne Faithful, Mick Jagger’s girlfriend, went to a local school), the Who and the Animals played there regularly. They and a variety of local bands began to develop a brand of indigenous Rock, which later emerged as a force in much of the western world.  When I moved to university in London my interest continued (coincidentally Mick Jagger was at the London School of Economics at the same time and I remember several good evenings in the Three Tuns pub with him).  I spent a lot of time at the Marquee Club watching bands like The Who perfect their art.          

On moving to Leicester, I encountered another vigorous Rock scene.  The Il Rondo Club was superb and many national and local bands played there.  Two local bands, Family and Showaddywaddy, emerged from this scene to become widely popular.  The local pub in Countesthorpe, the Railway Tavern, had a wonderfully stocked jukebox and here in the evening working class youth culture of the sort as I'd known since the age of 13 held the stage.

Teaching in Leicestershire

In September 1970 the story reaches a small village in the flat plains south of Leicester.  I had seen an advertisement in the Times Educational Supplement and applied for the job.  At the time I knew nothing of the significance of the school for Countesthorpe was a very radical experiment in state education for the 11 to 18 age group.  I remember going up to the interview in Leicester with my girlfriend at the London School of Economics, Anna Bicat.  I was interviewed at 2.30 p.m. by Tim McMullen and Mike Armstrong.  They had obviously just had a convivial lunch in County Hall and the interview went pretty well.  When Anna and I got back to our flat in Hampstead there was a telegram waiting (I still have it - historical sources, item 203!) which said 'would like to appoint you.  Please telephone acceptance.'  I loved their style and immediately phoned back.

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  • Date of publication: 15/09/2005
  • Number of pages (as Word doc): 272
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Subject:
    Curriculum Studies, Narrative Theory
  • Available in:
  • Appears in:
    Learning, Curriculum and Life Politics: the selected works of Ivor F. Goodson
  • Number of editions: 1
  • Paperback
  • Price of book: £27.99
  • ISBN: 978-0-415-35220-8
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