Document Type

Book Review


John Goodlad is known for his unceasing effort to engage educators, politicians, and the public in dialogue on the purpose of education in a democratic society. From the landmark study A Place Called School to his work in developing the National Network for Educational Renewal and the Agenda for Education in a Democracy, Goodlad has for many years represented the reasonable and determined voice of renewal in the midst of shrill cries of reform from all corners. What Schools Are For, now in its third edition, is a must-read work addressing Goodlad's efforts to spark dialogue necessary to understanding the roles and purposes of schools in educating a democratic citizenry. This book was first published in 1979 during a time of strident school critiques heavy with questions about necessary school functions and “back to basics” rhetoric. Goodlad enters the fray in a calm yet assertive manner, shifting the focus from criticism and strife to the stimulation of reconstruction-oriented dialogue about our educational system. Coming three years before the infamous report, A Nation at Risk, and five years before A Place Called School, this timely work was well received by educators seeking to understand the purpose of schools in educating citizens in a democracy and continues to be an essential conceptual work today.



Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Education--Aims and objectives; Education--Philosophy--History; Educational sociology

Geographic Coverage

United States







Included in

Education Commons