Joan F. Goodman


Literacy, Culture, and International Education Division

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania

Phone: 215-898-5677


Professional Biography

Dr. Goodman has spent her substantial career combining applied psychology with teaching. At various hospitals in Washington, D.C., Oakland, CA, and Philadelphia, she carried out diagnostic evaluations with preschool children, counseled families, and directed a therapeutic-educational program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). For many years, Dr. Goodman combined her clinical work with teaching as an adjunct professor at Penn GSE. In 1994, Dr. Goodman received the Lindback Award for Outstanding Teaching. She was University Ombudsman from 2009 to 2011

Dr. Goodman has written on the challenges that preschool children with developmental disabilities present to parents, teachers, and the science of psychology. Dr. Goodman authored a book on early intervention, When Slow Is Fast Enough (1992); a novel nonverbal assessment instrument, The Goodman Lock Box; a series of videotapes (with Susan Hoban) on families raising youngsters with disabilities; and numerous articles on classification and outcomes of children with delayed development. 

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Goodman’s primary interests shifted in the past 15 years to theoretical and applied moral education. She studies practices and moral underpinnings of school discipline and authority in classrooms, including the way rules are legitimated and used as justification for punishment. Dr. Goodman has written on the distribution of authority between adults and children, how the term respect is used and understood, the rightful response to aggressive acts, understanding the bureaucratic, rule-based disciplinary systems used in most public schools, and transformations in the educational meaning of character. Dr. Goodman also raises questions about moral values in children, fostering values and moral identity, and understanding and reconciling conflicting values. She discusses these topics in detail in her books The Moral Stake in Education: Contested Premises and Practices (2001) and Moral Education: A Teacher-Centered Approach (2004), co-authored with University of Pennsylvania law professor Howard Lesnick. She also wrote Teaching Goodness: Engaging the Moral and Academic Promise of Young Children (2003) (with Usha Balamore).

Dr. Goodman serves as a consultant to parents and school-based educators interested in developing moral education programs.

Selected Publications

Goodman, J. F. (2013). Charter management organizations and the regulated environment: Is it worth the price? Educational Researcher, 42(2), 89–96.

Goodman, J. F. (2013). The quest for compliance in schools: Unforeseen Consequences. Ethics and Education, 8(1), 3–17.

Goodman, J. F., & Eren, N. (2013) Student agency: Success, failure, and lessons learned. Ethics and Education8, 123–139.

Goodman, J. F., Hoagland, J., Pierre-Toussaint, N., Rodriguez, C., & Sanabria, C. (2011). Working the crevices: Granting students authority in authoritarian schoolsAmerican Journal of Education117(3), 375–398.

Goodman, J. F. (2010). Student authority: Antidote to alienation. Theory and Research in Education, 8, 227–247.

Goodman, J. F., & Kitzmiller, E. (2010). Suppression of the aggressive impulse: Conceptual difficulties in anti-violence programs. Ethics and Education5(2), 117–134.

Goodman, J. F. (2009). Respect-due and respect-earned: Negotiating student-teacher relationship. Ethics and Education, (4), 1–15.

Goodman, J. F. (2009, September). Anything a child can do, a teacher shouldn't. Education Week.

Goodman, J. F. (2008). Responding to children's needs: Amplifying the caring ethic. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 42(2), 233–248.

Goodman, J. F. (2008). Obedience. In F.C. Power, R.J. Nuzzi, D. Narvaez, D.K. Lapsley, & T.C. Hunt (Eds.), Moral education: A handbook (Vol. 2, pp. 320–321). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Goodman, J. F. (2008). The interpretation of children's needs at home and in school. Ethics and Education, 3, 27–40.

Goodman, J. F. (2007). School discipline, buy-in and belief. Ethics and Education, 2, 2–23.

Goodman, J. F. (2006, April). [Review of the book The cheating culture, by D. Callahan]. Business Ethics Quarterly, 16(2), 305.

Goodman, J. F. (2006). Students' choices and moral growth. Ethics and Education, 1, 103–115.

Goodman, J. F. (2006). School discipline in moral disarray. Journal of Moral Education, 35, 213–230.

Goodman, J. F. (2005, January 5). How bad is cheating?. Education Week.

Goodman, J. F., & Lesnick, H. (2004). Moral education: A teacher centered approach. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. 

Goodman, J. F., & Balamore, U. (2003). Teaching Goodness: Engaging the Moral and Academic Promise of Young Children. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.