Biography

Jacqueline J Goodnow AC:

Professor Jacqueline Goodnow AC made distinguished contributions to the field of Developmental Psychology, illuminating how people think and solve problems at different ages and in different cultural contexts.

Jacqueline Mary Jarrett was a fifth generation Australian with “convict” and ordinary citizen forebears on her father’s side, born 25 November 1924 in Toowoomba, Queensland. At the time, her father was in the public service working for the Wheat Board. Shortly before the Depression began, 1928, he made an unfortunate move to the Ford Motor Company. Like many others in the country, the Depression meant a search for other work. As part of that search, he took up – with a brother-in-law – a dairy farm through a veterans’ allocation.

Jacqueline began school in that area in 1929.

When jobs began to become available as the effect of the Depression eased, George moved his family to Queanbeyan to take up work in Canberra on the Census records. Jacqueline began at a Catholic primary school in Queanbeyan (grades 3 – 6, Grade 6 twice in fact as she was seen as too young to go into high school). Her brother Frank also attended this school. The classes were mixed gender but the playgrounds were segregated with boys and girls firmly sent to opposite sides of the building.

The family moved to Sydney (Paddington) in 1936 as part of George’s work. Jacqueline began high school in Paddington. The nuns there recommended her for a scholarship to St Vincent’s Ladies College, Potts Point: a school that offered courses in English, Latin, French, German, Maths 1 and 2 but no Natural Sciences.

Having repeated the year in primary school, her natural aptitude now led to skipping a year finishing school at barely 16.

Despite her young age, Jacqueline received a bursary in 1941 to do an Arts degree at the University of Sydney. Her expectation at that time was to become a high school English teacher. University opened up choices for her. She took English as it was the way to a paid job but also Psychology, Economics and Ancient History. She took Psychology as the required science course because it was listed as both a Science and an Arts course. She started an Honours course in Psychology and topped the year. She also discovered that Psychology was a possible source of paid work. Teaching high school English was no longer her only option.

During her undergraduate degree, Jacqueline spent time as part of the Women’s Land Army picking peas in Oberon after the breakout of WW2.

Jacqueline completed her BA Honours degree at the University of Sydney in 1944 with first class Honours and a University Medal. After several years as a laboratory assistant and a temporary lecturer at the University of Sydney, she left in 1949 for Harvard University (Radcliffe) in Boston, Massachusetts to do a PhD in Psychology, acting on the wise advice of a Senior Lecturer, Dr Cecil Gibb.

Jacqueline applied for and received a NSW Woolley Travelling Scholarship to travel to the US. With a sudden drop in the value of the Australian dollar (a devaluation of 25%), she had to supplement this income with part-time work as a research assistant – good experience that led to her first published article (Goodnow and Postman, 1951). Her research at the time was in the area of how people made judgements about probability. Jacqueline completed her PhD in 1951. Both then and later, her research was on ways of thinking (the nature, development and sources, and the role of context).

At Harvard, Jacqueline met Robert Elmer Goodnow (Bob) at a Harvard seminar in January 1950. They were both students in the Department of Social Relations.

Bob was the son of Fred and Alice Goodnow (nee Taylor). Born October 7, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio, he completed a Bachelor of Arts at Kenyon College, Ohio in 1943. Bob had been recruited into the US Navy in 1943 and led an underwater demolition team of ‘frogmen’, performing reconnaissance during the battle for Iwo Jima for which he received the Silver Star. At the end of the war, and by virtue of a veterans support fund, he started his PhD degree at Harvard University in 1948.

While Bob was still working on his PhD thesis, he was offered work in Munich, Germany for the US Army. The aim was to develop tests to screen displaced people for their capacity to take up a variety of positions with the Army. Jacqueline stayed behind to complete her thesis and then joined him two months later in 1951. She also worked on the same project. This was the first of a series of moves to fit each other’s work and interests.

Jacqueline and Bob married on 30 October 1951 in Munich. In 1953, Bob had to return to Harvard to complete his thesis and Jacqueline was offered a post-doctoral research position at Harvard with Jerome (Jerry) Bruner, a leading psychologist and pioneer of cognitive psychology.

With the PhD completed in 1955, Bob took up a position in Washington DC, working in a group of assessment psychologists. Jacqueline stayed to finish work with Bruner. That resulted in a book that became a citation classic (Bruner, Goodnow and Austin, “A Study of Thinking”) and a set of research articles.

In 1956, Jacqueline moved to Washington DC where she became a Senior Research Psychologist at the Walter Reed Hospital Institute of Research, still working on how people thought and solved problems but under conditions such as extreme sleep loss.

Bob’s work on cultural differences in psychological test performance took them to Hong Kong in 1959. Jacqueline became a Research Associate with the University of Hong Kong, carrying out research into the effects of schooling on how children solved problems. For Jacqueline, this was a beginning of working on children’s thinking rather than adult thinking and of interest in how cultural contexts affected the way people thought.

Christopher Carl Goodnow was born on 19 September 1959. Katherine (Kate) Judith Goodnow was born on 1 December 1960 (Kate is also known by her Cantonese name “Mei Mei”). Jacqueline, Bob and children returned to Washington DC in 1961. They built a house in Maryland in 1962, in a style that was to resonate in many buildings by Bob, and later, Kate. Bob had always wanted to be an architect but was dissuaded by his father who had seen the effects of the Depression on that kind of career.

From 1962, Jacqueline was attached to the George Washington University, Department of Psychology, first on a part time, and later on a fulltime, basis. She became a Full Professor in 1971. This period was again marked by time overseas.

In 1964, the Goodnows moved to Rome as part of Bob’s work. Jacqueline began research on a new aspect of cognitive development, Children’s Drawing, culminating in a groundbreaking book of the same name published in 1977. They returned to the US in 1966. Jacqueline returned to fulltime work at George Washington University, benefitting from a 5-year research grant from the National Institute of Children’s Health and Development. She worked predominantly on the coordination of vision and touch.

In 1972, Bob decided to take early retirement and they decided to move to Sydney. Jacqueline took up a position with Macquarie University School of Education and in 1975 with the School of Behavioural Sciences. Jacqueline was the first woman professor at Macquarie University. It was for her a very busy research period.

Bob spent more time on the home front, renovating in Mosman and building in Kangaroo Valley. He also became a DJ at the classical music station, 2MBS-FM.

Officially, Jacqueline retired in 1991, becoming a Professor Emeritus at Macquarie. From 1972 onwards, she had several appointments as Visiting Professor: in Minnesota at the Institute of Child Development in 1981 and 1990; at Stanford University in 1984 -1985 (Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences); at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin in 1991 and 1992; at New York University in 1992, 1993 and 1994.

Bob travelled with her overseas, spending much of his time in music stores and libraries collecting and planning programs for 2MBS-FM. He died in March 1995. Jacqueline continued to travel overseas on a regular basis as an invited international speaker and scholar, and to spend time with her daughter Kate and her family in Norway.

During her career which continued well beyond any official retirement, Jacqueline authored and co-edited eight books and over 200 peer-reviewed articles with Goodnow as first author. Among her many often cited works was a book on Men, Women and HouseholdWork (Goodnow and Bowes, 1994) bringing out the ways in which household work underlies views of gender and relationship obligations. It was a book appreciated by feminists but not by some politicians who saw the division of household labour as a trivial issue. Like much of her research and scholarship, it was underpinned by a sharp sense of social justice and based on solid research and careful analysis and insight.

Her most recent work includes a chapter for the landmark Carmichael Handbook of Child Psychology (Goodnow and Lawrence, in press 2014); another scholarly handbook chapter on refugees and displaced people with particular attention to unaccompanied minors (Goodnow, 2014); and a book Inheriting as People Think it Should Be (Goodnow and Lawrence, 2013; Lawrence was an Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne). This book is an accessible and scholarly exploration of people’s thinking about obligations and entitlements in a different context, about sharing and what is passed on.

Jacqueline supervised and mentored several PhD and post-doctoral students who went on to distinguished careers in their own right, including Judith Cashmore, AO, now Associate Professor, Law School, University of Sydney and Alan Hayes, AM, now Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies. She was a wise and strategic mentor who was generous with her time, passing on her expertise and guidance.

Several research centres have been the beneficiaries of that wisdom – advising the director, Jennifer Bowes, another of her PhD graduates on the development of the Children and Families Research Centre at the Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University from 2007; and a foundation member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Children and Young People at Southern Cross University for 10 years from 2004. She has been an advisor to a number of state and national government agencies, and was a foundation member of the Board of the Australian Institute of Family Studies in 1980, and a great supporter throughout.

Her children also became academics with distinguished careers. Katherine Goodnow became a Professor in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Bergen, Norway. Christopher Goodnow FAA FRS is a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences, Professor of Immunology at the Australian National University and, from 2015, Deputy Director at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney.

Recognition of Jacqueline’s work has taken the form of awards for Distinguished Contributions to Research by the Australian Psychological Society (1988), the G. Stanley Hall Award for Distinguished Contributions to Developmental Psychology by the American Psychological Association (1989) and the Society for Research in Child Development (1997). She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Macquarie University in 1995. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Social Sciences, the Australian Psychological Society, and the American Psychological Association.

In 1992, Jacqueline was awarded an AC (Companion of the Order of Australia) for her pioneering and lasting contribution to Psychology and Education in Australia.

She leaves a very substantial professional and personal legacy. Jacqueline was an exceptional interdisciplinary scholar, an astute observer of people and situations, and always understated, gracious and unpretentious. Her interactions with others were marked by honesty, integrity and kindness.

Jacqueline is survived by her two children; five grandchildren, Robert and Emily Bjaalid and Georgia, Ben and Julia Goodnow; and by four brothers and sisters, Frank Jarrett, Jim Jarrett, Mary Thwaites and Judy Fitzpatrick.

 

The following is taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Contributions and achievements

Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow published eight books, over sixty journal articles and chapters. Some of her publications are titled:

  • Children Drawing (1977)
  • Children and Families in Australia: Contemporary Issues and Problems (1979)
  • Home and School: A Child’s Eye View (1985)
  • Women, Social Science and Public Policy (1985)

Goodnow’s contributions to psychology centred on six themes: two-choice learning studies, research on thinking, culture and thought, the effects of perception, children’s drawings, and social policy.[6]

Two-choice learning studies

“In the view of the dominant behaviorism of the time, rewards were important determinants of behavior. But Goodnow showed that, when reward is kept constant, behavior differs depending on how the subject defines the situation. In a ‘gambling’ situation the tendency was to maximize reward, but in a problem-solving situation the subject considered longer runs of behavior, looking for a pattern, and an individual choice, win or lose, was not so important. Strategies, that are how the subject defined the situation, were also important in studies of concept attainment.”[7]

Research on thinking

When it came to experiments on thinking, subjects were asked to pick their own strategies and reward was not important.

“In a typical experiment situation the subjects sat facing a table with a number of cards on it. The task of the subject was to find the concept. The subject might be given a positive instance and told to find the concept. Subjects differed in the strategies they employed. A “focus” strategy was slow but sure, while a “scanning” strategy put many requirements on memory and was more risky. Or the subjects might be given one instance at a time, starting with a positive concept, told to write a hypothesis, given another instance, told to write a hypothesis again, and so on, until the subject could define the concept. The subjects learned from the positive instances.”[8]

The purpose of this test was to show that when people need to learn concepts they employ a method or strategy to help their performance.[9]

Culture and thought

Goodnow’s interest in culture and thought came after traveling to Hong Kong when she became interested in the thinking process of children from different cultures. She used Piaget’s conservation tasks and two combinational tasks.[10] This study was conducted by giving 500 Chinese and European boys age ten to thirteen the Piagetian tasks of conservation of weight, volume, and space, along with Raven’s Progressive Matrices task and Piaget’s factorial problem.[11] Children who were unschooled had difficulty in performing the tasks that were required for the factorial problem and the Progressive Matrices task. When she gave the tests to sample of “average” (IQ 101-120) and “dull” (IQ 64-88) boys in Montgomery County, Maryland she found that the U.S. boys of average intelligence scores were similar to the schooled and semi-schooled Chinese boys on the conservation tasks.[12] When it came to the dull U.S. boys their scores were inferior to the schooled and semi-schooled Chinese boys on the combinational tasks.[13]

Perceptual activity and modality perception

The perceptual activity and modality perception were assessed to show the importance of tactile activity as well as comparing vision with active touch and visual with auditory matching.[14]

Children’s drawings and the “Grammar of Action”

Goodnow wanted to see how children could complete a drawing when they were given restriction.[15] For example, she would give a child a circle with two dots “eyes” low in the circle and asked them to complete the drawing. Grammar of Action was a tool that gave children simple figures and asked the children to draw them. The older the child was, the more creative their drawings were.[16]

Social policy and development issues

Goodnow became interested in broader social issues, hence her books Children and Families in Australia and Women and Social Science and Public Policy.[17] The first book discussed the problems of family life in the convict period to the modern problems facing Australia such as one-parent households, migrants, and violence against children.[18] In this book she asked children about their family and school life and their friendships. Goodnow wanted to base the book on the perspective of children.[19]

Notes

  1. Walk, R.D. (1990). Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow. In A. N. O’Connell & N.F. Russo (Eds.), Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (pp. 134, 137-140). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.p.134
  2. Walk, R.D. (1990). Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow. In A. N. O’Connell & N.F. Russo (Eds.), Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (pp. 134, 137-140). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.p.134
  3. Walk, R.D. (1990). Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow. In A. N. O’Connell & N.F. Russo (Eds.), Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (pp. 134, 137-140). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.p.134
  4. Walk, R.D. (1990). Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow. In A. N. O’Connell & N.F. Russo (Eds.), Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (pp. 134, 137-140). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.p.134
  5. Walk, R.D. (1990). Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow. In A. N. O’Connell & N.F. Russo (Eds.), Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (pp. 134, 137-140). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.p.134
  6. Walk, R.D. (1990). Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow. In A. N. O’Connell & N.F. Russo (Eds.), Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (pp. 134, 137-140). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.p.134
  7. Walk, R.D. (1990). Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow. In A. N. O’Connell & N.F. Russo (Eds.), Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (pp. 134, 137-140). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.p.137
  8. Walk, R.D. (1990). Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow. In A. N. O’Connell & N.F. Russo (Eds.), Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (pp. 134, 137-140). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.pp.137-138
  9. Walk, R.D. (1990). Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow. In A. N. O’Connell & N.F. Russo (Eds.), Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (pp. 134, 137-140). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.pp.137-138
  10. Walk, R.D. (1990). Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow. In A. N. O’Connell & N.F. Russo (Eds.), Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (pp. 134, 137-140). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.p.139
  11. Walk, R.D. (1990). Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow. In A. N. O’Connell & N.F. Russo (Eds.), Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (pp. 134, 137-140). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.p.139
  12. Walk, R.D. (1990). Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow. In A. N. O’Connell & N.F. Russo (Eds.), Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (pp. 134, 137-140). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.p.139
  13. Walk, R.D. (1990). Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow. In A. N. O’Connell & N.F. Russo (Eds.), Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (pp. 134, 137-140). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.p.139
  14. Walk, R.D. (1990). Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow. In A. N. O’Connell & N.F. Russo (Eds.), Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (pp. 134, 137-140). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.p.139
  15. Walk, R.D. (1990). Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow. In A. N. O’Connell & N.F. Russo (Eds.), Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (pp. 134, 137-139). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.p.139
  16. Walk, R.D. (1990). Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow. In A. N. O’Connell & N.F. Russo (Eds.), Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (pp. 134, 137-140). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.p.139
  17. Walk, R.D. (1990). Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow. In A. N. O’Connell & N.F. Russo (Eds.), Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (pp. 134, 137-140). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.p.140
  18. Walk, R.D. (1990). Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow. In A. N. O’Connell & N.F. Russo (Eds.), Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (pp. 134, 137-140). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.p.140
  19. Walk, R.D. (1990). Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow. In A. N. O’Connell & N.F. Russo (Eds.), Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (pp. 134, 137-140). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.p.140

References

Walk, R.D. (1990). Jacqueline Jarrett Goodnow. In A. N. O’Connell & N.F. Russo (Eds.), Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (pp. 134, 137-140). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.