Elizabeth J. Yoder 

Jacqueline Goodnow was my cousin by marriage. Her husband, Robert Goodnow, was my mother’s first cousin. I’d like to correct an inaccuracy in this biography: My great-aunt Alice Goodnow, Robert (“Bob” or “Bud”) Goodnow’s mother, was born Alice Jones, not Taylor.

November 9, 2018 - 10:15 AM

robyn townsend 

I worked as a research assistant for Jacquie. She gave me freedom and stood up for me. I watched her pull insights from my garrulous data. She was a wonderful woman.

April 15, 2015 - 4:18 PM

Michael Lamb 

I met Jacque in 1979, during a visit to explore opportunities for academic posts in Australia. With characteristic generosity and warmth, she and Bob invited me to spend a long weekend in their beloved ‘cottage’ in Kangaroo Valley. From that point on, we corresponded regularly, meeting both in Australia, in my home, and at conferences around the world. No-one offered more thoughtful comments on draft papers than Jacque did, and her comments were always expressed so tactfully that it always seemed easier to make the suggested revisions. In many ways, Jacque anticipated a generation of research on ‘children’s thinking in context’ and she preceded by decades current concerns about the role of culture in development. With her passing, psychology has lost a great scholar and a wonderful human being, but we are fortunate that the clarity and accessibility of her writing will ensure it’s influence for decades to come. We are all in her debt.

August 4, 2014 - 8:57 PM

Sheila Shaver 

Like so many others I knew Jacqui first at Macquarie, where we were in the adjacent disciplines of psychology and sociology. We shared some areas of research interest, then and in later years, but she touched my life most in the arcane machinery of academic decision-making where she was mentor and guide to me even when we were not on the same side. She showed me the way through many a process: grant applications, committee apportionment of resources, promotion and study leave applications, you name it. Whatever the matter, she was generous with her time, and generous also with her frank feedback (she once had to tell me my application for promotion was unsuccessful). I learned so much from her, and I still live by some of the snappy advice she offered. I shall miss her, and not only when I am applying for something!

Sheila Shaver

July 10, 2014 - 5:58 PM

Jerome Bruner 

Jackie Goodnow was such a wonderful combination of scholar, sensitive human being, and compassionate student of the contradictions inherent in the human spirit. Her lifetime of work has had a deep influence on how we look at the human condition.

My close contact with her (when we were collaborating on A STUDY OF THINKING decades ago) marked a high point in my scholarly life. She loved exploring alternative ways of looking at psychological effort, always ready with alternative hypotheses. And while she was much my junior, she always kept me from being bewildered by the occasional bewilderment of our subjects in the long string of tasks we gave them.

And she was much loved and admired by her fellow graduate students. Partly because she was always so willingly helpful, but also because she brought what I’ll call a “serious lightness” into her discussions of work in progress.

I’m sorry we never after those years had a chance to work together closely. But those were wonderful years. And I shall always be grateful for them — and for Jackie’s support as a lively collaborator and friend!

There, that expesses my response to the lively and humane Jackie!

Jerry Bruner

July 9, 2014 - 12:59 PM

Jim Goodnow 

It must have been sometime around 1950, when my brother Jack and I along with my parents Dick and Jane Goodnow were seated around the dining room table in the Lakewood, Ohio home of my grandparents Alice and Fred Goodnow. We were hearing fascinating stories from our favorite uncle, whom we affectionately called Uncle Bud (a nickname given to him in childhood by my Harvard trained lawyer Great Uncle Carl Hope.) To the rest of the world, he was Bob. But to the Ohio Goodnow clan including his cousins Marjorie and Cynthia as well as his Saint Louis cousins, he was and still is Bud. Of that group, only Cynthia and her daughters, Ethel Jarvis Fischer and her children as well as my brother Jack and me survive today. (By the way, our Grandmother Goodnow’s maiden name was Jones and not Taylor as listed in Aunt Jacquiline’s biography. Our Uncle Bud’s cousins were all offspring of four Jones girls – Alice, Helen, Ethel and Marjorie – the latter known affectionately as Aunt Podge.) The only member of the Goodnow/Jones clan who still lives in the Cleveland area is Mona Williamson, the widow of our recently deceased first cousin David Wiliamson. The rest of us all spread across the country in states such as Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, Colorado and Texas.

Uncle “Bud” told us about meeting Jacquiiine while he was working on his PhD at Harvard and that he had invited her to work with his project concerned displaced persons from a headquarters location in a “schloss” in Rottach, Germany at the edge of the Bavarian Alps just south of Munich. He also indicated that she was a very special person in his life and that he planned to marry her.

A year or two later, both Uncle Bud and our new Aunt Jacquiline came to Lakewood. We were so excited to meet our new Australian aunt. We loved her sparkle but were too young to fully appreciate her intellectual acumen. That came later.

Meanwhile, fast forward a few years to the late 1950s when Uncle Bud and Aunt Jacquiline had moved to Hong Kong. I’ll never forget the Christmas conversation my grandparents had with their far away son and our Aunt Jacquiline. Christopher was just a baby and Mei Mei had not yet arrived. International long distance calls were a rarity then. So my dad rigged up his reel to reel tape recorder to my grandparents phone so we call all listen to the conversation. After exchanging pleasantries and asking about Christopher, the conversation ended when Granddad asked whether the Hong Kong Goodnows would like to have him send one of his calendars (promotional items from his employer Union Paper and Twine Company.)

Fast forward about five more years, the Hong Kong Goodnows were now the Rome based Goodnows. Grandma Goodnow had given me a Eurailpass to use to tour the continent for the month of August 1964 after I completed a short stint as a marketing trainee at Renault Automobile Company in Paris. My culmanating stop was the huge palace on Piazza Santissimi Apostoli in Rome, where I’d been invited by Uncle Bud to spend a few days. My arrival late in the evening was a stroke of luck. When the taxi dropped me off at the palace entrance, I discovered that the huge steel door was closed. Fortunately, some residents came up in their car and told me to go to the side entrance where I was able to ring my uncle and get admitted to the “great digs” on the top floor that included a roof top view of Rome’s major sights including the Victor Emmaeul monument and the dome of Saint Peter’s basilica. Aunt Jacquiline was in bed for a couple days recovering from surgery and Chris and Mei Mei were small enough for me and a friend of mine to carry around the Circus Maximus to reenact the race scene from Ben Hur. That sojourn that I also shared with my second cousin Sandy Yoder (now known as Dr. Alexandra Hope) who was spending the summer in Rome as an assistant to a British au pere girl who helped take care of the Goodnow Roman household.

Fast forward a couple more years where I was in grad school taking a course on organizational behaviour and psychology. Our prof showed us a famous film on perception where a goat refuses to go across a table when it can no longer see a white floor below it. The narrator also explains that humans react similarly and demonstrates with a baby (guess who?) When the baby screams when she reaches the clear glass portion of the table, her mother coaxes her onward and the baby stubbornly refuses even when the mother says “Come on Mei Mei.” That began my introduction to my aunt’s intellectual contribution. But it didn’t quite stop there. I did read the book she coauthored with Jerry Bruner on a study of thinking and still use some of the concepts contained therein when lecturing to students in some of my university classes.

During my final face to face conversation with my aunt (that probably took place in the early 1970s when I was a young assistant professor) included her request for me to share some of my research and articles with her. I can’t remember whether I ever did so. But her intellectual zest and integrity made her a secretly admired role model during my professional academic career. While our face to face encounters were limited to a few occasions, her spirit and drive inspired me and will continue to do so. I have tremendous respect for her.

She and her late husband Bob (alias Uncle Bud) will always have a very special places in my heart. I have always had and continue to have great admiration and respect for both of them.

One final item… Chris mentions his mum’s lists in his remembrance. That practice must have been mysteriously transported across the Pacific to my consciousness. Since my first days in college to today, I have been a consummate time planner and list maker. Moreover, my decision making process that I share with colleagues, client company executives and students alike is based on weighting items in lists and comparing the results of their weighted summed scores. Sounds like my Aunt Jacquiline’s research findings found another resting place.

July 9, 2014 - 11:20 AM

Ross Homel 

I first met Jacqueline soon after I joined the staff of the School of Behavioural Sciences at Macquarie University in 1976. In fact my earliest memory of her is that she sought me out after a TV interview that I had just completed, where I was talking about my work (with Professor Tony Vinson) on indicators of community wellbeing.

Jacqueline was intensely interested in the topic of communities and especially in how they could be made more ‘child friendly’, and I was more than happy to enthusiastically share my ideas. However I soon learned that her knowledge was of an order of magnitude more immense than mine. I became intrigued – and soon dazzled – by the profundity of her knowledge and by the power of her ‘life course/ developmental’ perspective to help integrate my fragmented thinking about social problems and social change. Above all I was beguiled by her charm and the genuine interest she took in me and my work. I decided the best thing I could do while I was at Macquarie (which turned out to be for 16 years) was to sit at her feet and learn as much as I could.

I had the privilege of working with Jacqueline and the late Ailsa Burns on the Sydney Area Family Study in the late 1970s and 1980s. The project was an Australian Research Council funded study of more than 300 Sydney families and their neighbourhoods, and a central question was the impact of community wellbeing on the wellbeing of children. We found that community risk, or cumulative social disadvantage, permeated all aspects of children’s lives, although the processes were often subtle and highly variable. Jacqueline played an absolutely pivotal role in helping us weave a compelling story about children’s lives from the tangled skeins of interview themes and statistical connections.

A few years after leaving Macquarie for the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University I sought Jacqueline out to join a group I was convening that we dubbed ‘the Developmental Crime Prevention Consortium.’ The group comprised a number of highly talented social scientists from a range of disciplines, many of whom were close friends and colleagues of Jacqueline including Jeanette Lawrence, Alan Hayes, and Judy Cashmore. The Consortium produced a landmark report in 1999 called Pathways to Prevention that helped put the ideas of early prevention on the social policy map in Australia.

The influence of the report since 1999 when it was published by the Federal Government has been immense. Even a brief perusal will demonstrate to any reader who is at all familiar with Jacqueline’s writing that the report is, to a very large extent, vintage Goodnow. Her mark is on every one of the 400 pages, and indeed it is not too much to claim that to the extent that policies aiming at early intervention and prevention in Australia still hold sway, that is down to Jacqueline and the persuasive power of her scholarship and incisive writing.

So we should ensure that one more stunning achievement is included in Jacqueline’s already stellar roll call of achievements, namely being the chief architect of what was for Australia at the time a novel and powerful way of thinking about the prevention of crime and antisocial behaviour.

While Jacqueline was (quietly) proud of her accomplishments across the whole field of human development and cognition, she did have a special concern that her research and writing be used for the public good. I am personally humbled and very proud that I was able to have a part in helping her achieve that goal.

July 6, 2014 - 10:43 AM

Candida Peterson 

I was in awe of Jacqueline, her prodigious intellectual achievements and her seminal writings for decades before I ever met her. As an undergraduate at University of Adelaide in the 1960s her inspirational book (Bruner, Goodnow & Austin, 1956) was on our reading list and it opened new vistas for me in that era of strictly behavioural learning theory. I can well understand why Piaget called the book “a revolution in the psychology of thought” and why the physicist Robert Oppenheimer saw in it “a fervor of conviction which makes it point to the future”. Later, in graduate school at UCSB in the early 1970s, Martin and Lila Braine acquainted me with her inspirational cross-cultural work and a few years after that, grappling as a beginning lecturer with how to get “big picture” ideas about cognition and developmental theory across to large undergraduate classes, I discovered in her studies of children’s drawings the ideal vehicle.

This awe and admiration for her work and ideas was fueled still more in the early 1980s as I listened to her keynote addresses at international conferences in Europe and the U.S.A. But still I had never met her. So you can imagine my feelings one ordinary day at Murdoch University when I picked up the phone and the voice at the other end was Jacqueline! If it had been Piaget himself ringing up to compliment me on my work and ask for a copy, I could not have felt more thrilled and honoured.

I still feel a little of that early sense of joy, awe and honour as I reflect on my amazing good fortune in being been someone who was lucky enough to have had the benefit not only with Jacqueline’s ideas but also of her friendship. I had the special privilege of getting to know her as a person, of sharing meals, pictures and happy times together, of working and writing with her, of enjoying her ever stimulating company and of coming to count her as a dear friend. Memories of our times together will ever be treasured, as will the good advice she gave me and the shining example of optimal lifespan development that her own life set .

Jacqueline’s capacity to see straight to the root of problems, large or small, and her generous giving of herself to benefit others will live on, together with her wisdom, in the hearts of all who knew her. But, beyond that, as Australia’s greatest developmental psychologist, her influence is timeless. Just as Switzerland still has Piaget, we– lucky country that we are — still have Goodnow

July 5, 2014 - 1:14 PM

Jennifer Bowes 

When she was a Professor of Behavioural Sciences at Macquarie University, Jacqueline Goodnow convened the Monday Group in which she engaged in one of her favourite activities, what she called “mental jogging”. The group comprised her PhD students and postdocs and always included one or two visiting scholars who were spending their sabbatical with her. Mental jogging involved engaging with a research idea or a draft paper and exploring its possibilities, arriving finally at a satisfactory form.

In the Monday Group we became so used to critical appraisal of each other’s work, including Jacqui’s, that we forgot about the niceties and just launched in. A visiting scholar from the USA, attending the group for the first time, expressed her astonishment at this no-nonsense approach. “Don’t you even say one nice thing before you begin on the criticism?’ she asked. We decided that from then on, we should first say three nice things about any research plan or paper.

Jacqui would return from trips overseas invigorated by the mental jogging she had engaged in with international psychologists, from novices to experts. They would have enjoyed the same beam of exclusive attention she shone on us at Macquarie University, on her graduate students, postdocs and colleagues, whoever was with her at that moment.
I was fortunate to have worked with Jacqui in all three roles over time. Individual sessions with her were less like jogging and more like tennis. She had me running all over the court to return her ideas and questions. Later in the session we would be hitting back and forth strongly in long rallies that were never competitive, always challenging.

I have never met someone with such a prodigious concentration span. Supervision sessions could go for four or five hours without a break. As we worked and re-worked ideas, I did not notice the time in the excitement of being in the presence of such a fine intellect. When I was a postdoc with Jacquie, however, I remember the willpower it took to last though a long session that had us skipping lunch. I was pregnant and hungry. I did not dare disrupt the meeting as I suspected Jacqui did not approve of this pregnancy. She had a plan for all of us and another baby was not part of her plan for me.

Breaks to refuel on jasmine tea were often called. If we were meeting in her home with its walls of Aboriginal art and its vista of a wide blue Sydney Harbour, Jacqui would sometimes leap up and cook a simple meal for us to enjoy on the balcony. She was a generous woman with her time, her ideas and her attention. At the same time she demanded the intellectual best of everyone who accompanied her on her mental jogging.

What a pleasure and a privilege it has been for me to have worked with Jacqueline Goodnow and to have learned so much from her, a great teacher and a great mentor.

July 5, 2014 - 12:13 PM

Michael Cole 

I first encountered Jackie through her cross cultural developmental research and have benefited enormously from her always-thoughtful and humane approach to promoting an understanding of human development. The care and humanity she displayed in all she did stand as a model not only for me and my generation, but for generations to follow.

July 5, 2014 - 8:07 AM