Goddard assumes Fawcett Chair
Leading scholar studies impact of school leadership and organization on student achievement
Roger Goddard has been appointed as the new Novice G. Fawcett Chair of Educational Administration.
His research leads the way in studying the impact of school leadership and organization, as well as the creation of shared beliefs and processes, that enable district administrators and teachers to improve teaching and learning. His results show that better instructional leadership augments teacher collaboration, which in turn enhances school climate and student achievement, as well as decreases educator turnover.
As a national leader in the field, Goddard is especially known for examining the effect of collective efficacy in schools, which is the shared perception of teachers that their efforts as a whole will have positive effects on their students.
He published his first seminal study on the topic with Wayne Hoy, his Ohio State doctoral advisor and the then Fawcett Chair of Educational Administration, and with Anita Woolfolk Hoy, professor of educational psychology.
With the retirement of both Hoys from Ohio State after their decades of pioneering research on school effectiveness, Goddard comes full circle by rejoining his alma mater.
Goddard was first a faculty member at the University of Michigan, then at Texas A&M University where he advanced to full professor and was founding director of the Education Leadership Research Center. Most recently, he was a senior fellow at McREL International, a nonprofit education research and development corporation. In these roles, he has made a significant impact on the field in only 15 years.
Eric Anderman, professor and chair of the Department of Educational Studies, said, “We are truly honored to have Roger Goddard serve as the new Fawcett Chair of Educational Administration. Roger brings a multidisciplinary approach to the study of school leadership. His research is theory driven and methodologically sophisticated; his empirical work truly has impacted, and will continue to impact, policy decisions that will drive education in the coming decades.”
Bringing improvement to practice, in the U.S. and internationally
Goddard has made important contributions through his own scholarship as well as through extensive collaborative work with fellow researchers, K-12 educators and policymakers.
School leaders seek his expertise to improve student instruction and learning in their districts. He works with multidisciplinary teams, effectively bridging the divide between theory and practice.
In Michigan, he conducted an experiment to measure if research-based professional development for school leaders in 96 elementary schools could improve principal efficacy, school leadership, instructional climate, student achievement and educator turnover. Data from 1,700 teachers and principals showed some significant positive results. In particular, principals grew in leadership knowledge and efficacy, and principals and teachers who received the training were less likely to leave their positions.
Goddard’s background as both a teacher of mathematics and a school administrator confirmed his commitment to issues of equity and diversity. He pursues them through projects such as his study of an urban school district in the southeastern U.S. In this research, Goddard found that the greater the teachers’ collective efficacy, or belief in their capability, the lower the achievement gap for African American students.
In another study, he examined 452 teachers in 47 urban elementary schools in Ohio. He found that teacher trust in students and parents made a difference in student achievement.
“Our results showed that schools don’t necessarily have an achievement gap because they serve students from disadvantaged backgrounds,” Goddard said. “Rather, the gap was a function of the quality of social relations in the school, especially the trust the teachers had in the students and parents they served. The more teachers’ trust went up – meaning they believed their clients to be honest, open, competent and reliable -- the better the achievement in schools serving disadvantaged students.”
In his latest international initiative, Goddard’s work is set to have a major influence on schools in Australia’s most densely populated state of Victoria. The new staff opinion survey that he produced is being used in 1,560 schools with more than 60,000 educators.
Schools will use the survey to measure the strength of their school leadership, their school climate and more. Educators can reference the reports for research-based best practices, to evaluate what they’re doing that raised their scores or see how to improve weak scores.
Accumulating awards and honors
During his distinguished career, Goddard has received two of the highest honors in educational leadership. In 2002 while an assistant professor, he received the Jack A. Culbertson Award. Given annually by the University Council for Educational Administration, the award honors outstanding junior faculty for significant contributions.
In 2010, he received the William J. Davis Award for the most outstanding article in the premier journal Educational Administration Quarterly.
Overall, Goddard has received more than $4 million in external funding, served as a reviewer on government grant panels and served on editorial boards of top-tiered journals, such as the American Education Research Journal.
"The Fawcett family is thrilled with the appointment of Roger Goddard to the Novice G. Fawcett Chair of Educational Administration,” said Jane Fawcett-Hoover, Fawcett’s daughter. “Having had the opportunity to meet Dr. Goddard recently, I am convinced he will carry forward the leadership principles and organizational capabilities embodied in my father's work. Dr. Goddard is nationally known and respected and will be a substantive addition to The Ohio State University."
Goddard is joined at Ohio State by his spouse, Yvonne Goddard, visiting associate professor and director of the First Education Experience Program in the Department of Educational Studies. Having earned her doctorate in special education in the college in 1998, she has served as a faculty member at the University of Toledo, the University of Michigan and Texas A&M University, as well as coprincipal investigator on several funded research studies.
Novice G. Fawcett, who received his master’s degree in education from the college in 1937, was the eighth president of The Ohio State University. He was known for his years of leadership as superintendent of the Columbus City Schools District before assuming the Ohio State presidency in 1957. The Novice G. Fawcett Professorship was established in 1966 by friends and colleagues on his 10th anniversary as president. It was upgraded to the Novice G. Fawcett Chair upon his retirement in 1972.