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About Us


What does the Goodling Institute do?

The Goodling Institute challenges family literacy researchers to look beyond the individual disciplines of early childhood education, elementary education, adult education, and parent education and engagement. Research must focus on how each discipline works together in family literacy settings. Based on the Goodling Institute's National Family Literacy Research Agenda, researchers and practitioners are encouraged to study the issues detailed in the agenda. Study findings, such as those found in our research briefs can help policymakers make sound decisions about these programs, and can help practitioners to develop professionally and apply research to improve practice at the local level.


There are three overarching goals for the Goodling Institute:

GOAL 1: Research

To develop a sound conceptual, interdisciplinary research base for guiding practice and policy.

GOAL 2: Professional Development

To build, in cooperation with the National Center for Family Literacy, the capacity of the field to provide high quality, research-based instruction and program development in family literacy.

GOAL 3: Policy

To provide leadership in family literacy through communication and collaborative action with professional organizations, state departments of education, policy makers and the general public.

Who was Congressman Bill Goodling?Mr Goodling receiving award

Bill Goodling's concern for and commitment to education was well-known.  His background as a teacher, school principal and superintendent of schools provided a strong foundation for his work in Congress.  Congressman Bill, known as the "Father of Even Start," served Pennsylvania's 19th Congressional district, including Adams, Cumberland, and York Counties, for 26 years.  Although he served on several Congressional committees, he is most remembered for his work as Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Prior to his retirement from Congress in 2001, Bill helped establish the Goodling Institute for Research in Family Literacy in the College of Education at Penn State and he served as Chairman of the Board of Advisors.

Representative Goodling passed away, on September 17, 2017.

Where is the Goodling Institute located?

The Goodling Institute, housed within The Pennsylvania State University's College of Education, works collaboratively with the College's Institute for the Study of Adult Literacy and the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) in Louisville, Kentucky. Operating funds for the Goodling Institute are available through an endowment established at Penn State through a $6 million federal appropriation.

The Goodling Institute
405 Keller Building
University Park, PA  16802
Phone:  814-865-5876