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- Postgraduate Diploma in Social Sector Evaluation (Distinction)
- MA in Education (first class)
- Diploma of Teaching (Primary)
Jo has a keen interest and expertise in policy and programme evaluation and is one of NZCER’s lead evaluators. Since 2019 she has led a growing portfolio of evaluation focused on financial capability programmes for Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission. Jo is experienced with using diverse evaluation methodologies,and applying evaluative reasoning to reach evaluative judgements. In either research or evaluation contexts, she particularly enjoys building strong, productive relationships with clients.
Jo's research interests are wide-ranging, and her ability to quickly adapt to new contexts is a strength. At NZCER she has worked on projects in the areas of financial capability, professional learning and development, school leadership, early career teachers, NCEA, special education, and student health and wellbeing. For many years, Jo led NZCER's coordination of the Teaching and Learning Research Initiative, a contestable research fund that NZCER manages for the Ministry of Education.
Jo has over 25 years’ experience in education and educational research, including a decade working in research and evaluation in the government sector in New Zealand and Scotland.
Bourke, R., MacDonald, J., Lucas, M., Williams, J., & Sheerin, M. (2018). Enriching the wellbeing of young adolescents in secondary school. In J. Berman & J. MacArthur (Eds), Student Perspectives on School. Informing Inclusive Practice (pp. 177–196). Leiden: Brill Sense.
Boyd, S., MacDonald, J., Stevens, E., & Felgate, R. (2017). Reviewing the game plan: What can be learnt from the first year of Play.sport? Wellington: Sport New Zealand. Available at: http://www.sportnz.org.nz/assets/Uploads/NZCER-Reviewing-the-game-plan-FINAL.pdf
Whatman, J., & MacDonald, J. (2017). High quality practica and the integration of theory and practice in initial teacher education. A literature review prepared for the Education Council. Wellington: NZCER. Available at https://educationcouncil.org.nz/sites/default/files/Practica_Review_Full_Report.pdf
MacDonald, J., Bourke, R., Berg, M., & Burgon, J. (2015). My FRIENDS Youth final evaluation report: Report to the Ministry of Education. Wellington: Ministry of Education. Available at http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/special_education/its-like-trying-to-make-us-better-people
Research projects that I am currently leading:
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