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- Postgraduate Diploma in Social Sector Evaluation (Distinction)
- MA in Education (first class)
- Diploma of Teaching (Primary)
Jo is a Senior Researcher at NZCER. She has a keen interest and expertise in policy and programme evaluation across diverse contexts. In recent years much of her work has been in the area of initial teacher education and early career teaching. A common thread is how people (particularly teachers) are prepared for and supported to do their work through initial and ongoing training, mentoring, and communities of practice.
Jo has expertise in evaluation methodologies. She enjoys working with clients to meet their evaluation needs, and using mixed-methods to answer evaluation and research questions. Jo's research interests are wide-ranging, and at NZCER she has worked on projects in the areas of school leadership, early career teachers, NCEA, special education, prison education, and student health and wellbeing. In addition to her role as a senior researcher and evaluator, Jo leads NZCER's coordination of the Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI), a contestable research fund that NZCER manages for the Ministry of Education. Jo is on the review panel for the Margaret Blackwell Fellowship.
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