Jo MacDonald

Research Projects

13 Feb 18
Completed
with: Ministry of Education: MoENew Zealand Council for Educational Research: NZCER categories: EvaluationSchools

The Principal Recruitment Allowance (PRA) is an allowance available to boards of trustees in schools which face significant challenges and have a principal vacancy. Its purpose is to attract principals who will provide highly effective management and instructional leadership. This formative evaluation seeks to understand how a programme is operating and inform decision making aimed at improvement.

25 Aug 17
Commissioned
with: Ministry of Education: MoENew Zealand Council for Educational Research: NZCER categories: EvaluationEducation & TrainingResilience

This is an evaluation of the MY FRIENDS Youth programme in New Zealand trial schools. The evaluation focused on whether the programme was implemented as intended, the progress made towards short-term outcomes, and whether the programme was a fit with the New Zealand educational and cultural context.

The evaluation was done for the Ministry of Education by NZCER in partnership with Associate Professor Roseanna Bourke from Victoria University of Wellington.

25 Aug 17
Completed
with: New Zealand Council for Educational Research: NZCER categories: ResearchEmployment & LabourEducation & TrainingHealthcare

This report presents findings from a research project focusing on a group of 21 apprentices undertaking the new Careerforce apprenticeship programme, the Level 4 New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing. These apprentices are among the first to embark on the apprenticeship programme. NZCER explored the following questions:

1. How does the apprenticeship programme contribute to work capability?
2. What value is added by the apprenticeship programme (e.g. work practice, confidence and career pathways, client confidence)?
3. What are the implications for workforce planning, learning support and pathways development? 

21 Jun 17
Completed
with: Ministry of Education: MoE categories: EvaluationTeachers

This is the final evaluation report of the Teach First NZ programme pilot, delivered in partnership with The University of Auckland. The Teach First NZ pilot programme is an alternative field-based Initial Teacher Education (ITE) two-year programme. The pilot programme operated between 2013 and 2016 with three annual intakes of up to 20 participants.

25 Aug 16
Completed
with: Ministry of Education: MoENew Zealand Council for Educational Research: NZCER categories: EvaluationTeachersSchools

This is the third annual evaluation report of the Teach First NZ programme pilot, delivered in partnership with the University of Auckland. It confirms that the Teach First NZ programme continues to be effectively and efficiently implemented. Teach First NZ and the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Education continue to find ways to strengthen the programme and to ensure it is well known and well supported. Participants are strong ambassadors for the programme, including the mission of reducing educational inequalities. Almost all participants have made a valued contribution in their school, have supported their students to engage and progress, and intend to stay in teaching, at least in the short-term.

11 Nov 15
Completed
with: Ministry of Education: MoE categories: EvaluationEmployment & LabourGrants, Funding, Contracts & FundraisingPedagogyPrimary EducationTeachersE-LearningInformation & Communications Technology

This report outlines findings from an evaluation of the first year of a pilot initiative called the Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy (hereafter MDTA). The Manaiakalani Education Trust and the schools within its network are described in Section 2 to provide a context for the initiative and the evaluation.

The MDTA pilot was conceived as a proactive response to a growing frustration from many school leaders in the Manaiakalani schools cluster. These schools have been working hard to transform their practice for the digital era. From their perspective, initial teacher education (ITE) programmes have not kept up with 21st century changes in education.

During 2014, 10 newly qualified beginning teachers (BTs) were each paired with a mentor teacher, working alongside each other in the same learning space. The aim was to support these first-year teachers to begin their teaching career working with the digital pedagogies their mentors already skilfully use, thus accelerating their progress to becoming the sorts of highly effective teachers needed by the schools in the cluster. In 2015—their second year of full-time teaching—the 10 BTs now have responsibility for their own group of students  but continue to work in the same school, with ongoing close support as needed.

A practical component was embedded within the programme by releasing the BTs on Wednesdays to enhance and extend their digital skills. In 2014 BTs and their mentors also attended The University of Auckland to take part in an academic programme of postgraduate study specifically designed to support the initiative. Most mentors are working towards an MEd qualification and BTs towards an Honours qualification in education. In 2015 most members of both groups are carrying out research projects initially devised as part of their 2014 learning.

11 Nov 15
Completed
with: Ministry of Education: MoE categories: EvaluationMonitoringPedagogyTeachersSchoolsTertiary EducationPolicy

This report is the second annual evaluation report for the Teach First NZ pilot programme. The first report focused on the programme’s first year, Cohort 13. This second report focuses on Year 2 for Cohort 13 and Year 1 for Cohort 14.

This 2014 evaluation confirms that, in general, the Teach First NZ programme has been implemented effectively and efficiently, and that it has benefited rather than suffered from doubling in size. Feedback from 2013 has provided the base from which to improve the programme in 2014. Teach First NZ and the University of Auckland's Faculty of Education continue to find ways to strengthen the programme and to ensure it is well known and well supported. Participants are very strong ambassadors for the programme, including the mission of reducing educational inequalities, and for secondary teaching in New Zealand. Almost all participants have achieved highly, have supported their students to do well, including in NCEA, and intend to stay in teaching at least in the short term.

Key success elements of the Teach First NZ programme are:

  • the robust selection process resulting in high-calibre participants
  • the responsiveness of the programme, in part made possible because of the small size of the programme, but also a consequence of the robust partnership between Teach First NZ and the Faculty of Education (hereafter referred to as the Teach First NZ partnership)
  • effective support and mentoring for participants from the school and partnership personnel
  • immersion in the classroom, coupled with opportunities for participants' critical reflection on themselves and their teaching.

The successful implementation of all these elements is critical for an employment-based programme. While there is variability in the way these elements play out, particularly in relation to mentoring and in-school support, in combination they provide a powerful platform for this model of an alternative pathway into secondary teaching.

06 Nov 15
Completed
with: Ministry of Education: MoE categories: EvaluationConflict & Conflict ResolutionEducation & TrainingPedagogyPrimary EducationTeachers

This report summarises the findings from case studies of seven schools that are part of the Positive Behaviour for Learning School-Wide (PB4L-SW) initiative. Schools were selected for their effective practice. In this report, commonalities and differences in practice are summarised, and key themes are illustrated by short narratives from the schools. The report also discusses the contribution PB4L-SW is making towards change at the schools. The main audiences for this report are schools and Ministry of Education staff who provide support and training to schools.