Mickey MacDonald: Teacher Researcher Par Excellence

May 9, 2019

Fourteen years of engaging in teacher research and ten years of spearheading P.K. Yonge’s teacher research efforts through teacher inquiry make Dr. Mickey MacDonald the perfect candidate for the first Dennison Teacher Research Excellence Award at P.K. Yonge.

MacDonald’s commitment to teacher research began in her own classroom. “For a science teacher like me, engaging in research as pathway to improving outcomes for students was intriguing” said MacDonald. Historically, the teaching profession has been invested in continuous improvement with schools engaging in many different methods to help teachers improve their knowledge and skill. Teacher Inquiry, originally introduced to MacDonald and the P.K. Yonge campus by the College of Education’s Dr. Nancy Dana, provides a way for teachers to drive their own growth and impact school improvement efforts on their own campuses.

According to MacDonald, “Teacher inquiry provides a framework for teachers to systematically study questions and impact how students experience school.” The system relies on teachers identifying and refining questions emerging from their own classrooms, engaging in systematic investigation of those questions, and proposing solutions. Inquiry projects often become long-term research efforts for faculty and address a broad range of questions including those focused on equity, engagement, technology, assessment, among others.

Now a veteran “Teacher Inquirer,” MacDonald continues to lead teacher research efforts at P.K. Yonge and mentors teachers new to the inquiry process. With a doctoral degree, fourteen years of research, and co-chairing the Teacher as Researcher committee for the American Educational Research Association, MacDonald is a living example of a teacher researcher committed to continuous improvement.

This kind of commitment to continuous improvement and educational research shores up P.K. Yonge’s efforts to enact its mission to serve as an incubator for innovations in K12 education for the state of Florida and beyond. The Dennison Teacher Researcher Award, recently awarded to Mickey MacDonald and the Dennison Teacher Research Outstanding Manuscript Award to be awarded in the fall are reviewed and selected by the University of Florida’s College of Education Awards Committee. These awards recognize individual faculty commitment to the mission of the school, partnership with the College of Education, and educational improvement for the state and beyond.

Dennison Awards:
Dennison Teacher Researcher Excellence Award
Dennison Teacher Research Outstanding Manuscript Award

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