Joseph P. McDonald
Professor of Teaching and Learning
Phone: 212 998 5447
Joe McDonald is Professor of Teaching and Learning at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University, where he teaches in the English Education program, chairs the cross-school teacher education faculty committee, and is a faculty affiliate of the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools (Metro Center). He is the author or co-author of nine books about teaching and schooling. The latest is American School Reform: What Works, What Fails, and Why (University of Chicago Press, 2014). It examines twenty years of school reform in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and the Bay Area. Others include The Power of Protocols (Teachers College Press, third edition, 2013), Going Online with Protocols: New Tools for Teaching and Learning (Teachers College Press, 2012), and Going to Scale with New School Designs: Reinventing High School (Teachers College Press, 2009). His writing in general is both scholarly and practical - for example, a fall 2014 contribution with colleagues to the Peabody Journal of Education's special issue on school-university partnerships, and a an October 2014 contribution with former student Daniel Hudder to a Kappan issue on classroom management.
McDonald's current research (funded by the Spencer Foundation under the auspices of the Research Alliance for New York City) is a study of teachers' use of data in eight New York schools. His collaborators are Susan Neuman, James Kemple, Carolyn Strom, and Dana Karin. With Pedro Noguera, he leads an effort funded by the Wilner-Bloomgarden Family Foundation and the NYU McSilver Institute to design a partnership aimed at using the learning capital of the university to address the impact of poverty on education in New York and elsewhere.
McDonald is the co-founder of the NYU Partnership School program, a collaboration in teacher education among NYU and 24 schools located mostly in poverty-impacted neighborhoods of Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn. He is the Director of the Metro Learning Communities Program at NYU's Metro Center, which provides leadership development courses and coaching for educators. And he is also a member of the Board of the Great Oaks Charter School of New York City.
For many years, McDonald was a high school English teacher as well as a high school principal. He has been co-editor of the Series on School Reform at Teachers College Press since 1994 - a series that has produced more than sixty books to date. He holds a Doctorate in Education and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Harvard University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Scranton. Before coming to NYU, he taught at Brown University where he led the teacher education program in English and served as the first Director of Research at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, as well as Senior Researcher for the Coalition of Essential Schools. McDonald has been at NYU/Steinhardt since 1998, and has served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and also as Associate Dean for Community and Global Initiatives.
- Ralph W. Tyler Lecturer, Lesley University, 2012
- Member of the NY State Academy of Teaching and Learning
- Spencer Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship
- Outstanding Teacher Award, Bush Educational Leaders Program
- Community Service Award, New York University
- Finis and Engleman Award, American Association of School Administrators
- Community Service Award, University Neighborhood High School
Administration, Planning, and Social Policy
University of Scranton
Research and Teaching Interests
Three threads are prominent in McDonald's work as researcher, writer, teacher, and leader: (1) a focus on educational reform (of schooling, teaching, and teacher education); (2) a quest to understand, describe, and improve practice (especially the practice of teachers and of educational leaders); and (3) a deep interest in what Seymour Sarason called "the creation of new settings" (for example, new schools, new networks, and new partnerships).
Metro Learning Communities in 2014
A description of the activities of the MLC(view)
Autonomy and Accountability in New York City School Reform
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA, April 2009 (view)
School-University Partnerships: Power of Complementarity
Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA, April 2009(view)
Leading while reforming: The ethical obligation to destroy, construct, connect
2012 Ralph W. Tyler Lecture at Lesley University, July 25, 2012(view)