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Research and Innovation

In a climate where there is a growing need to improve the standards of teaching and learning in Jamaica and the Caribbean, research has taken on increased significance in guiding sound decision making and problem solving. The Mico University College, which has a longstanding legacy of excellence and innovation in teacher education is committed not just to the education of quality teachers but to the advancement of our nation and region by encouraging and supporting quality research practices that have the potential to lead to innovations in teaching and learning through the identification, implementation and evaluation of best practices.

The goal of offering quality education and professional development and its commitment to the advancement of spiritual, moral and cultural upliftment are in tandem with its rich and noble tradition. Given its strategic location in the nation's capital and its historical heritage, The Mico is poised to become a model that will epitomize the network that links tertiary institutions committed to teacher training.

Mico's motto "Do it with thy might" embraces the time-honoured tradition of hard work and unstinted devotion. With its early reputation of being the "poor man's university" the graduates of this noble institution are garnered from every strata of society and continue to serve in Jamaica, the Caribbean and the wider world. In this technological age, The Mico is equipping faculty and students with the skills to face the challenges of a complex yet exciting global village.

The Mico has consistently participated in several activities which are critical to advancing a culture of research between and amongst faculty and students. In addition to hosting our annual Research Day, the University College has taken strategic steps to ensure that research activities are consistently integrated into the life of the college – both in policy and practice. One of the steps which has been taken, is the development of the Institute of Educational and Technological Research (ITER) – an institute dedicated to coordinating, guiding and supporting research projects across the college.

In addition to ITER, The Mico has supported the development of The Caribbean Centre of Excellence in Mathematics Teaching (CCEMaT) a research institute dedicated to the research in the teaching and learning of mathematics. CCEMaT has been developed in conjunction with the Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching a mathematics education institute at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom.

Not satisfied with the adequacy of these innovations, The Mico has sought to rename and re-purpose the Science Learning Centre to the Centre of Excellence in Science Teaching and Research (CSTaR) so that it is not designed to focus on promoting research in science teaching and learning.

The Mico University College Child Assessment and Research in Education (CARE) Centre and the Graduate School of Education represent other significant institutional pillars of the research infrastructure at the Mico. Recognized for its path breaking contributions to applied research and as the pre-eminent regional Centre for diagnostic assessment and measurement of student achievement in areas of reading and learning, CARE continues to be consulted by nearly all governments in the region. . Its research products and diagnostic work influence both education policy and content of books and literature used throughout the English speaking Caribbean. Apart from designing tests to determine not only the reading level of a child, but also the strengths and weaknesses in the child's reading performance, CARE's work also addresses specific learning needs of each child. Its diagnostic instruments advise assessors on intervention/remediation/training strategies and have served as models for partner institutions such as the University of the West Indies. CARE has recently embarked upon a research project which would facilitate in-depth testing of reading of 850 children in the primary and lower secondary grades in Jamaica and six other Caribbean Islands.

Faculty and students in the Graduate School of Education generate meaningful research-based activities and products. The School is also mandated to assist in laying the foundation towards building research capability and sustainability by ensuring that graduate and undergraduate students are exposed to basic and advanced studies in Research Methods, Academic Writing and Discourse Analysis.

Altogether then, the research infrastructure and agenda at the Mico draw on the collective assets and activities of its Institutes, Schools and Departments, working within an inter-disciplinary matrix. The central focus is on policy-relevant research, issues and services. The overall research mandate is also implicitly and explicitly expressed in the mission and vision of the College: (i) According to the mission the College seeks to "…support national and regional development through well-educated populations by equipping local, regional and international students with the required Teacher Education knowledge, skills, attitudes and values". (ii) The vision commits to "…developing critical thinkers and problem solvers who embrace life-long learning; contributing effectively to an improved quality of life at the personal, national and global levels and being financially sustainable".