Professional Development Schools (PDS)are collaborative institutions formed through partnerships between college/university professional education programs and P-12 schools. The focal charge of the collaborative is authentic professional preparation of candidates (at all levels and in all programs); university and P-12 school faculty development; beginning, novice, and experienced teacher support; action/inquiry based research aimed at the improvement of professional practice; and improved student achievement. PDSs may be in challenging settings, they may have complex missions, but ultimately they are learning environments that support candidate and faculty development in a context of meeting all students’ needs.
What is the context of our Partnership?
The concept of PDSs has grown out of a long-term emphasis of professional education preparation that is collaborative and interdisciplinary in nature through general education, strong content preparation in academic majors, and professional education that is field-based. The candidates in professional education programs as well as novice and experienced professional in schools must increasingly engage in complex and diverse teaching situations. A PDS provides the opportunities to for educational professionals at all levels and in all positions to build both theoretical knowledge and gain practical experience as they learn from and work with university and school-based professionals.