Developing a More Systematic Approach to Professional Development School Partnerships: The Case of PDS Efforts at a Large Urban University

Developing a More Systematic Approach to Professional Development School Partnerships: The Case of PDS Efforts at a Large Urban University

Drew Polly (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA), Melba Spooner (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA) and Marvin Chapman (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8632-8.ch023
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In this chapter, the authors describe the growth and development of a Professional Development School network between a large urban university and its school partners. This partnership included a variety of grade levels, ranging from Pre-Kindergarten through High School (PK-12). This chapter provides a historical overview, decisions that shaped the current status of PDS partnerships, and provides implications for systematic approaches to PDS partnerships.
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Professional developments schools are innovative institutions formed through partnerships between professional education programs and P–12 schools (NCATE, 2001, p. 1).

Professional Development School Partnerships have developed from long-running recommendations for educator preparation programs to systematically collaborate with PK-12 school partners (NCATE, 2001; The Holmes Group, 1986, 1990). These partnerships have mutual benefits to both teacher preparation programs and PK-12 schools, including rich practicum and research settings for Colleges and Universities, and for PK-12 schools to benefit from the expertise and knowledge base provided by university education professors (NCATE, 2001).

In their Standards for Professional Development Schools document, NCATE (2001) wrote: “Educators in both schools and universities point to the gap between research and practice, and to the poor articulation between professional preparation and the real world of school reform. P–12 and university educators seek to develop the linkages that allow universities and schools to benefit from the relationship that is created between them. ” They go on to talk about the mutual problem solving process that both university and PK-12 faculty can participate in as they share their expertise through collaborative projects.

Further, the new Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Standards (CAEP, 2013, p. 6) provide a call for teacher education programs to continue to leverage Professional Development School partnerships to provide “high-quality clinical practice are central to preparation so that candidates develop the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to demonstrate positive impact on all PK-12 students’ learning and development.”


The Nine Essentials Of Professional Development Schools

Seeing a need to delineate and provide further structure about what constitutes Professional Development Schools, the National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS, 2008) wrote a document entitled What it means to be a professional development school. This document details the essential components of PDS partnerships. Below we list the nine essential characteristics that NAPDS outlined in that document.

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