Harrisburg – Taking a close look at Professional Development Schools, the Pennsylvania Academy for the Profession of Teaching and Learning has published a new book on how this unique model can enhance the quality of classroom teachers.
The new publication, titled Professional Development Schools: Enhancing Teacher Quality, is edited by Dr. Richard E. Ishler, distinguished d ean and professor emeritus at the University of South Carolina’s College of Education. It examines closely the role of professional development schools in teacher education.
Professional Development Schools are innovative institutions that are formed through partnerships between teacher preparation programs and PreK-12 schools to connect teacher training theory and practice. Their mission is professional preparation of new teachers, faculty development, inquiry directed at the improvement of practice and enhanced student learning.
“The various chapters of the book are written by university faculty and PreK-12 teachers and administrators who have been actively involved in establishing professional development schools throughout Pennsylvania,” said Dr. Stephen Pavlak, associate vice chancellor for school/university programs with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). “This important and ground breaking work has been supported by the Pennsylvania Academy for the Profession of Teaching and Learning.”
PASSHE operates the Academy on behalf of the Commonwealth.
All of the programs highlighted in the new publication are real examples of how professional development schools can be organized to reflect the national university-school partnerships and how the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Standards for Professional Development Schools can be used to plan, implement, sustain and evaluate successful partnerships.
The book is organized around NCATE’s five standards that address the characteristics of a professional development school: (1) learning community, (2) accountability and quality assurance, (3) collaboration, (4) equity and diversity, and (5) structures, resources and roles.
This publication is a resource for professional development school planners, university teacher preparation programs, PreK-12 schools, school boards and policymakers. It is available for purchase through the publisher at: http://www.rbs.org/catalog/pubs/pd76.php
To sustain current professional development schools and to support the development of new ones, the PA Academy for the Profession of Teaching and Learning has also developed a PDS Network to connect the PDS educators throughout the state of Pennsylvania . This Network also provides a forum for collaboration, reflective practice and sharing of best practices.
With more than 110,000 students, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. The 14 PASSHE universities offer degree and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study. Approximately 405,000 PASSHE alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.
The state-owned universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock, and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania. PASSHE also operates branch campuses in Clearfield, Freeport, Oil City and Punxsutawney and several regional centers, including the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg.