K-12 schools for teacher preparation and school renewal.
Such collaborative arrangements adhere to several important principles:
They offer learning programs for diverse populations of students;
They ground preparation for novice teachers in classroom practice;
They articulate and establish consensus about professional goals and responsibilities for experienced educators; and
Many conduct research that adds to educators’ knowledge about how to make schools more effective and productive (Holmes Group, 1990).
These collaborative movements were established on the premise that a student’s education should be viewed as an integrated continuum from preschool through university. When viewed in this light, significant improvement in any one part of the educational system in isolation can be seen as unlikely to have much effect on improving education in general unless concomitant improvements are made throughout the system. Thus, improvement in K-12 schools cannot be expected until the preparation of teachers and administrators improves at the university level. In turn, even the best teachers and administrators cannot be sustained professionally until the system becomes more effective in providing high-quality professional development and empowering those who have primary responsibility for educating children. Simultaneous and coordinated feedback and renewal are essential components of this movement (Goodlad, 1994).
An effective PDS, therefore, is much more than a collection of people in a building. “It entails an attitude, a perspective, a professional predisposition that releases educators to share what they know and to improve the teaching of students and the preparation of future educators” (Richardson, 1994). Participation in a PDS collaboration involves willingness by all of the partners to question old habits and new trends in education and to suggest different ways of reaching current and future goals. Professional Development Schools have become laboratories for observation, experimentation, and extended practice. A PDS can be a site where teachers, students, and university faculty create new knowledge and experiment with, evaluate, and revise practices. Ultimately, the PDS concept embodies a commitment to do what is necessary to ensure that all students (K-16) become engaged learners.
Like student learning, teacher education also is an extremely complex process. PDS collaborations encourage educators to restructure teacher education systemically rather than through a