Professional Development Schools

What is a Professional Development School? (National Council on the Accreditation of Teachers)

Professional development schools (PDSs) are innovative institutions formed through partnerships between professional education programs and P–12 schools. PDS partnerships have a four-fold mission:

  • the preparation of new teachers,
  • faculty development,
  • inquiry directed at the improvement of practice, and
  • enhanced student achievement.

PDSs improve both the quality of teaching and student learning.

PDSs are often compared to teaching hospitals, which are also hybrid institutions created in the early twentieth century. As practicing professions, both teaching and medicine require a sound academic program and intense clinical preparation. The teaching hospital was designed to provide such clinical preparation for medical students and interns; PDSs serve the same function for teacher candidates and in-service faculty. Both settings provide support for professional learning in a real-world setting in which practice takes place.

Five Defining Characteristics of PDSs (National Council on the Accreditation of Teachers)

  • Standard I: Learning Community—Addresses the unique environment created in a PDS partnership that supports both professional and children’s learning.
  • Standard II: Accountability and Quality Assurance—Addresses the responsibility of a PDS partnership to uphold professional standards for teaching and learning.
  • Standard III: Collaboration—Addresses the development and implementation of a unique university/school community which shares responsibility across institutional boundaries.
  • Standard IV: Equity and Diversity— Addresses the responsibility of the PDS partnership to prepare professionals to meet the needs of diverse learners
  • Standard V: Structures, Resources and Roles—Addresses the infrastructure that a PDS partnerships uses and/or creates to support its work.

See the NCATE Website for more information on Professional Development Schools.

The CSUF Department of Special Education has a variety of active collaborations with school districts:

    • Click for a larger pictureCountry Hills Elementary School
      Brea-Olinda Unified School District
      Emphasis: Behavior






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Page updated: March 19, 2013