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.
The CSUF Department of Special Education has a variety of active collaborations with school districts:
- Foothill Ranch Elementary School
Saddleback Unified Unified School District
- Jewish Community Center
Costa Mesa, Ca
Emphasis: Preschool Inclusion
- Mariposa Elementary School
Brea-Olinda Unified School District
- Scott Avenue Elementary School
East Whittier Unified School District
- Sunset Lane Elementary School
Fullerton School District
Emphasis: Strategy Instruction and Collaboration