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Understanding the Whole Child: The Power of a PDS
Unformatted Document Text:  Understanding the Whole Child: The Power of a PDS Partnership Section I: Content A. Statement of the Issue: Traditionally teacher preparation programs have tended to be disconnected from authentic school-based contexts (Zimpher & Howey, 2005). This problem tends to be intensified and more pervasive in high need urban schools. One promising remedy to this problem is the collaboration of schools and universities in the form of Professional Development Schools (PDS). Professional Development Schools are innovative institutions formed through partnerships between professional education programs and P–12 schools. Since January 2003, our university has collaborated as a PDS with one local urban school district. This PDS partnership involves two dimensions that fundamentally alter our approach to teacher preparation. First, we apply a wide-ranging and holistic approach to educating students in high need schools. This approach addresses the physical, social, emotional, familial, as well as intellectual development of students. Secondly, in order to support the holistic approach, a comprehensive collaborative framework is being built within and across institutions. B. Literature Review Collaborative relationships between institutions of teacher preparation and elementary schools, such as Professional Development Schools, have been suggested for several years (Holmes, 1986). Some members of the educational community feel that the process of current teacher education is not appropriate because of the gap between theory learned at the university and practical applications in the elementary schools. Implementation of the PDS model requires a change at the core of educational philosophy. Parallels have been drawn between Professional Development Schools and teaching hospitals. In this model, the role of the hospital is to provide clinical preparation in which education takes place through inquiry and a focus on client (student) needs (Tietel, 2003). This type of relationship requires significant commitment on the part of both partners in the collaboration, which is in opposition to the way teacher education programs are currently structured. Traditionally, teacher preparation programs are university driven, with little feedback or input from local schools. PDSs challenge partners to look at teacher preparation through a much more collaborative role. Perhaps a version of an old African proverb would be appropriate to describe the philosophy of the PDS: “It takes a village to train a teacher. It takes the whole educational community to prepare our effective teachers for the twenty-first century” (Chance, 2000, preface). In addition to improvement in the teacher education programs, PDSs are expected to lead to greater student learning because of the collaborative inquiry and research going on to determine best instructional practices. Teitel (2003) asserts that PDSs support student learning because they can benefit from offerings such as programs and services provided

Authors: Gambro, John., Nelson, Catherine. and Benish, Amy.
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Understanding the Whole Child: The Power of a PDS Partnership
Section I: Content
A.
Statement of the Issue:
Traditionally teacher preparation programs have tended to be disconnected from
authentic school-based contexts (Zimpher & Howey, 2005). This problem tends to be
intensified and more pervasive in high need urban schools. One promising remedy to this
problem is the collaboration of schools and universities in the form of Professional
Development Schools (PDS). Professional Development Schools are innovative
institutions formed through partnerships between professional education programs and P–
12 schools.
Since January 2003, our university has collaborated as a PDS with one local urban school
district. This PDS partnership involves two dimensions that fundamentally alter our
approach to teacher preparation. First, we apply a wide-ranging and holistic approach to
educating students in high need schools. This approach addresses the physical, social,
emotional, familial, as well as intellectual development of students. Secondly, in order to
support the holistic approach, a comprehensive collaborative framework is being built
within and across institutions.
B.
Literature Review
Collaborative relationships between institutions of teacher preparation and elementary
schools, such as Professional Development Schools, have been suggested for several
years (Holmes, 1986). Some members of the educational community feel that the
process of current teacher education is not appropriate because of the gap between theory
learned at the university and practical applications in the elementary schools.
Implementation of the PDS model requires a change at the core of educational
philosophy. Parallels have been drawn between Professional Development Schools and
teaching hospitals. In this model, the role of the hospital is to provide clinical preparation
in which education takes place through inquiry and a focus on client (student) needs
(Tietel, 2003).
This type of relationship requires significant commitment on the part of both partners in
the collaboration, which is in opposition to the way teacher education programs are
currently structured. Traditionally, teacher preparation programs are university driven,
with little feedback or input from local schools. PDSs challenge partners to look at
teacher preparation through a much more collaborative role. Perhaps a version of an old
African proverb would be appropriate to describe the philosophy of the PDS: “It takes a
village to train a teacher. It takes the whole educational community to prepare our
effective teachers for the twenty-first century” (Chance, 2000, preface).
In addition to improvement in the teacher education programs, PDSs are expected to lead
to greater student learning because of the collaborative inquiry and research going on to
determine best instructional practices. Teitel (2003) asserts that PDSs support student
learning because they can benefit from offerings such as programs and services provided


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