Beyond the classroom: Next steps in teacher professional development that are creating mutually beneficial relationships in Professional Development School partnerships
Creating opportunities for teachers to take their expertise beyond their own individual classrooms is a logical next step in a teacher s professional development program. To achieve this, Colleges of Education and their school partners must be able to create mutually benefical relationships that allow each partner to gain meaningful benefits from the process. To better understand the benefits of this process, we explore how one College of Education and a complex of schools formed a unique Complex-wide Professional Development School (PDS) partnership to help create the next generation of educators. This unique partnership serves all stakeholders in the PDS - the University, seven partner schools (five elementary, one Intermediate and one high school), the in-service teachers, and the pre-service teacher candidates. This PD model recognizes and values all stakeholders expertise and invites each individual to grow professionally by taking advantage of the opportunities provided to them. All stakeholders in the Complex-wide PDS partnership possess distinct skills and talents. Tapping into and utilizing the unique characteristics that each person brings to our collaborative endeavor creates a synergy that exponentially strengthens what our partnership can achieve. Teaching is ever-evolving and requires a philosophical approach that allows individuals to incorporate new ideas and theories that align with their core ideas and values. To help all educators develop this philosophical approach, we used focused reflection and ongoing inquiry to develop the skills necessary to engage in meaningful practices that allow teacher candidates to see these theories put into action. Stakeholders in this mutually beneficial Complex-wide PDS partnership are afforded opportunities for ongoing professional development. Opportunities, which span the classroom to the community, can take many forms and include such things as mentoring and teaching university courses to teacher candidates, sharing information with local, national, and international audiences via publications and presentations, etc. Educators involved in our Complex Wide PDS partnership take on many different roles as agents of change, mentors, role models, and university instructors. These roles, once clearly defined, are now blurred, with participants on all sides working in situations that cross over into one another s formerly well-defined territory. With this blurring comes change and uncertainty as many of the roles and responsibilities are relatively new. The best view of these changes comes from those who are directly participating - the teacher candidates, mentors, administrators and university faculty, who will share what they believe make successful educators. As each stakeholder in the Complex-wide PDS has input into how it functions, the way that people who contribute to the success of the PDS reflect on, revise, and refine their practice is essential to the ongoing success and future growth of the partnership
Yoshioka, J., Fulton, L. A., Nakamura, C., Fukunaga, E., Levine, A. J., Yu, W. E., & Matsumoto, V. S. (2018). Beyond the classroom: Next steps in teacher professional development that are creating mutually beneficial relationships in Professional Development School partnerships. Presented at the meeting of the Japan-United States Teacher Education Consortium (JUSTEC), Osaka, Japan.