The Professional Development Schools (PDS) Partnership between the School of Education and the Teacher Education Unit (TEU) at SUNY Buffalo State and participating schools is a collaborative effort. The partnership is dedicated to college faculty, school administrators, practicing teachers, and teacher candidates exploring effective practices to:
(a) cooperatively mentor teacher candidates and provide close connections to authentic classroom practice;
(b) promote shared professional development for all constituents;
(c) impact student learning; and
(d) research innovative and best educational practices.
College faculty, school administrators, and practicing teachers deliberate on how to cooperatively supervise pre-service teachers and provide closer connections to classroom practice, promote professional development for in-service teachers, improve student learning, and research educational practice for school reform.
Critical aspects of our program involve creating and maintaining a collaborative community partnership with urban, suburban, and rural school districts; collaboratively identifying, developing, and refining practices that promote student achievement; supporting initial preparation and continuing professional development for teachers and other school based educators; and supporting teacher inquiry to improve pupil and educator development. This is accomplished while Elementary Education, Exceptional Education, Secondary Education, and Content majors gain a variety of experiences, ranging from classroom observation and tutoring to methods and student teaching placements at established PDS sites.
The Professional Development Schools Consortium is a network of many partnerships. PDS partners include schools where the school and SUNY Buffalo State personnel work in concert to facilitate high levels of learning by all students. PDS Partners also include colleges which are jointly registered with Buffalo State. As such, NCCC is an active member in the Consortium. The Consortium also teams with several organizations that promote excellence in education within Buffalo State - the Center for Excellence in Urban and Rural Education (CEURE), and Project Flight - and across Western New York.
TEUPAC, the PDS Advisory Board and governing body of the Consortium, meets 6-7 times per year.
The PDS model at Buffalo State follows the standards established by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (2001) and the NAPDS Nine Essentials (2008), and NCATE'S Report of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Clinical Preparation and Partnerships (2010).
At SUNY Buffalo State the Teacher Education Unit has many schools and centers that participate in our partnerships at various stages of PDS involvement. For instance the Department of Elementary Education and Reading has established partnerships with over 45 schools to house our PDS Methods courses and student teaching cohorts each semester. The Exceptional Education and Content Area Education departments also have PDS schools to support their programs. Student teaching is offered at locations across WNY, with some placements available in the New York City area. Teacher Candidates in all educator preparation programs can be placed in urban, suburban and/or rural situations, giving them the opportunity to experience a variety of settings for maximum learning potential.