Professional development schools (PDSs) are innovative organizations formed through partnerships between teacher education programs and pre-K–12 schools. Through clinically rich practices, the goal of PDS is the development of a mutually beneficial partnership that leverages the resources of both the university and schools/community agencies to recruit, educate, retain, and support high quality educators and serve the needs of P-12 learners.
The concept of PDS grew out of efforts in the 1980s and 1990s to reform teacher education and to restructure schools. The Holmes Group, an organization of the deans of schools of education in research universities committed to the reform of teacher education, recommended in 1990 the creation of professional development schools to provide intensive clinical preparation to teacher candidates and create a bridge between university and school.
The SUNY Buffalo State PDS is a large consortium of over 60 certification programs including early childhood, childhood, secondary, special education as well as P-12 programs such as art and music. The Buffalo State PDS partners with over 100 schools/community agencies with approximately 45 signed formal agreements each semester in Western New York, New York City, Texas, and across five continents. A unique feature of the Buffalo State PDS is its international program (IPDS). In recent years, the local interests of Buffalo and Western New York have become global as the number of immigrant and refugee children enrolling in our partner schools has increased and the number of languages spoken rose to over 80. Using the strength of the clinically rich practice systems in place, IPDS was created to provide teacher candidates, school partners, and teacher education faculty with opportunities for short-term, faculty-led, study away programs to explore language learning, compare educational systems, and expand our understanding of schooling.
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.
The SUNY Buffalo State Professional Development Schools Consortium is guided by clinically rich frameworks, including the National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS) Nine Essentials, CAEP Standards for Excellence in Educator Preparation, and SUNY Buffalo State TEU Conceptual Framework.
The SUNY Buffalo State PDS is governed by TEUPAC (Teacher Education Unit Professional Advisory Council) which meets 3-4 times annually to guide the direction of our PDS. Members of TEUPAC represent all stakeholders across the PDS including district/building leaders, classroom teachers, teacher candidates, and teacher education faculty. At the school-based level, Liaison Committees meet to make placement decisions, discuss how to use the PDS agreement stipend, and problem solve. The group consists of the principal, a mentor teacher, and the college faculty to represent the various stakeholder groups. To view the meeting minutes from most recent years:
The PDS Consortium holds four regular meetings each year, located at PDS sites across WNY. To view the meeting minutes from most recent years, visit the PDS Consortium page.
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