What is a PDS?

WHAT IS PDS (Professional Development School)?

In 2012, SUNY Cortland’s School of Education established a Professional Development School (PDS) to develop formal partnerships with regional childcare centers and public schools to support meaningful and authentic approaches to preparing tomorrow’s teachers while simultaneously promoting current teachers’ professional development and enhancing p-12 students’ learning outcomes.

The Professional Development School (PDS) partnership between the School of Education and participating schools necessitates collaboration among college faculty, P-12 school administrators and teachers, and teacher candidates to promote:

  1. P-12 students’ learning outcomes
  2. Effective mentoring of teacher candidates
  3. Shared professional development opportunities
  4. Ongoing innovation in educational policy and best practices in administration, teaching and learning.

Our PDS is designed to provide teacher candidates with one-on-one mentoring opportunities with inservice teachers and childcare center providers so prospective teachers can become comfortable and competent working in professional environments, understanding school culture and facilitating student learning.

 As a member of the National Association for Professional Development Schools, (www.NAPDS.org), the School of Education and participating PDS schools and childcare centers are committed continuous improvement of faculty and pre-service teachers through inquiry-based initiatives. Our work is aligned to the NAPDS 9 Essentials and our PDS activities are designed to work toward reaching the essentials (NAPDS, 2018):

  1. A comprehensive mission that is broader in its outreach and scope than the mission of any partner and that furthers the education profession and its responsibility to advance equity within schools and, by potential extension, the broader community;
  2. A school–university culture committed to the preparation of future educators that embraces their active engagement in the school community;
  3. Ongoing and reciprocal professional development for all participants guided by need;
  4. A shared commitment to innovative and reflective practice by all participants;
  5. Engagement in and public sharing of the results of deliberate investigations of practice by respective participants;
  6. An articulation agreement developed by the respective participants delineating the roles and responsibilities of all involved;
  7. A structure that allows all participants a forum for ongoing governance, reflection, and collaboration;
  8. Work by college/university faculty and P–12 faculty in formal roles across institutional settings; and
  9. Dedicated and shared resources and formal rewards and recognition structures.

All three departments in the School of Education currently maintain 20 PDS partnerships throughout the central New York area.