This book offers a close-up, comprehensive look at the state of professional development schools in the United States today.
The vision of an ideal professional development school (PDS) is drawn from the best-known P-12 practices and optimum sites for preparing novice teachers. This "ideal" PDS would continually generate, test, and refine new knowledge and organizational structures.
This "ideal" PDS would also connect preservice and inservice educators with students in a learning organization that involves the community around it. Abdal-Haqq identifies these primary goals for professional development schools:
- Preparing new educators for service
- Providing ongoing professional development for educators in the field
- Guiding and encouraging exemplary practice to maximize student outcomes
- Applying reflective inquiry to improve student and educator development
Abdal-Haqq poses these questions regarding whether the PDS is performing its intended role in the U.S. today: Is the PDS succeeding in improving the curriculum, instruction, and structure of P-12 schools through professional development of educators? Is it making substantive, positive differences in the learning levels of students?
To find answers, the author examines substantial amounts of evidence from various sources: follow-up studies with teacher education graduates; collections of education student interviews; surveys with preservice teachers on attitudes, beliefs, and self-efficacy; reviews in student journals; and other personal narratives from preservice teachers.
Abdal-Haqq also investigates the important questions of time and money. She explores the kinds of additional fiscal and human resources necessary to start up and sustain a PDS.
This is an important book for educators interested in the future of professional development schools and how students as well as educators will benefit from them.
Sponsored by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education