Professional Development School (PDS)State College Area School District — Penn State College of EducationThe State College Area School District and Penn State University PDS program began as a small collaboration in 1997 with 13 interns and 13 mentor teachers in two buildings. Through the years, it has grown and the program now includes interns and mentor teachers learning together in all of the district's schools.
The idea of professional development schools was born out of a belief that colleges of education and schools should be working together to create a new model of teacher preparation and a better model of professional development for all veteran educators. In essence the blending of educational theory and the wisdom of practice should provide student interns with a better contextual framework as well as providing veteran educators at both the K-12 and university levels a better way to further their own growth.
Over the past 20 years the PDS movement has flourished and grown and now over 1,000 universities and colleges of education collaborate with schools to form PDS sites. Two national organizations have emerged from the growing interest in PDS work: The National Association of Professional Development Schools (NAPDS), and The National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER). Both support the work of PDS sites and help disseminate information and research pertinent to their work. You will be pleased to learn that our interns and teachers have presented at both conferences.