Locating Resources on Professional Development
Schools. ERIC Digest.
by Abdal-Haqq, Ismat
In the mid-1980s, professional development schools (PDSs) emerged as
a promising approach to simultaneously improving both teacher education
and P-12 schooling. PDSs are functioning schools that have three primary
missions: (1) maximizing student achievement; (2) providing a rigorous
clinical setting for the professional development of preservice and inservice
teachers; and (3) developing, testing, and refining effective practices
through applied research.
Pioneers in PDS development had little guidance from the education literature;
however, information about PDSs is now more abundant and more accessible.
Much of this increase can be attributed to the expansion of PDS-related
documents and journal articles in the ERIC database from less than 30 at
the end of 1990 to more than 200 by March 1996. While ERIC remains the
largest source of conventional literature on PDSs, exploring other sources
can also be productive. This digest looks at several categories of resources
that include PDS-related material. The discussion includes suggestions
for more productive ERIC searching, examples of electronic resources, locating
fugitive literature, and using information centers.
SEARCHING THE DATABASE
The ERIC database contains abstracts of more than 200 PDS-related resources
research reports, project descriptions, books, journal articles, handbooks,
directories, conference papers, and bibliographies. Following a few simple
guidelines will enable a searcher to more accurately and completely identify
*Use all relevant keywords, descriptors, and identifiers in your search.
Remember that other terms professional practice schools, clinical schools,
partner schools, and professional development centers are also used to
describe institutions that embody the professional development school concept
*Full-text searches may identify useful resources. For example, consider
the results of a menu-based search of the Dialog CD-ROM, 1983-March 1996
edition of the ERIC database. Using the ERIC Subject Headings professional
development schools, professional practice schools, clinical schools, and
partner schools to identify sources produced 220 records. However, when
a Words and Phrases search was done using the same terms, 263 sources were
identified. The first search was essentially a key word search in which
two fields, ERIC descriptors and ERIC identifiers, were searched. The second
search scanned titles, abstracts, and notes, as well as subject headings.
The ERIC database can be searched on World Wide Web (WWW) (http://ericir.syr.edu/Eric).
However, at present, the Web version of the database only includes records
added between 1991 and 1996. Also, searchers often find that they are not
able to conduct Internet searches with as much precision and refinement
as they can with CD-ROM or on-line versions of ERIC.
Internet and WWW PDS resources are not very plentiful at present, but
they are growing in number and offerings. These resources generally fall
into two categories interactive structures, which are designed to promote
collegial exchange and share information; and reference sites, which supply
documents, announcements, and links to other sites.
At least three listservs with a PDS focus have been formed over the
past few years. Subscribers pose questions and offer advice to colleagues;
announce conferences, new publications, and job openings; and post full-text
documents, which can be accessed and downloaded. To subscribe to these
listservs, contact each list directly at the e-mail address given below,
or request subscription procedures for all the lists from the Clinical
Schools Clearinghouse ([email protected]). Topics covered by the first
two listservs include all aspects of PDS work while the third focuses on
*PDS-NCREST, sponsored by the National Center for Restructuring Education,
Schools, and Teaching (Teachers College, Columbia University) contact:
*PDSnet, sponsored by the Chicago Teachers' Center
contact: [email protected] or [email protected]
*PDS-RES, sponsored by Johns Hopkins University
contact: [email protected]
WORLD WIDE WEB SITES
The following WWW sites provide information on professional development
schools and are examples of reference sites.
*Currently, the most extensive public access reference site is maintained
by the Clinical Schools Clearinghouse (CSC), which also functions as the
Adjunct ERIC Clearinghouse on Clinical Schools. Information includes: PDS
bibliographies, statistics, Internet resources, announcements, sample partnership
agreements, and the PDS Database data collection form. Links are given
to text files on the clearinghouse's gopher site, which offers a list of
CSC publications, a call for literature, and a statement of purpose. The
web site provides links to other PDS-related Internet sites and addresses,
as well as to full-text ERIC digests on PDS issues.
*The Regional Alliance Higher Education Reform Network maintains a public
access web site, which posts PDS-related messages received by Alliance
listservs. Messages thus far have ranged from short introductions to multi-page
program descriptions. URL= http://hub.terc.edu/ra/rns/ed-reform/postings/0423.html
Periodic searches of the WWW, using different search engines, may turn
up new Internet resources. In addition, Web sites frequently contain links
to related Internet resources.
LOCATING FUGITIVE LITERATURE
For a variety of reasons, PDS print and nonprint material may not routinely
find its way into the education literature mainstream. For example, a number
of PDS partnerships and networks produce newsletters that not only relate
the activities of the individuals or institutions that are a part of the
network or partnership but may also include thoughtful essays or discussions
of recent research. However, the major education and social sciences databases
do not routinely abstract and index newsletters; thus, this material does
not have the same exposure that exists for published reports, journal articles,
or even conference papers. Also, educators who work in PDS settings, particularly
school-based educators, sometimes publish articles and papers in regional
or state journals or conference proceedings that do not enjoy wide circulation.
Newsletters can be a good source of information about such material.
One strategy for locating newsletters, project descriptions, and other
material is to approach individual partnerships. To identify partnerships
and obtain contact information, begin with a PDS directory. The second
edition of Professional Development Schools: A Directory of Projects in
the United States (Abdal-Haqq, 1995), published by the Clinical Schools
Clearinghouse, contains information on more than 300 PDSs. Approximately
300 partner schools are members of the National Network for Educational
Renewal, and contact information can be found in the National Network for
Educational Renewal Partner School Directory (Clark, 1995), which is generally
revised annually. State networks often publish directories of the PDSs
in that state (Gottesman, Graham, & Nogy, 1993; Teitel & DelPrete,
1995). Finally, a number of organizations, information centers, and clearinghouses
can provide contact information on local and national PDS partnerships,
as well as other resources. A selected list is given below.
Clinical Schools Clearinghouse, AACTE, One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 610,
Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-2450, e-mail: [email protected]
The clearinghouse collects and abstracts PDS literature for the ERIC
database; disseminates information on PDSs; schedules workshops; conducts
research; publishes bibliographies, directories, digests, and other material
related to PDSs; and publishes the Clinical Schools Update, a periodic
insert, which appears in the AACTE newsletter, Briefs.
The Holmes Partnership, Office of the Dean, College of Education, The
Ohio State University, 127 Arps Hall, 1945 North High Street, Columbus,
OH 43210, (614) 292-2461
This organization evolved from the Holmes Group, whose design principles
for professional development schools have shaped PDS development for the
last decade. Members of the new organization will include local school-university
PDS partnerships and national organizations.
Michigan Partnership for New Education, Michigan State University, 513
Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824-1034, (517) 336-2195
One of the pioneers of the PDS movement, the Michigan Partnership has
helped to establish and maintain more than a dozen PDSs across the state.
National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching (NCREST),
Teachers College, Box 110, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, (212)
NCREST sponsors the PDS Network, an association of institutions involved
in PDS activities. The group publishes a newsletter, PDS Network News;
manages a listserv; sponsors conferences; and has produced one of the few
videos on PDSs.
National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER), Center for Educational
Renewal (CER), College of Education, University of Washington, 313 Miller
Hall Box 353600, Seattle, WA 98195-3600, (206) 543-6230
Sixteen NNER partnerships have established more than 300 partner schools
in 14 states; the 19 Goodlad postulates guide the design of these programs.
Center Correspondent is a newsletter published by the CER.
Professional Development Schools Standards Project, National Council
for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), 2010 Massachusetts Avenue
NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036-1023, (202) 466-7496
The PDS Standards Project is a two-year project, begun in 1995, which
has three primary goals: to establish a consensus about quality and good
practice in PDSs; to design developmental standards for PDSs; and to create
an infrastructure, which will support and sustain PDSs. The project has
collected research data on a number of partnerships and has convened forums,
which focus on best practices in PDSs, developing financing and cost models,
and constructing draft standards.
Centers for Professional Development & Technology (CPDT), Dr. Laurie
Ochoa, Education Preparation, Texas Education Agency, 1701 North Congress,
Austin, TX 78701, (512) 305-8701
The statewide network of CPDTs includes several partnerships, which
are partially funded by state funds. A number of these partnerships publish
References identified with an ED number have been abstracted and are
in the ERIC database. Most documents (ED) are available in microfiche collections
at more than 900 locations. Documents can also be ordered through the ERIC
Document Reproduction Service: (800) 443-ERIC.
Abdal-Haqq, I. (1995). Professional development schools: A directory
of projects in the United States (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Association
of Colleges for Teacher Education. ED 391 778
Book, C. L. (1996). Professional development schools. In J. Sikula,
T. J. Buttery, & E. Guyton, Handbook of research on teacher education
(pp. 194-210). New York: Simon & Shuster Macmillan.
Clark, R. W. (1995). National Network for Educational Renewal partner
school directory. Seattle: Center for Educational Renewal, University of
Washington. ED 380 417
Gottesman, B., Graham, P., & Nogy, C. (1993). South Carolina Center
for the Advancement of Teaching and School Leadership: Professional development
schools. Rock Hill, SC: South Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching
and School Leadership. ED 366 549
Teitle, L., & Del Prete, T. (1995). Creating professional development
school partnerships. A resource guide. Boston: Massachusetts Field Center
for Teaching and Learning. ED 387 460