Office of Field Experiences
The desire to discuss PDS-specific concerns with other educators who shared an interest in and passion for PDS work led to a conversation at the 2003 National Conference about the feasibility of creating a professional association which would encourage year-round PDS dialogue. The seventy-five individuals who participated in that conversation immediately agreed that such an association was much needed, and so a handful of volunteers met in Columbia, South Carolina, in November 2003, to begin the process of making the association a reality. They shared their initial efforts with participants at the March 2004 National Conference and encouraged others to join them in the planning process. That call produced a Founding Organizational Committee, eventually consisting of eighteen educators from eleven states, which met throughout the next year to revise a mission statement drafted at the first meeting and to design both a constitutional structure and a list of goals for the association. As they did so, they kept in mind that the primary goal was to create a professional association that, in the words of one of the group members, would enhance the capacity of PDS educators to do their work. With that overall goal in mind, the group agreed to: (1) establish a leadership structure which would represent a balance across the educational continuum; (2) develop a website to allow members access to resources and a venue for on-going dialogue; (3) circulate a newsletter to disseminate best practices, pertinent news, and PDS-related announcements; (4) produce a periodic journal to circulate evaluative research, successful programmatic models, and naturalistic inquiry in the PDS community; and (5) join with the University of South Carolina in co-sponsoring the annual PDS National Conference and, in doing so, continue the commitment to balanced participation and focused presentations.
The nine required essentials of a PDS:
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.