PDS Network Coordinator – a university-supported position. The PDS Network
Coordinator organizes all network activities including but not limited to the following:
- PIR meetings twice per semester
- Regular email communication to inform PIRs of current professional development
- Opportunities for themselves and the staff in their PDSs
- Annual celebration of PDS accomplishments
- Prepares contracts and invoices for individual PDSs
- Organizes meetings of the PDS Network Advisory Council
- Coordinates events for individual PDS at the university
- Assists in organizing PD workshops at the university and in network schools
Professors in Residence (PIRs) – experienced faculty who spend a
minimum of one day per week in a PDS assisting school leadership teams in meeting
their annual goals for school improvement and who work with individual teachers in their
classrooms on best practices. PIRs coordinate placements of university candidates in
their PDS and recommend innovative teachers in their schools to conduct workshops
and teach at the university. In addition to conducting workshops, modeling and serving
as a catalyst for Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) in their PDS they serve as
the communications liaison between the PDS and the university.
PDS Advisory Council – the purpose of this group is to build a sustainable network that
improves communication, evaluates effectiveness, provides for systematic sharing and
disseminates innovative practice. This council serves as an advisor to the PDS
Network; it meets meeting a minimum of twice annually to reflect on the mission of the
network, PDS goals and activities, and ways to improve communication and celebrate
School-based Leadership Teams – all PDSs have school-based leadership teams and
PIRs serve as members of these teams and or the Professional development
Committees within each PDS. These teams/committees set the priorities within the
school and provide a focus for professional development for that year.
District Liaisons – often there is a person at the district level who helps to coordinate
PDS involvement in that district. In some cases all schools within a district may be a
PDS. District liaisons are very involved in all common grant applications and overall
changes in a district related to curriculum, etc.
Co-teaching Faculty - PDS-based teachers and university faculty co-teach in the PDSs.
Specifically, a course titled, Literacy and Learning, has been co-taught for many
years with several PDS partners. PDS teachers are paid by the university to serve as
faculty in this co-teaching model.
Cooperating and Collaborating Teachers – PDS-based teachers who welcome students
from the university into their classrooms for of variety of field experiences including the
following: observations, class visits, tutoring, practicum, student teaching and residencies
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.