Universities, Schools, and Communities: A New Generation of Professional Development School Roles, Structures, and Governance

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What differentiates the professional development school (PDS) from other schools are the people and the roles they have created to enact the functions or goals unique to the PDS model: preparation of teacher candidates; enhanced professional learning for educators; improved student achievement through the simultaneous renewal of university and K-12 curriculum; and inquiry designed to continuously improve teaching and learning. As schools and universities have established PDS models around the country, the roles, structures, and governance established by each model vary greatly, some enhancing, others limiting the partnership's ability to truly fulfill the functions and ultimate promise of PDSs when they were first conceptualized nearly three decades ago. In this chapter, the authors briefly examine the literature related to roles, structures, and governance and the typical players in PDSs, while making a case for the rediscovery of the community as having a critical role in PDS work. They then turn their attention to the discussion of examining the structure of the PDS as a social learning space. And finally, they look at how this new structure has implications for governance and roles within PDS partnerships.