Background of the Problem




Building the Plane

Her eyes were quite large as she serendipitously said, "Creating a Professional Development School is like building an airplane…" and her smile became explosive as she finished her statement, "while you’re flying it!"(Vol. I, p. 8). Throughout the next several hours of interviews, this Dean of Education discussed how she and other educational professionals had established their Professional Development School (PDS).

I kept thinking about her descriptive statement as I further studied how various universities and elementary and secondary schools were also building their "airplanes " while flying them. The ‘builders’ had been given a general sketch through the Holmes Group trilogy on the reform of education in the United States – Tomorrow’s Teachers (1986), Tomorrow’s Schools (1990), and Tomorrow’s Schools of Education (1995). The trilogy proposed a type of institution called the professional development school and defined it as "a school for the development of novice professionals, for continuing development of experienced professionals and for the research and development of the teaching professions" (Holmes Group, 1990). Additionally, the Task Force on Education and Economy (Carnegie Corporation, 1986), and John Goodlad (1990), and Marsha Levine (1992), and Linda Darling-Hammond (1994) described what they called clinical schools, professional practice schools, or professional development schools – schools that supported novice and experienced teachers learning in the course of teaching, schools in which teachers grounded their work in a professional knowledge base, and schools in which teachers worked and collectively sought ways to meet their students’ learning needs (Levine, 1998a).

This general sketch continues to be modified and developed, as ‘builders’ have redesigned the original ‘prop job’ and are developing ‘blue prints’ for the future ‘aerospace industry’ of education. Lee Teitel, describes many of those ‘blue prints’ in an article entitled "Professional Development Schools, A Literature Review" (1998).

Teitel states that by the summer of 1995, the ERIC database listed almost 200 references to professional development schools (PDSs), including journal articles, reports, conference papers, and a few edited books. To provide an overview of the literature available on PDSs, Teitel credits Lisa Christie of the PDS Standards Project for categorizing almost 200 references drawn from an ERIC search and other sources, on the basis of reviews of the abstracts. He states that she found 86 descriptive studies or documentation works, 41 works classified as policy or opinion, 18 surveys or evaluations, 18 case studies, 5 reports based on focus groups or interviews, 15 books, and 19 references and other resources, such as handbooks. In a 1998 addendum to this study, Teitel asserts that the volume of publications about professional development schools is proliferating. In the 1998 search he conducted Teitel found more than 125 additions have been placed into ERIC, and several books on professional development schools have been published (Levine & Trachtman, 1997; Hoffman, Reed, & Rosenbluth, 1997; Abdal-Haqq, 1997.)

An overview of the PDS literature, Teitel continues, would not be complete without an acknowledgement of a problem that underlies any broad analysis of its scope: with no clear criteria established, it is hard to know which of these hundreds of articles pertain to more developed PDSs, which to less, and which to institutions that, in truth, are PDSs in name only. In her review of the literature for the Handbook of Research on Teachers Education (1996), C. Book identifies this problem:

The operationalization of what is meant by a professional development school continues to plague researchers’ ability to clearly explain what impact the activities of a PDS are having on teaching, learning, school organizations, and teacher education. As researchers and teacher educators, we are often at a loss to define when a school is actually a professional development school. Is it when the university and school district label it a PDS or make a commitment to create one? Is it when the criteria specified by the Holmes Group or other organizations are met? Is it when there is evidence of the interacting effects of new forms of teaching on higher levels of learning? How sophisticated or developed must the relations between goals and outcomes be to acknowledge a school as a PDS? (p. 204)

The lack of clear criteria does not affect just researchers who study professional development shools, but anyone who works in, or advocates for, a PDS. Although there is a growing clarity and consensus on the definition of as PDS (Teitel, 1998), there is still a great need to identify a systematic definition. One of the purposes of this dissertation is to contribute to the literature and to help establish an operational definition of PDS that can be agreed upon by educational experts in the field.

Richard Clark, in his 1999 book Effective Professional Development Schools, states that major organizations – including Goodlad’s National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER); the Holmes Partnership; the National Center for Restructuring Education and Teaching (NCREST); and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) - agree that professional development schools must accomplish four basic goals. Although the wording used by each organization varies, Clark states, they concur that such schools provide a clinical setting for preservice education, engage in professional development for practitioners, promote and conduct inquiry that advances knowledge of schooling, and provide an exemplary education for a segment of P-12 students (preschools through twelfth grade).

However, when he discusses the question of how many PDSs are in existence, his response is as follows:

No one really knows. Goodlad’s National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER) includes more than five hundred such schools in its 1997-1998 directory, and it does not include many that are part of other important reform initiatives. The PDSs reported are substantially different from one another. The agreement on purpose that is apparent in the national statements is not as clear when actual practices in the schools are examined (p. 9).

Given this gap between asserted purpose and common practice, how else can we define a PDS? Examples are another means of doing so (p. 11). Another purpose of this dissertation is to describe through interviews, observation, and participation the establishment of three professional development schools. These schools and their participants have been promised anonymity; therefore pseudonyms will be used throughout this discussion.

It seems that although there are opportunities for success when you ‘build the plane as you fly it’, there is a higher probability of a ‘crash and burn’ ending to the story. I believe there is something to be said for taking time to be sure you have the right ‘blue prints’ in hand before building the plane, for knowing the direction and how far you want the plane to travel, for obtaining the proper tools and creating appropriate building timelines, for designing continued maintenance plans, and for being sure everyone has on a safety belt (and a parachute) for those unforeseen circumstances. I believe any pilot of any aircraft would say that to do any less would be to commit suicide, and possibly murder.

PDS’s & Student/Teacher Learning


What About Pilot Training?

Sykes (1998) observed it is a truism that learning to teach must occur in the environment where teaching happens—the school. He suggests that one can only study about education at the university. And yet, Sykes continues, for almost all of the 20th century the clinical portion of a teacher’s preparation has been one of its weakest links. Touted by almost all teachers as being the most important part of their preparation, the prevailing model tacks two 6- to 8-week practicums onto the end of a 4-year undergraduate program. One-on-one relationships between a teacher candidate and his or her mentor limit the learning opportunities, and the basic approach is that of apprenticeship. Sykes stipulates that the teacher candidate is, at best, a good guest in the school setting.

Zeichner and Miller (1997) summarized years of studies of traditional school-based training programs. Among the more common findings were that clinical programs often had no design or curriculum, no criteria for evaluation, little or no quality control of supervisors, inadequate mentoring because of structural limitations, and inadequate resources. Levine (1999) addresses this issue when she states that researchers have identified poor articulation between the campus-based and school-based components of the teacher preparation program. She believes that PDSs promise to address these widespread weaknesses in current clinical programs.

The need to strengthen teacher preparation programs and to ensure that teachers who emerge from their novice years as knowledgeable, committed educators is a nationwide challenge that has attracted considerable attention from the public and leaders in education (Harriman, 1998). Recommendations have been outlined in Draft Standards for Identifying and Supporting Quality Professional Development Schools, by the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF, 1997, p. 4), including:

Other professional organizations such as the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) have recommended professional standards and assessments of pedagogical and content knowledge and proficiency as requirements for entering the profession (INTASC, 1992). In 1998, 40 states had established testing requirements (Educational Placement Consortium, 1998) as a means of addressing this concern (Harriman, 1998).

Although paper and pencil tests are somewhat useful, they evaluate only a limited range of the proficiencies and abilities that are necessary for the complex responsibilities of teaching. While they may provide a degree of public accountability, they do little to prepare candidates to share their accomplishments in the classroom once they become teachers (Glenn, 1998).

Professional Development Schools (PDSs) are one way to embed extended practice in the real tasks of teaching and assessment of teaching into teacher education programs. PDSs can serve "as inclusive site(s) where multiple professional standards may be combined in service to the development of new professionals and new knowledge" (Sykes, 1997, p. 160).

The development of new knowledge is stimulated by the exchange of ideas among preservice teachers, experienced schoolteachers, university faculty and other professionals working in the site. Through multilayered interactions such as this, mentoring of preservice teachers also can serve as a merging point for implementation of standards and other reform initiatives underway in schools. Most important, the PDS offers a rich context within which to nurture and assess teacher development (Harriman, 1998).

PDSs are characterized as having a unique objective in that they seek to prepare preservice and in-service schoolteachers, and university faculty to enhance learning and development of all members of the academically diverse learning community. In addition, they have been described as a special type of school restructuring, with the primary goal of creating learner-centered schools and a teacher corps that is empowered with knowledge and skill to affect positive change in the school setting (Darling-Hammond, Bullmaster, & Cobb, 1995).

Although much research is being conducted in regard to the implications of PDSs (Darling-Hammond, Bullmaster, & Cobb, 1995), little has been written about the effects on students in public schools who are recipients of the educational change that results from PDS partnerships. Still less has been revealed on what students perceive to be the impact of having such a program in their school (King, 1996). Fullan (1991) suggests that students are more often thought of as beneficiaries of change rather than active participants in the change process.

The Struggle with Change


Everybody Thought the Wright Brothers Were Crazy!

Lyons, Stroble, and Fischetti (1997) suggest that in the late 1980s, when school reformers at last shifted their attention to teachers and suggested that they needed to be at the center of school change, effectively reaching all students, it became clear that the restructuring of education had to go hand in hand with the renewal and reform of teacher education (Carnegie Forum, 1986; Goodlad, 1990; Holmes Group, 1986; Wise, Darling-Hammond, & Berry, 1987). Good schools would need a steady supply of excellent teachers, with new habits of mind and new habits of work (Meier, 1992). At that moment, by extension, the school reform movement reached the university, especially the colleges of education and their teacher education programs. If students in schools were to be constructors of their own knowledge and understandings, teachers too would need to be in new kinds of knowledge relationships with students (Elmore, 1996). There had to be two features to school renewal. Changing practices for teachers and students in new relationships around knowledge and learning and changing practices for learning to teach.

The research of Lyons, Stroble, and Fischetti (1997) reveals that after 10 years of school reform, renewal, and restructuring, and the proliferation of Professional Developments Schools across North America, several characteristic features of change have emerged (Darling-Hammond, 1994; Elmore, 1996; Goodlad, 1994; Levine, 1992; Meier, 1992, 1995; Osguthorpe, Harris, Fox-Harris, & Black, 1995; Robinson & Darling-Hammond, 1994; Sarason, 1990; see also Clark, 1995; Cushman, 1992; Darling-Hammond, 1994; Grossman, 1994; Lieberman, 1995; Lieberman & Miller, 1992; Muncey & McQuillan, 1991). The characteristics identified by Lyons, Stroble, and Gischetti (1997) from the cited literature are:


The cases presented in my dissertation will illuminate through their detail some of the above issues. Lyons, Stroble, and Fischetti (1997) discovered that university changes generated by Professional Development School activities, although slow, are incremental, with the ripple effects of a quiet revolution, however fragile. Professional Development Schools, a new, jointly defined school culture, are subtly altering the traditional tasks of the university raising compelling questions such as: What counts as knowledge? Who constructs it? How? Who are its faculty? Lyons, Stroble, and Fischetti (1997) came to the conclusion that these changes may foreshadow the university of the future, addressing the idea of the university not simply as an institution of learning but as an institution of learners, a learning organization, carrying out its missions primarily through partnerships whether with schools or other institutions, engaged in a simultaneous and ongoing process of renewal demanded by the dynamics of a changing worldview.


The Study of an Innovation


Is It a Kite, a Biplane, or a Concord Jet?

In his book, Change Forces (1993), Michael Fullan proposes that longstanding concerns about the inadequacy of teacher education (from initial preparation to the end of the career), and the isolationist culture of schools have led to various attempts to improve both components, but rarely in conjunction. Put positively, Fullan believes that new emphasis on teacher-as-learner, and on collaborative work cultures have converged in the concept of Professional Development Schools (PDS). Stoddart, Winitzky, and O’Keefe (1992) summarize the Holmes Group’s (1990) definition:

A Professional Development School (PDS) is a school in which university faculty work collaboratively with practitioners over time with the goal of improving teaching and learning through (1) upgrading the education of pre-service teachers, (2) providing professional development for experienced teachers, and (3) field-based research. Inherent in the PDS model is the notion of school sites evolving as models of excellence and centers of inquiry through collaboration between school and university faculties over time. (p. 2)

Fullan (1993) contends that in principle, PDS is a model that is on the right track in promising to produce learning educators and learning organizations through school--university partnerships. According to Fullan (1993) there are three main observations that can be made at this early stage of PDS development: the concept is ambitious and vague; little research data are available as yet; and the university side of the partnership is underdeveloped.

Teitel (1998) states that although wording differs, and the emphasis and focus differ among PDS advocates, there is a strong convergence around four goals: the improvement of student learning, the preparation of educators, the professional development of educators, and research and inquiry into improving practice.

Additionally, Marsha Levine (1998a), writing for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), states that demands for public and professional accountability have moved Professional Development Schools (PDSs) from being just a good idea to an imperative. Levine (1998b) defines NCATE as a coalition of over thirty education organizations concerned with the quality of teacher education. It is the national professional organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to grant professional accreditation to institutions preparing teachers. In 1995, NCATE initiated the PDS Standards Project and established three goals:

Levine (1998a), as Director of the PDS Standards Field Test Project at NCATE, believes that standards for PDSs can help ensure that this new institution will have the impact it promises. NCATE recognized that PDSs might be one of the most important innovations, among many in recent years, in teacher education and school reform (Levine, 1998b). Such recognition of this innovation makes it worth studying.

In reviewing the PDS literature, Teitel (1998) identifies two issues that stand out in relation to goals and purposes. First, because of the lack of a standardized definition, those writing about their own PDSs try to use other published definitions of PDSs to justify that their partnership is indeed a PDS.

A second broad issue Teitel identifies concerns the "all or none" debate. Throughout the literature is a strong sense of the interrelatedness of the different goals of a PDS. Murray (1993), of the Holmes Group, develops in more detail the Holmes criteria for a PDS and argues that the "goals are interconnected and none can be achieved without the others" (pp. 70-71). Yet in the real world, the Holmes Group (1990) notes that probably not one partnership with all features exists. Brainard (1989) constructed a list of fourteen criteria and after reviewing the extant PDSs (both Holmes Group and others) concluded that "none of the projects included in this study appears to meet all or even most of the fourteen criteria" (p. 49). More recently, Osguthorpe and his colleagues (1995) report that in the National Network for Educational Renewal, no partner school can claim to excel in all four basic areas.

So, what type of plane is being flown? Are we sure we are flying a plane? Some seem to be flying a kite, and call it a biplane. Others are flying a biplane and consider themselves to be flying a Concord Jet. And, still others believe none of these can get off the ground because each hasn’t met all the specifications in the blueprint, when in actuality, there is no blueprint. As the dean described her PDS, "We’re building the plane as we fly it!" My question becomes: Is a plane, by any other name, still a plane?

In my study of Professional Development Schools, it is important to focus on what the innovation is like even as it is being established--before implementation. This will facilitate an "evaluability assessment," a term used by Patton (1987, p. 37). An evaluability assessment, according to Patton, involves identifying the program "treatment", making sure it is consistent, and establishing that the outcomes are clear, specific, and measurable. Such a study insures that the PDS is well described in operational terms and the definition becomes comprehensive enough for studies of effectiveness and systematic evaluation. Although this study will not deal with the effectiveness or evaluation of PDSs, future studies of its effectiveness and evaluation may be more easily conducted, based on the findings of this study.

My study will deal with the designing of the blueprint, creating the specifications, and the building of the plane before it is flown.

The Problem


Is a Plane by Any Other Name Still a Plane?

Marsha Levine (1998b) acknowledges that there are several interested communities advocating for PDSs. Advocates for PDSs have grown up within the major sectors that are involved—teacher educators, P-12 school reformers, teacher union leaders, and school district policy makers and administrators. However, little unanimity exists, either within each of these groups or among them, about many issues with respect to PDSs. Levine continues by suggesting that the problem extends to such fundamental questions as "What is a PDS?" and "What are its distinguishing characteristics?" Each group sees in the PDS a different promise. Levine explains the problem from various points of view: Some teacher educators view PDSs as a critical component of the professionalization of teacher preparation with strong emphasis on content, professional, and clinical preparation; others are threatened by the major changes inherent in making a commitment to PDSs. School reformers look to PDSs as the places where new teachers will learn the skills, dispositions, and orientation to practice associated with school reform and they see PDSs as models or exemplars of schools that support such professional practice. Some school district leaders view PDSs as good front-end investment because they prepare new teachers to be successful, reduce teacher turnover, improve teacher retention and reduce professional development costs; others don’t yet connect their district’s needs with the potential of the PDS.

Levine (1998b) proposes that while support for PDSs has grown over the last several years, it had become clear by 1995 that the PDS "movement" was in some danger. Viewed as an important innovation PDSs had proliferated rapidly, with little attention to definition and quality. Under such circumstances, she believed that PDSs could rapidly become an empty promise and a lost opportunity. The horizon of education reform is littered with such unfulfilled promises. Further, as interest from national, state, and local policy makers increased it became clear to Levine that definition and a way to identify quality were imperative. Policy makers began to ask, "How do you know a PDS is better than what you have always done? What are the outcomes?"

A description of the establishment of a PDS, its definition, and its characteristics are imperative before questions of its impact on students or teacher education can be addressed. Otherwise, it may be an assessment of a ‘non-event’ (Charters & Jones, 1973). In other words, the PDS partnership may be no different from any other school partnership. It is assumed, then, that there is much to be learned by everyone involved.

The problem, metaphorically speaking, is that one school is a kite, one school is a biplane, and one school is a Concord Jet—however each calls itself a plane. Without an agreed upon set of characteristics, or blueprints, we may be building something that is not a plane at all. If we don’t have blueprints, how do we know what we have built? Or, perhaps even worse, we may just continue to build the kite, as we’ve always done, and change the name of component parts without changing our behavior, and call our kite a Concord! Without the essential characteristics identified, a plane by any other name may or may not still be a plane.

The Purpose


Exactly What is it That Makes a Plane a Plane?

This study will focus on three aspects of a PDS namely, (1) identification and definition of the components of a PDS, (2) description of the establishment of a PDS, and (3) exploration of the implications of PDSs on school change, school--university relationships, and national standards. The purpose of the study will be threefold: (1) the study will define and describe a PDS as agreed upon by experts, (2) the study will describe the context of the establishment of a PDS, and (3) the study will examine and analyze the process of change within the context of PDS partnerships.

Clark (1988) asked and then answered the following question regarding PDS and terminology: What generalizations can be made about the meaning of various terms

used to describe interinstitutional relationships? First, when studying the writings of others about these relationships, it is necessary to be alert to the fact that simply because the terms are the same, does not necessarily follow that the relationship is the same. While it may (or may not) be possible to say a plane is a plane is a plane one cannot conclude that a partnership is a partnership is a partnership. As different relations are examined, it will be necessary to consider each in terms of its operating concepts and practices, not its label.

Research Questions


How to Make a Blueprint

This study will attempt to address the following research questions:

Rationale for the Study


Why Build a Plane When You Can Simply Drive a Car?

At the heart of the PDS idea is the goal to improve substantially the preparation and continuing education of educators. Sykes (1997) cautions that no one learns to teach in a university: One studies education at a university and learns to teach in a school. This point may seem obvious, Sykes continues, but the institutional arrangements to prepare teachers have never reflected it. The prevailing model tacks 15 to 20 weeks of practice teaching onto a slender collection of university courses, with these two strands only loosely connected to one another. Sykes believes, by creating long-term, deep relations between schools and universities, as exemplified by PDS programs, the historic breach may be healed and a much stronger form of professional education may emerge. What a wonderful opportunity for educators and students alike! A description of the components that are needed to establish this long-term relationship between schools and universities will contribute valuable information to the knowledge base in education.

After completing a literature review, I discovered that there is a need to define the essential components of a PDS, and to continue to document how this partnership happens. The literature now has more examples that compare and analyze PDS start-ups and implementations, e.g., how well a PDS takes hold in one school versus another (Rakow & Robinson, 1997; Campbell, Strawderman, & Reavis, 1996). The analyses provide opportunities for authors to report what works in one setting and how well it translates to another (Cambone, Zsambone, & Swarez, 1996). And while much of the early PDS literature was filled with success stories (while, presumably, failed or aborted PDSs were not reported), these comparative analyses acknowledge the tough tasks in starting and sustaining a PDS. Along with articles like Teitel’s (1998) account of "Divorces, Separation and Open Marriages" in a PDS network, they represent a maturation of the literature allowing for a deeper discussion of what works and what does not in these partnerships.

I am interested in how a university establishes a deep relationship with an elementary school—something that was not available to read about in the literature review. It is important to describe the process of the development of a partnership between two institutions where there is such a clash in orientation. "The oft-noted hiatus between educational theory and educational practice," wrote Schlechty (1990),"exists in part because theory tends to be generated in a culture where it does not apply (the university), and efforts to apply theory are made in a culture where few theoreticians practice (the schools)" (pp. 44-45). The contribution of this research will be toward the building of a description of the effort to establish a partnership between a school and a university.

Levine (1998b) noted that while support for PDSs has grown over the last several years, it had become clear by 1995 that the PDS "movement" was in some danger. Viewed as an important innovation, Levine continued that PDSs had proliferated rapidly, with little attention to definition and quality. She acknowledged that under such circumstances, there was concern that PDSs could rapidly become an empty promise and a lost opportunity. The horizon of education reform is littered with such unfulfilled promises. Further, Levine asserted, as interest from national, state, and local policy makers increased, it became clear that definition and a way to identify quality were imperative.

My work became clear. Using an innovation configuration to define a PDS, the configuration will also provide a way to identify the quality of a PDS by listing component variations that define the attributes of an ideal acceptable, and unacceptable Professional Development School. In addition to defining the components of a PDS, and describing the establishment of PDSs, this study will attempt to bring together relevant research findings of areas related to educational change and endeavor to draw connections between them.






Part of my case study on Professional Development Schools took place in the Southeastern County School District and Southeastern University in Florida (pseudonym). I selected this school district and university partnership because it was in the beginning stages of developing a partnership, and I wanted to observe how the PDS was established as it emerged into a full partnership. Two other school—university partnerships were also selected using different criteria, as stipulated within this chapter under Selection Process.

To find out what this innovation looks like in actual practice, I used the Innovation Configuration (IC) (Hall& Loucks, 1981) process. A qualitative case study method is used to describe and define a Professional Development School. The qualitative approach is designed to study the process and the context of a particular situation. "If qualitative inquiry in education is about anything, it is about trying to understand what teachers and children do in the settings in which they work" (Eisner, 1991, p. 11). Too often what is suggested to teachers and administrators is said independently of context and often a detailed description of the practices being used is essential to improve schools and practices (Eisner, 1991, p. 11).


Case Study Design

A case study is an examination of specific phenomenon such as a program, an event, a person, a process, an institution, or a social group (Merriam, 1988, p. 9). I have selected this design because I am interested in the process of collaboration between schools and universities. My decision to focus on a qualitative case study design stems from the fact that I find the analysis of insight, discovery, and interpretation more relevant for studying a process than hypothesis testing. Case study has been differentiated from other research designs by what Cronbach (1975, p. 123) calls "interpretation in context." By concentrating on a single phenomenon (PDS), in a specific context, this approach aims to uncover the interactions of significant factors characteristic of the phenomenon (PDS).

Wilson (1979, p. 448) conceptualizes the case study as a process "which tries to describe and analyze some entity in qualitative, complex and comprehensive terms not infrequently as it unfolds over a period of time." Mac Donald and Walker’s (1977, p. 181) definition of a case study as "the examination of an instance in action" is congruent with Guba & Lincoln’s (1981, p. 371) statement that the purpose is "to reveal the properties of the class to which the instance being studied belongs." Becker (1968, p. 33) defines the purposes of a case study as twofold: "to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of the groups under study" and "to develop general theoretical statements about regularities in social structure and process."

In summary, case study can be defined as an intensive, holistic description and analysis of a single entity, phenomenon, or social unit. Case studies are particularistic, descriptive, and heuristic and rely heavily on inductive reasoning in handling multiple data sources (Merriam, 1988, p. 16).

Selection Process

At the onset it is necessary to delineate the scope of the study. Purposive sampling was used to select the universities for this research study. Purposive sampling refers to hand-picking the sample needed in order to learn from those who best exemplify what is being studied. Chien (1981) compares it to expert consultants being called to a difficult medical case.

These consultants—also purposive sample—are not called in to get an average opinion of the entire medical profession. They are called in precisely because of their special experience and competence. (Chein, 1981, p, 440)

Purposive sampling requires that one establish the criteria for units to be included in the investigation and then select the sampling according to these criteria.

I selected the following criteria to identify experts in the field:

Using the above criteria, two university partnership deans were identified based on purposive sampling or what Goetz and LeCompte (1984) call reputational case selection. They were chosen on the recommendation of the Southeastern Association of College Teacher Educators (SACTE) (pseudonym) regional executive secretary. I selected two experienced deans because I wanted to compare and contrast the concept of PDS from more than one perspective. Additionally, I selected to interview another expert from the field based on reputational case selection. Marsha Levine has been the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Director of the PDS Standards Project since 1995, and has studied, written, and edited many books on the subject of PDS. My goal is to identify the common characteristics of PDSs and their establishment, and to explore the implications of PDSs on school change, school—university relationships, and national standards.

The effectiveness of a PDS in terms of student or student teacher outcomes, or outcomes of the school or university faculty will not be direct concerns of this study.

Data Collecting Techniques

Data collection techniques will include the following tools/techniques: (1) the Innovation Configuration (IC) interviews and the Stages of Concern (SoC) Questionnaire from the Concerns Based Adoption Model (Hall & Loucks, 1981, pp. 46-58), (2) observations and field notes, (3) surveys--the Gregorc Style Delineator (Gregorc, 1985), and (4) artifacts.


While discussing the advantages of the interview, Borg and Gall (1989, pp. 446-447) suggest that the interview as a research method in survey research is unique in that it involves the collection of data through direct verbal interaction between individuals, and that perhaps its principal advantage is its adaptability. They maintain that the interview situation usually permits much greater depth than the other methods of collecting research data.

The purpose of qualitative interviewing is to understand how program staff and participants view the program, to learn their terminology and judgments, and to capture the complexities of their individual perceptions and experiences. The fundamental principle of qualitative interviewing is to provide a framework within which respondents can express their own understanding in their own terms (Patton, 1980, pp. 204).

In order to be able to describe the components of a PDS and to define PDS, it is important that I provide an opportunity for people to respond in their own terms. Eisner (1991, p. 183) made reference to the issue of understanding what is or has happened in a particular setting by saying "we need to listen to what people have to say about their activities, their feelings, their lives." When writing about how to describe an innovation, Gene Hall (1974, p. 1) states that, "What we are attempting to study and describe is the highly personal, dynamic, interactive process and events that occur when educational institutions adopt complex educational innovations." I am purposely studying innovation adoption in educational institutions. Adoption is not an event at a point in time; rather it is a developmental process that individuals and institutions move through as they select, adapt, and institutionalize use of an innovation.

To identify the components of a PDS and define a PDS, the use of Innovation Configuration (IC) interviews will be completed. The concept of Innovation Configuration emerged from the research on the process of educational change. It represents the patterns of use that result when an innovation is applied. The patterns of use help to develop the IC checklist (Heck, Stiegelbauer, Halls, & Loucks, 1981), which identifies the component parts of the innovation and variations in the use of each part. The IC process is facilitated by semi-structured interviews.


Observations and Field Notes

As Southeastern University, where I am an Associate Professor of Education, Southeastern Elementary School in Florida (pseudonym) decided to write and form

In order to begin the process of the establishment of a PDS, there will be several meetings where, as research has indicated, cooperative learning (between faculty and administration of both schools) and sharing of knowledge to define the components of a PDS, will be necessary. By means of participant observation I will observe the activities of people, the physical characteristics of the social situation and what it feels like to be part of the scene (Spradley, 1980, p. 33). As an active participant, I will seek to do what other people are doing, not merely to gain acceptance, but to more fully learn the cultural rules for behavior (Spradley, 1980, p. 60).


The Gregorc Style Delineator is a self-analysis inventory developed by Anthony Gregorc (1982) which is helpful in understanding mind styles. The inventory provides vital information about how people think and learn. Gregoric believes that a person’s thinking and learning capabilities are revealed by two abilities, perception and ordering.

Perceptual abilities indicate how information is grasped or understood. Gregorc proposes that perception can be displayed on a continuum with two qualities, abstraction and concreteness. Ordering abilities describe the ways in which information is systematized, arranged, and referenced. These abilities can also be placed on a continuum, which show sequentialness to randomness.

The rationale for using this inventory is that it will provide one way of understanding how administration and faculty at both the elementary school and university, relate to the development process.

Documents and Records

The artifacts of this study will include documents collected from expert sources. Additionally, documents in the form of journal responses collected after meetings will be included.

Data Analysis Techniques

Mirriam (1988, p. 127) describes data analysis as, " the process of making sense out of one’s data." In order for me to make sense of the data I collect, I will organize it topically and chronologically. As I read and reread, I will jot down notes, comments, observations, and questions in the margin. I expect the notes to "serve to isolate the initially most striking, if not ultimately most important, aspects of the data" (Goetz and LeCompte, 1984, p. 191). I will also keep a separate running list of major ideas that cut across much of the data.

I will also identify "units of information" (Lincoln and Guba, 1985, p. 344) from interview transcripts, observation notes, and documents. These units will consist of a phrase, a sentence or a paragraph. I will then put each unit of information on a separate index card and code it according to the category it represents which will later emerge as themes and concepts.

The Role of the Researcher

My role in this research project was one of participant observer. As a participant observer I have a dual purpose: (1) to engage in activities appropriate to the situation, and (2) to observe the activities, people, and physical aspects of the situation (Spradley, 1980). Due to my faculty position at the university, it will be necessary for me to participate with other school and university faculty in the establishment of the PDS.

Organization of the Study

Chapter 2 will be expanded to describe, in greater detail, the tools and methods to be used for data collection and analysis of proposed study. It will also address the issues of validity and reliability. Chapter 3 will be devoted to a discussion of the historical and philosophical reform of PDSs. Chapter 4 will include a description of the settings and the informants. Chapter 5 will give an account of the findings of the IC and its use in defining PDS. Chapter 6 will reveal details regarding the establishment of a partnership between one elementary school and one university. Chapter 7, the final chapter, will provide a summary with conclusions and recommendations from the research findings, as well as suggestions for further research.



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