The Effects of Professional Development Schools: A Literature Review

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This paper reviews research on the impact of Professional Development Schools (PDSs) on K-12 students, preservice teachers, in service teachers, university faculty, school reform, and research. Section 1 examines what the research says about the impact of PDSs on these groups, using data from the ERIC database, and it discusses external support for PDSs. Section 2 examines the financing of PDSs, noting that beyond startup, PDS partnership costs for teacher education and school renewal initiatives remain within existing levels of university and school district allocations. Section 3 examines partnerships in education, noting that the PDS model holds tremendous potential for the improvement of schools and universities as institutions as well as for impacting individual constituents. This section also discusses: documenting the impact of PDSs, criticisms of the PDS model,and recognizing PDSs as a type of school organization. Section 4 concludes that the PDS model can improve teacher preparation, professional development,K-12 student learning, schools and universities, and research on teaching and learning. It notes that the success of PDSs relies on developing a culture of learning that transcends individual and organizational boundaries. This culture must be developed over time. It cannot be imposed or mandated.