Abdal-Haqq Equity Issues in PDS

Abdal-Haqq, I. (1998). Professional development schools: Weighing the evidence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Chapter 5: Voices of Caution: Equity Issues

  • "My review of the literature suggests that PDSs, on the whole, have made more progress in bringing about second-order changes in teacher education than in the context and content of P-12 teaching and student learning. However, even in teacher development, fundamental changes have not been widespread in some areas (p. 64)."

    • Second order changes are defined by Valli, Cooper, and Frankes (1997). Abdal-Haqq cites them by saying on p. 64 that second-order changes "restructure the organization itself. As solutions to design problems, they 'introduce new goals, structures, and roles, that transform familiar ways of doing things into new ways of solving persistent problems...[They are] attempts to fundamentally alter existing authority, roles, and uses of time and space.' (p. 253) (p. 64)."
  • "The most significant progress can be seen in the almost universal attempt to shift from a university-dominated teacher education model to one that acknowledges, values, and incorporates the knowledge that schools and teachers possess and generate (p. 64)."
  • "Nevertheless, if we look at PDS achievements related to parity, we find that they reflect attempts to examine prevailing inequitable power relationships and devise mechanisms to bring about a more equitable realignment (p. 65)."
  • "Some progress also has been made in altering the pattern of teacher development from a skills-driven, top-down, idiosyncratic format to a model that is more systematic and more influenced by individual needs and the contexts in which teachers work (p. 65)."
  • "Field experiences tend to be longer and more time-consuming in PDSs, and programs are more likely to involve postbaccalaureate internships (p. 66)."
  • "If the literature accurately reflects the status of PDS development, we are therefore left with the impression that thus far, the majority of PDSs appear to serve primarily as more efficient delivery systems for educating teachers who continue to teach traditional subject matter in traditional fashion in traditional schools (p. 70)."
  • The movement is towards institutionalizing PDS.


  • Valli, L., Cooper, D., & Frankes, L. (1997). Professional development schools and equity: A critical analysis of rhetoric and research. In M. W. Apple (Ed.), Review of research in education 22 (pp. 251-304). Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.