Ikpeze et al 2012 PDS Collaboration as Third Space

Ikpeze, C. H., Broikou, K. A., Hildenbrand, S., & Gladstone-Brown, W. (2012). PDS collaboration as third space: An analysis of the quality of learning experiences in a PDS partnership. Studying Teacher Education, 8(3), 275-288. DOI: 10.1080/17425964.2012.719125.

Summary: The purpose of this study was for teacher educators to examine their practices as part of a collaborative research group in their professional development school (PDS). The findings revealed that those who engaged in the self study better understood their roles as hybrid educators. They also found that mentor teachers are critical and valuable bridges in the PDS partnership. In this article, each school was considered a PDS and therefore each PDS varied because of the school culture and the strength of the relationship between the school and the university. They found that those mentor teachers who volunteered had far better dispositions towards collaboration than those who were required to participate. Differing philosophical viewpoints were sources of tension in relationships between the mentor teachers and the faculty. They realized the communication was key to the success of the PDS. Poor communication also created tensions. Uncertainty was also another source of tension. With regard to their preservice teachers, they found that mentoring practices ranged greatly among mentor teachers. They also found that making theory to practice connections was more challenging than they had perceived. They found that PDSs have multiple relationships and building those relationships is quite complex. Building successful relationships involves listening.


  • “As faculty, we have been socialized to believe that our role was to disseminate knowledge to teachers while schoolteachers have been socialized to ignore the expertise of faculty” (p. 282).
  • “As faculty, we had to relinquish our deficit thinking that we were hierarchically superior to our K-12 counterparts” (p. 282).
  • Despite opportunity, theory to practice connections were difficult to make. (MY THOUGHTS – I would argue that perhaps that’s because we need a reframing of theory to practice as being practice to theory).
  • I like this quote from Russell (2007) – “We agreed with Russell (2007) that ‘relationship evolves through shared experiences and the sharing of experiences’ (p. 182)” (p. 285). (MY THOUGHTS – I would argue that sharing of experiences is a routine of practice for the task of collaboration and community.)
  • “Navigating the third space in PDS context involves a shift in foci from individualism to collective consciousness, from habitual to reflexive practice, and from vertical forms of expertise (expertise within one group) to horizontal forms of expertise or expertise across groups that involve respectful cross fertilization of ideas and capacity building. Third space is a relational space” (p. 286). (MY THOUGHTS – PDS is about relationships!)