Trachtman Inquiry and Accountability in PDS
Trachtman, R. (2007). Inquiry and accountability in professional development schools. Journal of Educational Research, 100(4), pp. 197 - 203.
• "The other articles in this issue describe professional development schools (PDSs) as collaborative organizations in which participants support student learning; provide a professional induction program for teacher candidates; develop the skills, knowledge, and dispositions of practicing teachers; and systematically inquire in and on practice so that it can be improved (p. 197)."
• Review of Current Accountability Context
o Standardized tests have been the marker of achievement of students' learning since the implementation of NCLB.
o Cost is the main factor for determining the types of tests used to measure students' learning. Multiple choice tests are cheaper than open response tests.
o NCLB defines highly qualified teachers based on their demonstration of content knowledge not on their performance ability - their PCK.
o "NCLB legislation does not assure that the neediest children have competent teachers because it provides no mechanism for systematically evaluating whether novice teachers can teach effectively (p. 198)."
• Before and After NCLB: PDS, Inquiry, and Accountability
o Dewey's laboratory schools could be considered the first professional development schools. Dewey called for the preparation of teacher candidates to come jointly through partnerships between universities and schools. His ideas are what we are now seeing as the PDS movement.
o "This mission of the PDS, analogous to that of teaching hospitals in medicine, would include the professional preparation of candidates, faculty development, clinical research, and enhanced student learning (p. 198)."
o "The potential impact of the PDS is related to one of its unique features: it is an institution positioned strategically at the intersection of teacher education and school reform (p. 198)."
o "PDSs, like other interinstitutional partnerships, succeed only when partners believe that the returns on their investments of time, energy, and financial resources are sufficient (p. 198)."
o PDS Standards and Assessment Process
o PDS Assessment Process
• PDS partners participate in self study, a practice of examining one's practice to assure quality and accountability.
• "PDS self-study enables participants to investigate systematically the efforts of their collaboration by identifying strengths and weaknesses of the partnership. Through an iterative process of gathering data, drawing tentative conclusions, raising questions, gathering additional data, and partner discussion, participants can formulate conclusions about how, and how well, the PDS partnership meets the standards (p. 199)."
• (Response to quote above - Yet this practice does not seem to jive with the research community, which at present is calling for research to mark PDS research in the same arena as other rigorous areas of research.)
• Assessment and Quality Assurance in a PDS
o Inquiry - the Heart of PDS Work
• Inquiry is a defining characteristic of a PDS.
o Vignettes of PDS Engagement in Inquiry
• Challenges to Collaborative Inquiry
o Collaborative Inquiry
• Despite collaboration, teachers still have a preference to isolation because it gives them a sense of autonomy. They have the power to construct their classrooms in a manner that makes sense to them and is in the best interest of their students as they see fit.
o Parity Between PDS Partners