Yendol-Hoppey & Franco Signature Pedagogies in PDS

Yendol-Hoppey, D. & Franco, Y. (2014). In search of signature pedagogy for PDS teacher education: A review of articles published in school-university partnerships. School-University Partnerships, 7(1), 17-34.


Summary: In this article, the authors apply Shulman’s (2005) notions of signature pedagogy to PDS contexts. By reviewing the articles published to date in School-University Partnerships, they identified 19 articles of which they used to code and identify six signature pedagogies of PDS. Those signature pedagogies include but may not be limited to: inquiry, focused observation, mentoring and coaching, co-teaching, reflection on teaching, and integrated coursework and fieldwork.


  • Signature pedagogy: “a systematic and intentionally designed teaching routine that facilitates pre-service teacher learning within clinically rich contexts. The routine can be bounded for study as it seeks to: (a) engage the PST; (b) help the PST recognize the uncertainty associated with teaching and learning; and (c) potentially shape PST professional habits and dispositions” (p. 20).
  • PDSs: “Given that professional development schools provide clinically rich, partnership-based teacher education, PDSs are contexts where school and university teacher educators can establish routines that systematically and intentionally scaffold professional learning to develop formal and tacit professional knowledge” (p. 18). “Defined as places where teaching is viewed as a professional practice and where developing the skills and practices of high quality reflection and research become an important value and norm, PDSs have emerged in the literature as a special kind of school-university partnership (Levine, 2002) that can potentially offer uniquely configured clinically rich teacher education. PDSs are intended to be specifically created, inquiry-oriented contexts where school and university-based teacher educators work side-by-side to prepare the next generation of teachers (Holmes Group, 1986, 1990; NAPDS, 2008; NCATE, 2001)” (p. 19).


Defining the Six Signature Pedagogies:

  • Inquiry: “Cochran-Smith and Lytle (1990) define inquiry as systematic and intentional study carried out by teachers to improve teaching. Systematic refers to the way teachers gather and reord information to document experiences. Intentionality recognizes teacher research as an activity that is planned” (p. 23).
  • Focused Observation: “pedagogy that required PSTs to systematically and intentionally engage in careful observation of both others and of themselves” (p. 24). “The deep structures of this [focused observation] pedagogical routine included: (a) important of expert models in knowledge construction, (b) learning by observation, (c) the importance of linking the research base and practitioner knowledge base, (d) the important link between learning to teach by observing more experienced others and implementing those practices oneself” (p. 25).
  • Coaching/Mentoring: “coaching is defined as a pedagogy provided by someone other than the classroom teacher to the PST. Coaching is characterized by interaction that targets improving teaching and learning. Similarly, mentoring also relies on dialogue to promote teaching and learning. However, in the case of mentoring, the dialogue typically occurs between the PST and the classroom teacher” (p. 26).
  • Co-teaching: “two or more teachers working together in the same classroom sharing responsibility for student learning” (p. 27).
  • Reflection Tools: “routines that enable teachers to recognize, analyze, and learn about what works and what doesn’t work in their teaching” (p. 28). Reflection tools include but are not limited to “portfolios, lesson reflections, video analysis, and journal writing” (p. 28).
  • Integrated Coursework and Fieldwork: “Integrated coursework and fieldwork refers to the systematic and intentional design of methods course content that links theory and research typically taught at the university to the field” (p. 29).



Key Quotes:

  • “The collaborative milieu uniquely provided by the PDs clinical classroom ensures that pedagogies of engagement and formation are continuously employed” (p. 25).
  • “Across the three examples, the terms coaching and mentoring are often used without clearly defining the observable, operational surface structures that are present beyond general dialogue” (p. 26).
  • “As indicated, the pedagogy of co-teaching requires engagement with students and colleagues, teaches the importance of collaboration as a part of professional formation, and recognizes that professional learning occurs under uncertain contexts with new variables consistently being introduced to the teaching and learning context. Through co-teaching professionals would have the opportunity to support each other’s development of knowledge for practice as they explore formal knowledge in preparation to teacher together. Co-teaching also shows promise as a tool for generating knowledge in practice as two educators teacher together” (p. 28).
  • Call for future research: “Finally, no evidence from this review demonstrates that the PDS community has studied these routines across contexts” (p. 31).
  • “Although not a comprehensive list, the deep and implicit structures that could be culled included the importance of: authentic tasks, applied contexts for practice, engaged learning opportunities, and theory to practice connections as conditions for learning. In each routine, the implicit goal appeared to be the development of complex professional knowledge, and in most cases integrated a variety of professional knowledge types” (p. 31).
  • “Additionally, the underlying assumptions also suggest hat the emerging SPs recognize the role of the teacher as that of problem poser, research consumer, data consumer, knowledge constructor, change agent, life-long learner and collaborator, all while being responsible for student learning” (p. 31).