Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership PhD

First Advisor

James A. Tucker

Second Advisor

Shirley A. Freed

Third Advisor

William H. Green


Problem. The development o f school/university partnerships is not a simple process. It requires collaboration between two groups o f professionals who come from different cultures, have developed different forms o f expertise, and operate under different organizational conditions and reward structures (Goodlad, 1990; Stoddart, Winitzky & O ’Keefe, 1992). Throughout much o f the last century, collaboration between schools and universities have often been unsuccessful. In order for Professional Development Schools to be successful in educational reform, it is necessary to focus on defining and delineating the essential characteristics of Professional Development Schools and the process o f their establishment.

Purpose. The purpose o f this study was to (1) define Professional Development School and delineate its component parts; (2) describe its history, and chronicle the establishment of a Professional Development School; and (3) explore the implications o f Professional Development Schools for local school change, school/university relationships, and national standards.

Methodology. This study used a descriptive, qualitative case study method based on interviews, observations, documents, and artifacts, to describe the Professional Development School (PDS). Data were collected from five primary informants, including two deans o f schools o f education, two national PDS specialists, and one local elementary school with its partnering. These data were used to define and describe the process o f establishing a Professional Development School.

Findings and Conclusions. The study highlighted some o f the challenges involved in developing and establishing a Professional Development School. It documented the need to (1) provide a clear operational definition o f a PDS; (2) provide a substantial opportunity for developing relationships; and (3) use research to identify developmental stages o f the PDS.

Subject Area

College-school cooperation, Laboratory schools, Teachers--Training of.


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