Academic journal article Journal of Teacher Education

Long-Term PDS Development in Research Universities and the Clinicalization of Teacher Education

Academic journal article Journal of Teacher Education

Long-Term PDS Development in Research Universities and the Clinicalization of Teacher Education

Article excerpt

In the past decade, educational reformers have created professional development schools (PDSs) similar to those the Holmes Group (1986) and the Carnegie Forum (1986) advocated. PDSs aims are now commonplace: provide exemplary education for preservice teachers, support continuing professional development of experienced teachers, and involve schools and universities in collaborative research. Underpinning this work is the assumption that school reform and the reform of teacher education require simultaneous renewal (Goodlad, 1994, p. 236). Collaboration should transform the school and university cultures (Case, Norlander, & Reagan, 1993; Stoddart, 1993) and result in improved teacher education and increased learning in schools. For this reason, Robinson and Darling-Hammond (1994) conclude, PDSs are much more than a fashionable new idea. They are an imperative of professional responsibility in education (p. 217).

Creating PDSs has resulted in new staffing patterns. In research-oriented universities, clinical faculty are assuming increasingly important roles in teacher education (Fullan, Galluzzo, Morris, & Watson, 1996). The place and role of non-tenure-track faculty undoubtedly will expand as programs increase and enrich connections between schools and universities. The American Association of University Professors has expressed concern that increased use of non-tenure-line faculty for university instruction will result in lower educational quality (American Association of University Professors, Committee G, 1993). However, the most recent Holmes Group report (1995) argues that clinical faculty should form a living bridge between campus and practice as they share with colleagues on campus responsibilities associated with the Professional Development School agenda and with the development and operation of professional studies programs. Differentiated roles will be developed, where faculty having their tenure with the schools collaborate with faculty tenured with the university in making significant contributions to programs of teaching and inquiry (p. 62).

The Department of Educational Studies at the University of Utah is experimenting with a variety of staffing patterns that include clinical faculty (Ellsworth & Albers, 1995; Fullan et al., 1996). The department, centrally responsible for secondary and elementary school certification programs, is large and diverse, combining undergraduate, masters, and doctoral programs and specialty areas in teaching and learning strategies; and cultural, critical, and curriculum studies. Members of the department have been involved in PDS-related work since the late 1970s (Nutting, 1982).

We conducted a study of seven current and former PDS sites and interviewed more than 60 informants to identify program strengths, weaknesses, and issues requiring attention (Bullough, Kauchak, Crow, Hobbs, & Stokes, 1996). The place of clinical faculty in teacher education emerged as a critical issue, resulting in a second, descriptive case study (Yin, 1989), which we report in this article.

In this article, we explore through the eyes of clinical, non-tenure-track, and tenure-line university faculty the increased use of clinical faculty in teacher education programs, a shift resulting in what we call the clinicalization of teacher education. Four sections follow. First, we present a brief institutional history of our PDS work and the staffing patterns that evolved. Second, we describe the study. Third, we present themes emerging from our data. Finally, we consider implications of our findings for future PDS development.

PDS: A Brief History

In the late 1970s, University of Utah faculty and staff, anticipating PDSs, created elementary Professional Development Centers (PDCs) as sites for pre- and inservice teacher education and research (Nutting, 1982). In the late 1980s, the Department of Educational Studies restructured elementary and secondary teacher preparation programs to include extensive field components and extended coursework and was thus in a strong position to respond to the Holmes Group (1986) agenda to establish Professional Development Schools, despite no external funding. …

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