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K-State Today

December 15, 2014

Professional Development Schools program celebrates 25th anniversary

Submitted by Patrice Scott

For 25 years, teachers and preservice teachers have improved their craft locally and nationally thanks to the creation of the College of Education's Professional Development Schools, or PDS, partnerships.

The program started with three elementary schools in 1989 and has grown to 14 elementary schools, five middle schools, two high schools and two distant partner districts.

Gail Shroyer, professor of curriculum and instruction, and Sally Yahnke, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, developed the Professional Development Schools model as a response to the call for reform in teacher education that originated with the 1983 publication of "A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Report."

In 1998, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, or NCATE, Professional Development Schools Standards Pilot Project, selected the K-State College of Education as one of 20 national sites to participate in the first effort to develop national standards for the Professional Development Schools program. As a result, these standards were adopted across Kansas and the nation.

In 1999, the department of curriculum and instruction received a $6.7 million grant — the second largest in college history — from the Department of Education after an intensely competitive application process for the Professional Development Schools partnership project.

To detail the success and growth of the partnerships, the fall 2014 edition of the college's peer-reviewed journal, "Educational Considerations," was dedicated to the program.