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Professional Development Schools

Professional Development


What are Professional Development Schools?

Professional Development Schools (PDS) are innovative institutions formed through partnerships between colleges of schools of education and P-12 schools. Their mission is professional preparation of teacher candidates, faculty development, inquiry directed at the improvement of practice, and enhanced student learning. These schools are more than sites for field placements for teacher candidates. A PDS is an environment in which university students, faculty liaisons, classroom teachers, and students in the schools can engage in long-term, on-going research-based initiatives that benefit all members in the learning community. In 2008, the National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS), identified the essential working components of effective PDSs.​

The nine required essentials of a PDS:

  1. A comprehensive mission that is broader in its outreach and scope than the mission of any partner and that furthers the education profession and its responsibility to advance equity within schools and, by potential extension, the broader community;
  2. A school–university culture committed to the preparation of future educators that embraces their active engagement in the school community;
  3. Ongoing and reciprocal professional development for all participants guided by need;
  4. A shared commitment to innovative and reflective practice by all participants;
  5. Engagement in and public sharing of the results of deliberate investigations of practice by respective participants;
  6. An articulation agreement developed by the respective participants delineating the roles and responsibilities of all involved;
  7. A structure that allows all participants a forum for ongoing governance, reflection, and collaboration;
  8. Work by college/university faculty and P–12 faculty in formal roles across institutional settings; and
  9. Dedicated and shared resources and formal rewards and recognition structures. 


Learning Community

The Maryland Professional Development School Network connects Maryland colleges and universities and their local school system partners in their efforts to implement the Redesign of Teacher Education in Maryland. The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) sponsors regional network meetings of stakeholders in these partnerships - college/university liaisons, school system PDS representatives, school principals and site coordinators, and preservice mentor teachers. The MSDE PDS website offers additional information.

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) requires interns to complete a 100 day internship across two consecutive semesters in a Professional Development School (PDS). MSDE defines a Professional Development School as a collaboratively planned and implemented partnership for the academic and clinical preparation of interns and the continuous development of both school system and Institution of Higher Education (IHE) faculty. The focus of the PDS partnership is improved student performance through research-based teaching and learning. A PDS may involve a single or multiple schools, school systems and IHEs and may take many forms to reflect specific partnership activities and approaches to improving both teacher education and PreK-12 schools.


The mission of PDS is jointly defined and mutually supported by the IHE and the school(s). Roles and structures are collaboratively designed to support the PDS work and to improve outcomes for PreK-12 students and interns. 

Diversity in Equity

The PDS supports equitable involvement of PreK-16 faculty and interns, as well as equitable support of student outcomes. PDS is attentive to issues of equity related to student achievement and seeks to address them through research-based program improvements that enable interns to meet the needs of diverse learners. 

PDS Partnerships


Nicole Wall
Instructional Specialist
Office of Professional Learning and Leadership
Division of Human Resources
301 749 5238 ext. 45515

Dr. Rainya Miller- Non-PDS Placement Contact
Instructional Program Coordinator
Office of Professional Learning and Leadership
Division of Human Resources
301 749 5238 ext. 45519