professional development school (PDS), secondary content methods, school-university partnerships


As secondary methods instructors, we seek to integrate our courses within the context of our partner high school and to engage its staff in helping prepare our students. State and district mandates, however, often conflict with the pedagogy and content that guides our methods courses. In short, these mandates, whose ultimate goals are to increase student scores on high-stakes tests (especially at Title I schools), frequently do not align with the best practices described in contemporary educational research. In this article, we examine a highly rated unit plan developed by one teacher education candidate within a PDS-based methods course in regards to four theoretical frameworks: The National Council for the Social Studies A Vision of Powerful Teaching and Learning in the Social Studies position statement, Frey and Fisher’s Gradual Release of Learning model, the school district’s curriculum guide, and the PDS site principal’s explicit instructional messaging). The unit plan well supported assumptions posited by the NCSS position statement and the gradual release model, but offered less support for those required in the district curriculum guide or the principal’s message. Our findings illustrate a marked tension between the conflicting frameworks emphasized in our partner PDS site with that offered in our site-based methods courses.



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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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