PDS Collaboration as Third Space: An analysis of the quality of learning experiences in a PDS partnership

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This article documents the self-study processes and findings of a collaborative research group that examined a professional development school (PDS) partnership. Drawing on the scholarship of self-study of teacher education practices and theoretical perspectives consistent with third space, we conceived our collaborative study group as a learning community aimed at uncovering the complexities of school–university partnerships while seeking new directions for an effective partnership. Data were collected from a variety of sources. Themes were developed based on some identified areas of focus consistent with the group's objectives, which included deciphering the state of our PDS collaboration, our preservice teachers' learning experiences, and insight into faculty as learners in professional relationship. The study revealed that experiential disparity existed within and among faculty and students in various PDS sites as a result of poor communication as well as divergent models of collaboration and philosophical goals between faculty and mentor teachers. Disparity in the learning experiences among the preservice teachers was attributed to the quality and scope of the partnership. This study resulted in better understanding of our roles as hybrid educators and recognition of mentor teachers as critical bridges in a PDS partnership.



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