Professional Development Schools

At Loyola University Maryland, students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels who wish to teach in elementary or secondary schools are required to complete a school-based internship in a Professional Development School (PDS). PDSs are collaborative arrangements between the School of Education and local public and non-public schools. These sites provide the opportunities for students to receive mentoring from experienced teachers and supervision from Loyola faculty. The relationship also fosters opportunities to build connections among theories and practices of teaching. PDSs are designed to serve the professional development needs of practicing teachers and to promote exemplary teaching practices.

As educated theorists and seasoned practitioners, the School of Education faculty members recognize the complexity of teaching and learning. It is our goal to focus on teacher actions and decision-making, with an emphasis on reflection and feedback so that this complex process is viewed deeply and productively. We recognize that the beginning teacher is truly a beginner, but with a wealth of background experience that can enrich all members of the learning community.

Loyola's model is closely aligned to the Maryland teacher education reform efforts, which have been guided by the Teacher Education Task Force Report, (also known as the Redesign of Teacher Education) adopted in May of 1995. The Redesign seeks to frame teacher preparation programs within the broader context of school improvement, giving the PDS concept a critical role in the state design.

Maryland's work in the area of PDS is highly regarded and emulated by other states as those states seek to reform their own teacher education programs. In Maryland, Professional Development Schools are mandated by state law and are a critical component of the program accreditation approval process. The two documents that guide the development and growth of the PDS movement in Maryland are the Professional Development Schools: An Implementation Manual (includes Maryland PDS Standards) and the PDS Assessment Framework (Revised August 2007). It is Loyola's intent and mission to implement these standards and guildelines in a manner that is true to school reform beliefs and pedagogy and to the Jesuit tradition and departmental conceptual framework. For more information visit the MSDE Professional Development Schools website.