Independence and Interdependence of a Professional Development School Partnership


Robert F. Sumowski, Georgia College & State University, USA
Joseph M. Peters, Georgia College & State University, USA
Published: December 1, 2019

Citation: Sumowski, R. F., & Peters. J. M. (2019). Independence and Interdependence of a Professional Development School Partnership IAFOR Journal of Education, 7(2).


Professional Development School Partnerships have the potential to provide unique experiences for teacher candidates and also provide important professional development for the K-12 school personnel involved in the relationship. According to the National Association of Professional Development Schools (2008), a key essential to a successful partnership involves the entities’ ability to achieve objectives together that neither partner might be able to fully accomplish individually. Our Professional Development School is a model for how the partners’ joint mission operates beyond each institution’s ability to provide the experiences and services in isolation. Although both the school district and the university are independent entities, their interdependence in the Professional Development School allows us to accomplish the overarching mission to improve education at all levels in our community from six weeks old to the doctoral level. The benefits are initiatives such as a joint Montessori Academy for children, participation on advisory councils, and a grade seven through twelve Early College program. Classrooms are made available for university faculty to do research, preservice teacher candidates can observe and practice, and first-generation at-risk students have the support they need for college placement. Professional development offerings by university faculty and District staff in areas such as Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports allow District teachers a unique professional development experience and the ability to continue and achieve a university certificate for their participation.


professional development school, positive behavior interventions and supports, independence, interdependence