Preparing Social Justice Oriented Teachers: The Potential Role of Action Research in the PDSReport as inadecuate

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School-University Partnerships, v7 n1 p85-100 2014

Deliberate investigation into practice is an essential of the National Association for Professional Development Schools' defining elements of a Professional Development School (PDS). This article reports on the pilot efforts of one PDS as it initiated deliberate investigation through action research with a small group of teacher candidates. The process of implementation across a semester is detailed as the authors attempted to integrate action research into an already existing internship structure. There is a particular focus on how action research can serve to prepare social justice oriented teachers and help them to develop the necessary inquiry stance for such an orientation. The candidates' own stories of their action research are told and the PDS supports that enabled their success are detailed--critical friends groups, clinical mentor faculty, and the very process inherent in action research. Two of the interns additionally share their experiences during their first year and a half of in-service teaching. PDS Essentials Addressed: #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.

Descriptors: Social Justice, Teacher Characteristics, Action Research, Professional Development Schools, College School Cooperation, Preservice Teachers, Internship Programs, Teacher Competencies, Inquiry, Communities of Practice, Mentors, College Faculty, Teaching Experience, Reflective Teaching, Poverty, English Language Learners, Faculty Development, Elementary Education, Learner Engagement, Critical Thinking, Social Studies

National Association for Professional Development Schools. College of Education University of South Carolina, Wardlaw 252, Columbia, SC 29208. Tel: 803-777-1515; Fax: 803-777-3035; e-mail: napds[at]; Web site:

Author: Dodman, Stephanie L.; Lai, Kerri; Campet, Melissa; Cavallero-Lotocki, Renee; Hopkins, Aaron; Onidi, Christine


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