Creating a Learning Alliance: A Democratic Teacher Preparation Program.Report as inadecuate

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This paper reviews ways in which the University of Indianapolis (Indiana) utilized its professional development school (PDS) program as a vehicle for promoting inclusion of democratic ideals in the teacher education program. Three issues related to implementation of the PDS partnership are discussed: balance and shift of roles, direction and pace of change, and means of balancing the professional needs of all. The central focus of the efforts to restructure the teacher education program were attempts to connect the curriculum to real world experiences and to provide authentic tasks for preservice teachers. Input from a task force that included other local higher education institutions and teachers and administrators from the Indianapolis Public Schools helped to shape the university faculty's decisions about which schools to select. Descriptions are given of the roles played by teachers, university faculty, and preservice students in establishing a democratic learning alliance. Also discussed are methods courses; field experiences; a new PDS staff position (teacher-in-residence); and professional development activities for preservice and inservice teachers, as well as university faculty. (Contains 13 references.) (IAH)

Descriptors: College School Cooperation, Democratic Values, Educational Principles, Elementary Education, Higher Education, Preservice Teacher Education, Professional Development, Professional Development Schools, Program Development, Program Implementation, Teacher Education Curriculum, Teacher Role

Author: Weisenbach, E. Lynne; Steffel, Nancy


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