The effects of professional development school relationships on the school and teacher in the urban setting: The teacher's perspective

Date of Completion

January 1999


Education, Adult and Continuing|Education, Teacher Training




This qualitative study examined the views and beliefs of a purposeful sample of experienced teachers in urban Professional Development Schools with respect to the approach toward simultaneous renewal as established by Goodlad (1988) and interpreted by Case, Norlander and Reagan (1995). The results of this examination add to the research literature by defining the renewal experiences of seasoned urban teachers in relationship with university persons. ^ At the University of Connecticut, the faculty has restructured the teacher education program to produce reflective leaders of education as part of its overall effort to renew schools and higher education institutions simultaneously. By placing a cohort of university pre-service teachers in the schools, they have allowed experienced teachers to work with the students at Junior, Senior, and Master's levels. Greater numbers of university faculty are in the schools providing supervision to pre-service teachers and interacting with the teachers. This study examines the relationships between the persons involved in the partnership from the teacher's perspective. ^ Participants were experienced teachers in three schools in a large urban school district that have been in partnership with the university for a minimum of six years. Their views were ascertained through in-depth interviews, focus group interviews, and observation. ^ Data were analyzed in two distinct phases. Preliminary data analysis during the data collection phase supplied the researcher with follow-up questions for clarification and verification in subsequent interview sessions. Following the data collection period, a cross-categorical analysis was undertaken. Through the process of inductive reasoning a central theme to which the data are connected was identified. ^ The results of this study indicate that the urban experience is a valid one for pre-service as well as experienced teachers and has a direct effect upon teacher learning and school climate. Future research efforts should focus upon the joint effort by teachers and university faculty to produce research and encourage collaboration between teachers. Also a study to ascertain the perceptions of teachers in settings which are not urban will assist universities in determining similarities and differences in support needs. ^