Professional Development Schools is Topic of Summer Conference at Penn State
by Joe Savrock (April 2009)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Planning is well under way for the 2009 Penn State Summer Conference for Partnerships and Professional Development Schools. All persons involved in any facet of professional development school (PDS) initiatives are invited to attend.
Sponsored by Penn State’s College of Education, the conference runs July 9–11 on the University Park campus.
The purpose of the conference is to encourage experiences and conversations among new, developing, and mature PDS programs in a relaxed atmosphere. The conference will include sessions for all stakeholders—including mentors, teacher candidates, clinical faculty, deans, and directors.
“One compelling function of the Professional Development School is to make our work public, and this conference has been designed to make that happen,” stated conference organizer Bernard Badiali, associate professor of educational leadership at Penn State. “The sessions will be highly interactive. There will be ample time for sharing research and practices formally and informally.”
The conference will feature presentations by invited national leaders in the field. Among the guest speakers are Patricia Best, superintendent of the State College (Pa.) Area School District; Audrey Kliensasser, director of partnership at the University of Wyoming; Nicolas Michelli, dean of deans at The City University of New York; James Nolan, Henry J. Hermanowicz Professor of Teacher Education at Penn State; and Bruce Fields, director of partnerships at the University of South Carolina.
A wide variety of topics will be covered, including how to begin and sustain school–university partnerships, a look at the state of the national PDS movement, ways in which to create leadership capacity for PDS, the imperative of trusting relationships in PDS work, and mentoring within the PDS.
Concurrent sessions will allow participants to share what is taking place in their own PDS settings. The conference also includes built-in planning times during which PDS teams can prepare for 2009 and beyond.
The conference coincides with the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, which also takes place on the University Park campus. The annual Festival of the Arts is widely acclaimed as one of the nation’s top outdoor arts celebrations, attracting more than three hundred exhibitors. The event includes music, dance, and theatrical performances in a variety of traditional and nontraditional venues.