Articles in Refereed Journals

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  • Nolan, J. (2012) Commentary on Agency as Systemic Learning in Flessner, R., Miler, G. Patrizio, K. & Horwitz, J. (Eds.) Agency in Teacher Education. Latham, MD.: R & L Education, 165-169.


  • Badiali, B. and Titus, N. (2011) Co-teaching: Enhancing Student Learning Through Mentor-Intern Partnerships, School University Partnerships 4 (2), 74-80.
  • Badiali, B. (October, 2011) Identity and Inquiry: A Love Letter to Teacher Candidates. Education in a democracy: A journal of the National Network for Educational Renewal 3, 75-84.


  • Avraamidou, L. & Zembal-Saul, C. (2010). In search of well-started beginning science teachers: Insights from two first-year elementary teachers. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(6), 661- 686.
  • Whitney, A. & Badiali, B. (2010). Writing as Teacher Leadership. English Leadership Quarterly, October 2010, pp. 2-3.


  • Nolan, J., Badiali, B., Zembal-Saul, C., Burns, R., McDonough, M., Wheland, M. , Bauer, D., Edmondson, J., Queeney, D. (2009) The Penn State-State college Elementary Professional Development School Collaborative: A Profile. School University Partnerships: Journal of the National Association for Professional Development Schools, 6, 39-52.
  • Zembal-Saul, C. (2009). Learning to teach elementary school science as argument. Science Education, 93 (4), 687-719.


  • Murray, O. & Zembal-Saul, C. (2008). EDUCATE at Penn State: Preparing beginning teachers with powerful digital tools. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 20, 48 – 58.
  • Snow-Gerono, J, Dana, N., & Nolan, J.  (2008) Following up with Professional Development School graduates: An emergent theory of novice teacher leadership. School-University Partnerships (2) 2, 55-68.


  • Nolan, J. (2007) Five Principles of Educational Change. Catalyst for Change 35 (1), 3-9.
  • Ward, A.R. & Zembal-Saul, C. (2007). Scientist-science teacher educator partnerships for developing and teaching science courses for preservice elementary teachers. Pennsylvania Teacher Educator, 6, 1-9.
  • Zembal-Saul, C., Huckans, J., Walker, D., Hershberger, K., Cole, M., Kurz, N., & Reed, D. (2007). Taking flight: Using a wind tunnel to teach air and aviation content. Science Scope, 30(6), 27 – 31.


  • Avraamidou, L. & Zembal-Saul, C. (2006). Exploring the influence of web-based portfolio development on learning to teach elementary science. AACE Journal, 14(2), 178-205.
  • Haefner, L.A., Friedrichsen, P., & Zembal-Saul, C. (2006). Teaching with insects: An applied life science course for supporting prospective elementary teachers’ scientific inquiry. The American Biology Teacher, 68(4), 254 – 259.
  • Hershberger, K., Zembal-Saul, C., & Starr, M. (2006). Evidence helps the KLW get a KLEW. Science & Children, 43(5), 50-53.
  • Smolleck, L., Zembal-Saul, C. & Yoder, E. (2006). The development and validation of an instrument to measure preservice teachers’ self-efficacy in regard to the teaching of science as inquiry. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 17(2), 137 – 163.


  • Avraamidou, L. & Zembal-Saul, C. (2005). Giving priority to evidence in science teaching: A first-year elementary teacher’s specialized knowledge and practice. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 42(9), 965-986.
  • Badiali, B. J. (2005) Partnerships and Progressive Space: Quickening the Pendulum. The Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 4(1) pg.
  • Badiali, B. J. & Hammond, D. J. (2005) Coteaching for Deep Understanding: Abandoning the “take-over.” Pennsylvania Teacher Educator, 4(i), pg.
  • Crawford, B., Zembal-Saul, C., Munford, D. & Friedrichsen, P. (2005). Confronting prospective teachers' ideas of evolution and scientific inquiry using technology and inquiry-based tasks. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 42(6), 613-637.


  • Haefner, L.A. & Zembal-Saul, C. (2004). Learning by doing? Prospective elementary teachers' developing understandings of scientific inquiry and science teaching and learning. International Journal of Science Education, 26(13), 1653-1674.
  • Hankin, D. & Nolan, J. (2004) The professional development of novice teachers: A critical review. Pennsylvania Educational Leadership 24 (1), 37-45.
  • Hsu, P. and Zembal-Saul, C. (2004). A case study of the change process of integrating technology into an elementary science methods course. Proceedings for the 2004 Meeting of the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. Atlanta, Georgia.


  • Easley, J., Henning, M.B., Bradley, B. (2003) Finding graduate student voices through the deconstruction of democratic relationships in a PDS. The Professional Educator.
    Much has been written about how K-12 teachers and university faculty come to understand their roles within Professional Development Schools (PDSs). However, there is not a clear body of research that addresses the roles of graduate students who represent a valuable force in PDSs. This paper aims to explore the dynamics of relationship building in a PDS culture that honors collaboration and democratic norms among university supervisors, mentor teachers and pre-service teacher interns. These dynamics are explored from the perspectives of three graduate students (future teacher educators) working in a Pennsylvania PDS. The issues that arise from their dialogue are developed through and around a critical lens that questions the notions of collaboration, democracy, power and voice. The authors conclude that relationship building is no easy feat. They contend, however, that the process of building relationships and establishing mutual support is made optimal through dialogue based in trust and candor.
  • Gimbert, Belinda G., Zembal-Saul, C., & Abruzzo, S. ( Spring 2003). Teacher
inquiry as professional development in school-university partnerships: Infusing technology into curricula to enhance elementary children’s learning. Teacher Education and Practice, 16 (1).
    This article explores the question of how engaging in teacher inquiry within the context of a school-university partnership influences teachers’ use of technology to enhance student learning. While striving to meet the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) and performance indicators for teachers (2000) and students (2000), classroom teachers need to be supported in their efforts to infuse technology into curricula and classroom practice. Such a mammoth undertaking demands a process of job-embedded staff development. Our purposes in this article are threefold. First, we explore the process of classroom-based research, also known as teacher inquiry, as a means of professional development in a relatively new context, the school-university partnership. Specifically, we examine how the process of teacher inquiry in this community supports classroom teachers’ efforts to infuse technology into their teaching practices. Second, we describe three examples of teacher inquiry in which teachers explored questions that focused on enhancing their own technological competencies, as well as those of children, and infused technology into their daily teaching practices. And third, we identify broad themes associated with teacher inquiry and technology integration that are illustrated through the examples.
  • Gimbert, Belinda G., & Nolan, James F. (Spring 2003). The influence of 
the professional development school context on supervisory practice: A university supervisor and interns’ perspectives. Journal of Curriculum and Supervision.
    This report presents a phenomenological case study that examined the influence of a professional development school (PDS) context on the university supervisor’s practice from the perspectives of a university faculty member and teacher candidates. Several research questions framed this study: How do PDS interns portray and interpret university supervisory practices that emerged from the PDS context? How does the university supervisor understand his supervisory practices and behavior? What role does context play? Given the differing contexts of a traditional student teaching experience and a PDS internship, do the process of supervision and the role of a university supervisor change?

In this particular school-university partnership context, a university supervisor was renamed a professional development associate (PDA). Whereas many aspects of the university supervisor’s practice remained stable, meaningful differences were found in the work of a professional development associate. The data in this study point sharply to the heightened role of the PDA in the supervisory process. Appearing quite different in the PDS context were: readiness and relationship building with the teacher candidates; the stages of supervision that unfolded during the yearlong experience; a PDA’s knowledge of and focus on individual children; the role of goal setting and evaluation; and, the flexible structure of the internship that supported an individual intern’s process of learning to teach. The intern-PDA supervisory relationship became a means of professional growth for both the teacher candidates and the university supervisor. Interns’ personal meanings of the function of university supervision shifted from thinking of a university supervisor’s practices ‘apart’ from to ‘a part of’ their professional growth.
  • Gimbert, Belinda G. (2003). Mastery of teaching in a school-university 
partnership: A model of context-appropriation theory. Teacher Development, 6(2) University of Cambridge, UK.
    This study explored the experiences of six pre-service teachers who participated as intern teachers in a professional development school (PDS) program between a research university and a public school district in Northeastern United States. This research offers a substantive-level theory of learning to teach in the context of a school-university partnership. The research question driving this study was: How do intern teachers experience learning to teach in the context of a professional development school? Congruent with the qualitative methodology of grounded theory, a model of context-appropriation theory is presented that was generated from the findings of this study. Two central categories are illustrated - learning about teaching and how to teach, and learning how to be a teacher. Additionally, strategies and states of intern development are described with examples of evidence, happenings, and instances. Five assertions were amassed from this model of learning about teaching and how to teach, and learning about how to be a teacher, and correlated with the literature on learning to teach and pre-service teacher development.
  • Silva, D. Y., & Dana, N. F. (2003). Creating spaces for new roles, responsibilities, and
relationships: An ethnographic study of teachers’ work lives in a newly formed professional development school, Journal of Teacher Education.
    Frankes, Valli, and Cooper (1998) stated that the goals of a PDS encourage classroom teachers to assume four new responsibilities: teacher as decision maker, teacher as teacher educator, teacher as researcher, and teacher as political advocate. They further concluded in an extensive review of PDS literature that the roles of teacher as decision maker and teacher as teacher educator are the most developed. Yet, while we know these roles are the most developed across the nation, we have little insight into how these roles develop, and what these roles mean for the work lives of mentor teachers. This ethnographic study provides insights into the "how" of role development and the meaning of these roles for mentor teachers in one Professional Development School, now in it's seventh year.


  • Snow-Gerono, J.L., Yendol-Silva, D. & Nolan, J.F. (2002). Reconceptualizing curriculum for the PDS: University faculty negotiate tensions in collaborative design of methods course. Action in Teacher Education.
    Sharing the stories of four university faculty members, this article explores the experience of co-constructing teacher education methods curriculum with university- and school-based partners. This article’s primary focus is the experience of the university faculty members as they negotiate the new territory of collaborative planning and deliver of teacher education curriculum with their school-based partners. They are reconceptualizing traditional methods course curriculum to match the needs of their specific PDS context. Individual portraits of the university faculty are described, and four themes are highlighted as integral to their collective story: Learning how to create a participative culture, Risk-taking and vulnerability, The threads that unite, and Tensions between theory and practice.
  • Dana, N.F., Silva, D.Y., Snow-Gerono, J.S. (Winter 2002) Building a culture of 
inquiry in a Professional Development School. Teacher Education and Practice, 15(4),
    This study explores the evolution of inquiry into a Professional Development School context. Teacher educators hoped to cultivate inquiry as a stance into this partnership’s culture. However, building teacher inquiry into this PDS context involved time for teachers to understand inquiry and embrace it as a powerful tool for reflective teaching and educational change. The authors found that mentor teachers gained space to understand inquiry through the inquiry projects conducted by prospective teachers in the PDS. The authors note that the tension between inquiry as a project and inquiry as a stance remains in this context and merits further exploration.
  • Gimbert, Belinda G. (Fall, 2002) Learning to teach: the lived experience of being an intern in a professional development school. Pennsylvania Teacher Education, 1 21-31.
    This study explored the experiences of six preservice teachers who participated as interns in a Professional Development School (PDS), examining how they understood and made sense of their experience of learning teach in a PDS context. Researchers used a phenomenological case study with narrative inquiry, collecting data from interviews, field notes, documents, journals, and Web-based portfolios over 12 months. Analysis of the data indicated that interns portrayed learning to teach as two distinct yet connected processes: (1) learning about teaching and learning how to teach and (2) learning about how to be a teacher. Within these two processes, there were three main themes: unlocking practitioners' knowledge and skills, thinking and doing, and understanding how children think and learn. As respondents learned about how to be a teacher, six themes emerged: shaping a transitory teacher identity, negotiating the college student role and PDS intern role in the school-university partnership, building teacher expectations, establishing community relationships, fostering home and school relationships, and exploring ownership of the curriculum.
  • Gimbert, Belinda. G., & Zembal-Saul, C. (August, 2002) Learning to teach with technology: From integration to actualization. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 2(2).
    The purpose of this article is to highlight technology integration within a unique professional development school (PDS) context. Emphasis is placed on teaching interns (i.e., prospective elementary teachers in their final year of preparation) who were introduced to applications of technology through their university coursework. Opportunities to explore technology use in the classroom were afforded through a year-long, school-based internship. Prospective elementary teachers experienced multiple approaches to integrating a wide range of technology tools and applications of technology designed to enhance and support student learning. In this article, we describe the PDS program context, technology integration framework, five exemplar cases of technology infusion in the context of elementary classrooms, and implications for learning to teach with technology. The cases include: Grade 1 – Mystery Dinosaurs: Demonstrating the Discovery Process using Kid Pix™; Grade 2 – Exploring Seasons: Simulating an Ecosystem with Sammy’s Science House™; Grade 3 – Where do insects go in the winter? Using the Web to Support a Science Investigation; Grade 4 – How healthy is the food we eat? Representing Nutritional Information using Graph Club™; and Grade 5 – Demonstrating Understandings of Convection Currents: Students as Web Page Authors.
  • Silva, D.Y. (2002). Triad journaling: A tool for creating professional learning communities. Teacher Education Quarterly, 28(3). 23-34.
    ABSTRACT: This study explored the use of triad journaling as a collaborative tool for enhancing teaching and learning in a professional development school. The triad journals expand the notion of traditional journaling between university supervisor and student teacher to include the cooperating teacher in weekly dialogue about teaching and learning. Based on field notes, informal interviews, and the document analysis of journals collected over an eighteen month period of time, the study presents four findings: 1) Triad journals helped facilitate mentor role reconceptualization, 2) Triad journals led to heightened communication and reflection, 3) Triad journals nurtured a problem posing culture, and 4) Members of the triad described a “professional energy” created by the shared professional space.


  • Snow, J. L., Dana, N. F., & Silva, D. Y. ( Fall, 2001) Where are they now?: Former PDS interns emerge as first year teacher leaders. The Professional Educator, 24 (1), 35-48.
    Initial preparation of teachers in the situated context of a Professional Development School holds implications for how these interns will perform as first-year teachers. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences of five first year teachers who learned to teach in a newly formed PDS. They fulfilled requirements for an inquiry-oriented, full-year internship. While interns, they planned, taught, and inquired about teaching alongside their mentor teacher on a daily basis. After the internship, all five graduates secured employment in various school contexts the following year. Upon analyzing interview transcripts from the participants as interns and then as teachers surpassed the traditional “survival” stage of novice teachers, had strongly developed teacher stances, and emerged as teacher leaders within their varied school contexts. While more research is needed, we believe this study demonstrates worthwhile benefits of PDS teacher preparation for the educational community.
  • Silva, D. Y., & Gimbert, B. G. (Spr-Sum 2001). Character education and teacher inquiry: A
promising partnership for enhancing children’s classrooms. International Journal of Social Education, 16 (1), 18-33.
    The purpose of this study was to explore how prospective and practicing elementary teachers use teacher inquiry as a tool to explore issues of character within their own classroom. The introduction of the paper outlined the integral role teachers assume in teaching issues of character and presents teacher inquiry as a relevant professional development tool for enhancing teachers’ understanding of character related issues. Because teacher inquiry begins with the teacher’s own questions and permeates her classroom practices, inquiry becomes a tool for integrating character education into the daily work of classroom teachers. This paper includes a document analysis of over 40 inquiry projects conducted over a two-year period. The analysis demonstrates that prospective and practicing teachers: 1) frequently self-select issues relating to character education as inquiry projects, 2) broadly define the domain of character education, 3) explore issues of character that relate to specific pedagogy, children, and content, and 4) gain satisfaction at multiple levels in conducting inquiry into character education. Included in this paper are excerpts drawn from the researchers’ field notes, children’s work, the teacher’s written projects, and interviews. The study concludes by discussing what is missing from these teacher selected inquiries, why character education program development isn’t enough, and why inquiry has the potential to impact children’s development of character.
  • Dana, N. F., Silva, D. Y., Gimbert, B., Nolan, J., Zembal-Saul, C., Tzur, R., Sanders, L., & Mule, L. (2001). Developing new understandings of PDS work: Better questions, better problems. Action in Teacher Education, 26 (4) 15-27.
    Through sharing examples, the authors demonstrate how the analysis of long-term PDS problems and their evolution can serve as one indicator of growth in the PDS. Three persistent problem areas are identified: (a) building a trusting relationship between university and school personnel, (b) reconceptualizing existing coursework to fit in the PDS context, and (3) making inquiry a central feature of the PDS. The historical evolution of these problem areas is traced through three phases of PDS development over a six-year period, including PDS Planning, PDS Pilot Year, and PDS Institutionalization. The authors conclude that, through careful analysis, PDS problems can be celebrated and utilized as one measurement of growth in PDS work rather than bemoaned and utilized to characterize PDS work as unstable and fragile. Finally, the authors call for other PDS practitioners across the nation to share their PDS problems publicly, beginning a national dialogue about the ways in which PDS problems lead to new and better PDS work.
  • Gimbert, B. G. (2001). Interns’ lived experience of mentor teacher supervision in a PDS context. Teacher Education and Practice, 14(2), 55 – 81.
    Embedded in the framework of a Professional Development School (PDS) culture, this phenomenological case study explores how interns in a learning community experienced supervisory relationships with their mentor teachers. The following research questions framed the exploration. How do interns portray and understand mentor teacher supervision? What does this process look like from the intern’s perspective? Through a process of multiple mentoring, interns and mentor teachers birthed supervisory relationships that were nurtured by collegial conversation, co-teaching, and collaborative reflection. As interns raised their voices, they questioned and made changes to their teacher thinking and behaviour and explored multiple perspectives. Within the amoebic confines of a safe and supported PDS community, interns create personal meanings of their supervisory relationships.
  • Nicely, R. F., Nolan, James F., Gimbert, Belinda G., Dana, N. F., and Johnson, B. (2001). From genesis to journal - Lessons Learned from and about School/College Partnerships. Pennsylvania Educational Leadership, 20(2), 133 – 138.
    This compilation of articles in Pennsylvania Educational Leadership offers insights into the process and results of the contributor’s inquiry into the school/college partnership phenomenon. The journal’s compilation of experiences, observations and insights of school/college relationships offers lessons learned and the stories behind them. Contributors from the SCASD-PSU PDS Partnership include: Sheila Abruzzo, Deirdre Bauer, Nancy Dana, Belinda Gimbert, Lucy Mule, James Nolan, Frances Rains, Diane Silva, and Carla Zembal-Saul.
  • Silva, D. Y., & Dana, N. F. (2001). Collaborative supervision in the professional development school. Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 16 (4), 305-321.
    This article presents a collaborative model of supervision that examines and informs our understanding of professional development within a Professional Development School context. Although PDSs are spreading quickly across the nation, reconceptualizing the role of supervision within a PDS has received little attention in the literature. This article offers a four-phase, theoretically based model for supervision co-constructed and shared by members of the PDS community and influenced by four bodies of literature: reflective supervision, teacher inquiry, preservice teacher supervision, and PDSs. The four phases of supervision are building readiness, directed supervision, reflective supervision, and teacher inquiry. By allowing supervision to take multiple forms within a PDS context and recognizing the relational underpinnings of supervision, supervision becomes a shared responsibility of the university supervisor and the classroom teacher. Shared supervision results in the possibility for prospective and practicing teachers’ co-development of an inquiry stance to professional practice. Additionally, shared supervision creates a context in which mentors, interns, and university faculty can collaboratively engage in reform-minded teaching.


  • Gimbert, B. G., Nolan, J. F., & Silva, D. Y. (Spring, 2000). Group supervision: Nurturing an intern learning community in a professional development school. Wingspan, 10- 16.
    Embedded in the framework of a Professional Development School (PDS) culture, this article explores how interns in a learning community experienced collegial interactions, conversations and collaborative reflection. The PDS intern community was a transformative learning forum in which empowered novice teachers articulated and examined their beliefs, and analyzed their classroom practice. Within the confines of a safe and non-threatening peer environment, interns created personal meanings of their experiences, posed further wonderings about children’s thinking and ideas, and reflected on how to make ‘better problems.’ Fostering ‘best’ teaching practices, contemplating theory-practice issues, understanding the political and social culture of the schooling context, and building natural interdependencies, provided stimuli for these preservice teachers to raise their voices and consider multiple perspectives. Within the learning community, interns created spaces as they individually and collectively began making sense of learning to teach and teaching to learn in a PDS culture.
  • Dana, N. F., Silva, D. Y., Gimbert, B. G., Zembal-Saul, C., Tzur, R., Sanders, L., & Mule, L.
(October, 2000). We have better problems: New Problems as indicators of growth in a 
Professional Development School. School/University Partnerships: Issues, trends, and best practices. Monograph of The Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators, 65 – 74.
    Through sharing examples, the authors demonstrate how the analysis of long-term PDS problems and their evolution can serve as one indicator of growth in the PDS. Three persistent problem areas are identified: (a) building a trusting relationship between university and school personnel, (b) reconceptualizing existing coursework to fit in the PDS context, and (3) making inquiry a central feature of the PDS. The historical evolution of these problem areas is traced through three phases of PDS development over a six-year period, including PDS Planning, PDS Pilot Year, and PDS Institutionalization. The authors conclude that, through careful analysis, PDS problems can be celebrated and utilized as one measurement of growth in PDS work rather than bemoaned and utilized to characterize PDS work as unstable and fragile. Finally, the authors call for other PDS practitioners across the nation to share their PDS problems publicly, beginning a national dialogue about the ways in which PDS problems lead to new and better PDS work.


  • Dana, N. F., & Hernandez, D. (1997). Looking towards the future: School-University partnerships. Pennsylvania Educational Leadership, 17(1), 23-26.
    While much has been written in the past decade regarding the importance of school-university collaboration and the role of collaboration in school and teacher education reform, one factor remains constant – to develop and sustain a meaningful school university partnership takes a great deal of time and effort. The authors define school-university collaboration, explore the roles of participants in collaboratives as well as possible benefits, and describe the Professional Development School movement.
  • Dana, N. F., Dana, T. M., & Hernandez, D. (1997). Stages in the evolution of a school-university collaborative - The Matternville elementary school experience. Pennsylvania Educational Leadership, 17(1), 30-37.
    Long-term collaborative relationships between public schools and colleges of education go through an “up and down process with no fixed end point” (Trubowitz, 1996). The authors use Trubowitz’s Stages of Development (of a collaborative relationship) to examine the early stages of the implementation of a Professional Development School.