The Professional Development School (PDS) Consortium at Buffalo State received the 2013 Spirit of Partnership Award at the annual conference of the National Association of Professional Development Schools (NAPDS).
“This is our second award from NAPDS,” said Wendy Paterson, dean of the School of Education. “Buffalo State’s national reputation in this organization has brought us recognition as one of the country’s most vital and vibrant school-college partnerships.”
In presenting the award, Bruce E. Field, executive director of School-University Partnerships and Clinical Experiences at the University of South Carolina, said that Buffalo State has had a meaningful effect on building and sustaining the PDS model.
“Your partnership’s work through the years has been impressive, but I think in recent years you have gone above and beyond in what you provide the national—and international—PDS community,” he said. “Your focus on preparing the next generation of educators for the global community has Buffalo State out front in our collective effort to carry the PDS message across international boundaries.”
Field also recognized Buffalo State’s faculty members for involving students in the annual conference, saying “they will not only be prepared for the ever-changing world but will also step into leadership roles when our generation passes on the torch of collaboration.”
The hallmark of a successful PDS is a high degree of collaboration between the schools where, under the guidance of both faculty and master teachers, students develop their professional teaching skills. Buffalo State faculty work closely with the teachers in PDS schools, providing professional development opportunities and conducting research to develop best practices for the education of all partners. Buffalo State’s PDS also offers action research grants to address the needs of PDS schools.
“Our PDS offers clinically rich practice in preparing teachers,” said Paterson, “and that is exactly what the governor, the state commissioner of education, and SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, are asking all colleges to develop.” Buffalo State’s PDS has been showcased at several SUNY conferences in Albany.
“We are also very proud of the presentations our students made at the conference,” said Paterson. “Several of them received job offers.”
Buffalo State’s international PDS efforts include the work of Hibajene Shandomo and Pixita del Prado Hill, both associate professors of elementary education and reading, and Nancy Chicola, associate professor and chair of elementary education and reading, who spearheaded internationalization efforts.
Shandomo and Chicola have worked with a PDS in Lusaka, Africa, and del Prado Hill has developed a strong collaboration with a PDS in Santiago, Chile. Students and faculty members from Universidad Mayor in Chile recently visited Buffalo State where they attended classes, participated in the Global Book Project, and completed a 25-hour practicum at the Herman Badillo Bilingual Academy.