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Elementary Education - PDS

Professional Development Schools

Emporia State's Professional Development School Model is a collaborative, 100% field-based, year-long, clinical school experience for seniors from The Teachers College. Designed, implemented and evaluated by school district and college personnel, the outcomes-based program strongly reflects components of The Teachers College's teacher education program.


Since the early 1980s, there has been a strong call nationally for change in education at all levels. The Teachers College at Emporia State University has long been an advocate for change and an initiator of change. The addition of Professional Development Schools (PDS) provides our novice teachers the opportunity to study their profession in a school setting where university and school faculty collaborate and the administrative structure encourages professional development and empowerment of all participants.

Although the main purpose of the PDS is to provide a unique setting for the education of students and the preparation of new teachers, the PDS environment has so much more to offer. It allows for the development of innovative teaching practices as university faculty and classroom teachers collaborate on new methods and approaches to instruction. It provides university faculty with an opportunity to conduct research, and field test and disseminate educational innovations. Finally, it provides in-service opportunities and practice for the participating school district.

For the 2022-23 school year, a total of 54 schools in 23 school districts are professional development school sites. Each PDS site has supervisors who organize instruction, meet with pre-service teachers, and work with district personnel.


At each PDS site, on-site supervisors organize instructional activities, conference regularly with interns (individually and as a group) and collaborate with mentors, principals and district personnel. Each supervisor is also the primary university supervisor for the intern's teaching experiences.

Highly trained and effective mentor teachers at each site work closely with the interns to initiate them into all aspects of the teaching profession from meetings and classroom preparation the week prior to the opening of school through the establishment of classroom rules, procedures, and routines, to the planning, teaching, and evaluating of lessons. The interns also get experience with parent conferences and all-school functions.

Emporia State seniors are chosen to be interns following a selection process that includes formal written application and interviews. The interns work full school days as they participate daily in classrooms alongside their mentors. Interns also attend on-site seminars designed to provide needed background related to the art and science of teaching.

Mentor Teacher Training

This training program has been designed to provide prospective mentor teachers with an overview of Emporia State's Elementary Education program and the Professional Development School program. As you complete the training tasks, you will also have opportunities to practice supervision skills you will be using as you work with your Professional Development School interns. Since Fall 2007, elementary PDS interns have only been placed with teachers who have successfully completed the mentor teacher training.

For further information as assistance in planning for the PDS experience, please visit the Elementary Education Advising Center.