ERIC Number: EJ872655
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 65
Finding Meaning in PDS Stories
Breault, Rick A.
Teacher Education Quarterly, v37 n1 p177-194 Win 2010
The Professional Development School (PDS) literature is filled with the stuff of good storytelling--archetypes of an ancient profession, struggles of marginalized individuals against powerful structures, personal triumphs, and devotion to a quest. However, much of the writing about PDS experiences that could be considered storytelling tends to simply recount events with some minimal emphasis on the feelings of participants, more informal language, and personal relationships. As a result, the reader is left with something that is not quite a meaningful story but not quite research either. The author has spent a considerable amount of his professional life working in and researching PDSs and the literature written about them. After working in several PDS settings, talking to dozens of colleagues from PDSs across the country, and reading hundreds of articles, papers, and books on the subject, the author is convinced where PDSs have not lived up to their promise or failed altogether the problem has been due less to insufficient resources than to dysfunctional relationships and a lack of understanding, recognition, and imagination. In the project described in this article, the author advocates for a genre of PDS literature that might better capture the human and relational dimensions of PDS work. While there is an immediate, literary, or aesthetic appeal to the idea, there are also practical, utilitarian purposes to be mined. First, it is not always easy to write the truth about a partnership. Second, this new genre could also sharpen the research skills and interactional insights of the researcher by demanding closer attention not only to what participants do but how they do it, how they respond to others, and the dynamics of internal politics. Finally, if the first two purposes are accomplished, the contribution of PDS writing in general might become more meaningful.
Descriptors: Professional Development Schools, Research Methodology, Research Skills, Interpersonal Relationship, Educational Research, Discourse Analysis, Research Needs, Literature Reviews, Story Telling, Literary Genres, Literary Devices, Literary Styles, Discourse Modes
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A