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Patton College PDS Model Builds Bridges for Greater Teaching, Learning

A new set of brief videos in AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series focuses on operationalizing clinical practice through the award-winning partnerships of Ohio University’s Patton College of Education (see this article introducing the series). Today’s article highlights messages from the first three videos, which feature leaders from the college as well as students, teachers, and administrators from several of its partner schools.

The Patton College of Education at Ohio University is building bridges for greater teaching and learning in a model that is a boon to PK-12 students, faculty, and teacher candidates. Its professional development school (PDS) partnerships employ a clinical model of education to provide hands-on experience for future educators while supporting their mentors and demonstrating educational benefit for the students as well.

According to George Wood, superintendent of Federal Hocking local schools, his district’s partnership with the Patton College was created through communication between faculty from both sides. But he credits the program’s drive and staying power to the relationships built between the teachers and faculty who work year after year to ensure its ongoing success.

“It’s more than just a university going into a school to collect research,” said Chris Kennedy, faculty coordinator at the Patton College of Education. “Showing the schools that we are highly invested in what they are doing is one way of building trust and relationships.”

For those looking to initiate such a program, Principal Penny McDowell of Morrison-Gordon Elementary School said, “Research and preparation is the key to starting a great partnership.”

At Federal Hocking Middle School, the students’ response to the partnership has been overwhelmingly positive. “They are excited and enthusiastic by having these passionate and young people in the classroom,” said Robin Hawk, a cooperating teacher, describing her students’ reaction to the Ohio University candidates. “The kids love seeing the teachers grow.” She also noted the benefit of having more adults in the room: “There is one teacher to 25 students,” she said. “This partnership now allows more focused one-on-one time with students.”

Federal Hocking High School student Jenna Kasler said her father, who teaches at the school, “loves having the teacher candidates because they bring fresh and new ideas to old perspectives.”

“This partnership creates great teachers, not just good teachers,” she added.

The brief videos “Creating Partnerships,” “Improving Student Learning,” and “Building Relationships” spotlight the perspectives of diverse participants in Ohio University’s PDS programs. Stay tuned for the next installments about this successful clinical model of educator preparation.

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Melvin Bogard

Media Relations Coordinator Intern