Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education


This study was designed to identify and describe the stages of preservice development in a Professional Development School (PDS) for teachers of students with emotional disturbance. This study investigated two questions: (a) How does a preservice teacher for students with serious emotional disturbance in a one year full time PDS progress through a series of developmental stages, and (b) what are the opportunities that contribute to the learning of the preservice teacher in a PDS?

This was a qualitative study in which seven data sources from preservice teachers were collected over a nine-month period. These included videotaped teaching episodes, informal and formal interviews, conversations in weekly seminars, significant others in training interviews, journals, and statements of teaching philosophy. Based on the emergent themes that this data generated, a theoretical model of preservice teacher development was constructed. Confidence, fear, caution and competence are the four stages identified in A Model for Preservice Teacher Development. Sixteen opportunities for preservice teacher learning in a PDS environment were described. The researcher's daily presence at the PDS accounted for the richness of the data. Implications were made for further research and practice. Recommendations for teacher education reform using PDS models were delineated.