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College of Education > Professional Development School > Elementary > Mentor Resources > C & S 497 – Professional Study Groups in the PDS Context (1 credit)

C & S 497 – Professional Study Groups in the PDS Context (1 credit)


Dr. Jim Nolan will be the instructor of record, but the study group can be lead by any teacher, coach, administrator, or PDA who agrees to lead the study group.


This course has been designed for all educators in the State College Area School District who are interested in learning more about and participating in professional study groups focused on topics of interest. These professional study groups are a teacher-directed form of professional development in which teachers use structured conversation formats to explore their own work and the work of their students. The class will begin with one large group session that will provide an overview of the course structure, the study group concept, and the course requirements. Following this general session, individual study groups will be developed around specific topics of interests. These individual study groups may be led by teachers, coaches, administrators or PDAs. A variety of study group topics will be offered depending on teacher interests. After the initial session each study group will meet for a total time of 12 hours between 9/19 and the end of December. The meeting times and format will be scheduled by the group.

Course Meeting Schedule

Initial Whole Group Meeting- Wednesday September 19th - 3:45 -5:45- Introduction and Formation of Topic Specific Groups
Twelve hours of study group meetings before the end of December
Each study group will establish specific dates, times and places for meetings.
Total contact time will be 14 hours.

Expectations and Responsibilities

  1. Course Participation- Participants will be expected to attend all course sessions, to read the readings for each session and to participate in study group discussions.
  2. Reflective paper - Each participant will be asked to write a three to five page (double spaced) reflective essay that describes the study group experience and analyzes its actual or potential impact on the participant’s practice as an educator.

The paper will be due by 5 pm on Friday December 14th.
An email will be forthcoming with section number and registration information