Sample: The study sample consisted of (1), 45 questionnaire respondents out of a total of 73 mentor teachers serving in a CPDT that has been in a field-based teacher preparation collaborative for four years (designated as the "Old" District), and (2), 21 out of a total of 27 mentor teachers in a recently-established CPDT that has been functioning less than a year (designated as the "New" District).
Sixty-five percent in both districts agreed that CPDT training is as good or better than the pre-service training they themselves had received; thirty-five percent did not.
This difference suggests that orientation, preparation, materials and guidance may have improved substantially between the time the earlier CPDT was initiated and four years later when the newer one was established.
With few exceptions, CPDT liaisons have spent over ten years in elementary classrooms and many include recent experience.
The Centers for Professional Development of Teachers (CPDTs
) through institutions of higher education were developed for the purpose of integrating technology and innovative teaching practices in the preservice and staff development training of public school teachers and administrators.
Since the passage of the 1991 state legislative authorization to restructure teacher preparation, over two thirds of the 69 colleges and universities in Texas have adopted a CPDT field-based model (State Board for Educator Certification, 1997).
The UTA CPDT professional development school model was established as CREST, an acronym for Collaborative Redesign of Educational Systems in Texas.
The Instructional Leadership Team in the NET CPDT corrects that deficiency by recognizing that the classroom teacher is the practicing expert.
Faculty working in the NET CPDT integrate university courses with on site classroom activities.
This advantage has resulted in school districts who participate in the NET CPDT electing to provide substantial and essential financial, material and personnel resources.
As trumpeted in other articles in this publication, the NET CPDT has been successfully institutionalized and has received several impressive awards for the quality of the programs.
Director, liaisons and site coordinators plan training meetings to help new mentors understand their duties and responsibilities.