Since Fall 2008, all teacher preparation programs in the state of California have been required to implement a summative (completed at the end of the candidate’s program) performance assessment of their abilities to plan, teach, and assess students in a real classroom setting. As of Fall 2017, the Department of Elementary Education will be implementing the edTPA, a national Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) developed by SCALE (Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity) at Stanford University. The edTPA is designed to evaluate how teacher candidates plan and teach lessons in ways that make the content clear and help diverse students learn, assess the effectiveness of their teaching, and adjust teaching as necessary.
The edTPA includes a review of a teacher candidate’s authentic teaching materials as the culmination of a teaching and learning process that documents and demonstrates each candidate’s ability to effectively teach subject matter to all students. The edTPA doesn’t ask candidates to do anything that most aren’t already doing in their preparation programs, but it does ask for greater support for and demonstration of these skills that research and educators find are essential to student learning. The edTPA is not about theory. It goes beyond classroom credits to ask teacher candidates to demonstrate what they can and will do on the job, translating into practice what research shows improves learning.
The edTPA for Multiple Subject Credential candidates consists of two primary parts:
Elementary Literacy Tasks
Candidates plan, teach, and assess students in the area of elementary literacy. Candidates document a cycle of teaching that includes planning a learning segment of 3-5 lessons with a focus on reading comprehension and/or composition, teaching the learning segment, and assessing student learning. Candidates analyze and reflect on their teaching with attention to students’ academic language development and use.
Elementary Mathematics Assessment Task
Candidates analyze evidence of student learning of mathematics from one assessment drawn from a learning segment of 3-5 mathematics lessons completed by the whole class of students. Based on the analysis, candidates plan and teach a re-engagement lesson that addresses students’ learning needs.
Preparing Candidates for Success on the edTPA
The edTPA process is managed in seminars associated with supervised fieldwork and student teaching courses. Candidates will make use of their fieldwork and student teaching assignments in completing the various Elementary Literacy and Mathematics Assessment Tasks. For example, candidates will plan the elementary literacy learning segment for the students in the classroom in which the candidate is placed and will analyze data from a mathematics assessment administered in one or the other of their teaching assignments.
Candidates will rehearse the edTPA in elementary literacy in EED 559C or EED 579A and their first teaching assignment. Seminar instructors will provide candidates extensive feedback on their rehearsal edTPA. Candidates will independently complete the scored edTPA in EED 559F or EED 579D and their second teaching assignment.
Further, candidates will receive support in successfully completing the Elementary Mathematics Assessment Task in methods coursework in the program through which they analyze lesson plans and samples of student work and consider a lesson or lessons that will better promote student learning. Then, in the Mathematics Curriculum and Methods (EED 472 or EED 565M) course in their preparation program, students will apply these basic skills and understandings in the context of the elementary mathematics program. Instructors of those courses will walk candidates through and provide feedback on various elements of the edTPA mathematics task with a goal of preparing candidates to independently complete this portion of the edTPA.