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Bridging the Gap Between Expectations and Abilities of a First-Year Teacher
Beginning with the 2012‒2013 academic year, all 31 Minnesota institutions of higher education will require a new step as part of the state’s pathways to teacher licensure. That new process is edTPA, a performance-based assessment that will require teacher candidates to demonstrate the skills needed to enter the classroom ready to teach and help all students learn.
edTPA is the result of a legislative mandate requiring performance-based assessment in Minnesota’s teacher preparation programs. Since 2001 Minnesota teacher candidates have been required to pass subject-matter tests of knowledge and other tests to become licensed, but these tests have not captured whether candidates can demonstrate that they know how to teach. In 2011the Minnesota Board of Teaching formally adopted edTPA as the statewide performance assessment tool that would be used to meet the state requirement.
This is not just another hoop for students to become licensed. edTPA was developed by Stanford University in partnership with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. More than 700 educators from 24 states and the District of Columbia and more than 160 institutions of higher education collaborated in the development of edTPA to meet the need for a nationally available research- and standards-based assessment of candidate performance.
edTPA is a Multiple-Measure Assessment
|Areas Covered||Candidate Classroom Materials (Artifacts) Reviewed|
|Planning||Lesson plans, instructional materials, student assignments, assessments, planning commentary|
|Instruction||Unedited video clips, instruction commentary|
|Assessment||Samples of student work, summary of student learning assessment commentary|
|Analysis of Teaching||Planning commentary, instruction commentary and assessment commentary|
|Academic Language||Unedited video clips and/or student work samples, planing and assessment commentaries|
New Challenges and New Promise
Eventually over 3,000 teacher candidates who complete Minnesota teacher preparation programs each year will go through the edTPA process. Those teachers will come from some 600 teacher preparation programs and will be supported by districts that provide clinical experiences for teacher candidates.
Teacher preparation programs have already made significant changes to their curriculum and clinical experiences to align with the expectations of the edTPA.
Because teacher candidates must video themselves teaching and must collect student work samples, programs are making equipment and technical assistance available to candidates while also working with schools to ensure that permissions are in place and student images and work are kept secure.
A significant new area of teacher learning is academic language development for all students. New teachers must learn how to teach students the specialized language structures and uses of discipline-specific language.
Ultimately, teacher preparation programs will use data and evidence from edTPA to help them focus curriculum and classroom experiences on the skills and habits that improve teaching and student performance.
edTPA will be available in these licensure areas in Minnesota:
Scorers include teacher educators from the programs participating in edTPA as well as qualified experienced teachers and school administrators. They are trained using materials developed by Stanford University. The scoring process will be facilitated by Pearson. All scorers are recruited and selected because of their documented experience with beginning teachers and expertise in the subject-matter content. They are carefully trained to make objective, comparable, and valid evaluations of teaching skills and readiness for the classroom.