Candidate Success: Providing Effective Support Strategies for edTPA

Candidate Success: Providing Effective Support Strategies for edTPA

Lisa Barron (Austin Peay State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8353-0.ch006

Abstract

edTPA is a rigorous teaching performance assessment that requires preservice candidates in 27 content areas to demonstrate their ability to plan, instruct, and assess. A primary consideration in these lessons is meeting the needs of diverse students, planning lessons that engage, and using assessments to inform instruction. Preservice candidates submit evidence in the form of commentaries and artifacts for each of the three tasks. This evidence includes written commentary, lesson plans, instructional materials, video clips, assessments, feedback, and reflective analysis. This chapter will provide teacher preparation programs strategies for effective candidate support that can lead to faculty engagement, program improvement, and candidate success. It is written from the perspective of a teacher preparation program that has supported thousands of candidates through the edTPA submission process and learned valuable lessons along the way.
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Acceptable Support

As is the case with any high-stakes assessment, there are parameters around candidate support, and what is deemed as allowable or acceptable support for teacher education candidates submitting an edTPA. The Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE) has provided a resource to guide programs which are designing systems to provide candidate support. In edTPA Guidelines for Acceptable Support (2016), SCALE makes a clear distinction between formative experiences and summative experiences for a teacher candidate. Throughout the teacher preparation program, candidates are involved with many formative experiences, such as coursework and field experiences. During these important learning opportunities, candidates are given assignments that relate to various elements of the edTPA, while also meeting course objectives. The edTPA is embedded in the coursework and field experiences, allowing the candidate to practice edTPA and receive valuable feedback from the instructors. These are important opportunities, which lead to greater understanding of edTPA, and provide relevant and coherent experiences for the teacher candidate. The allowable support provided for candidates during the semesters prior to beginning their official submission is very open-ended. This support can be varied, and gives faculty multiple ways to provide feedback to the candidate on many aspects of the edTPA. These strategies include giving candidates access to resources, examining lesson plans, providing exemplars of previously submitted edTPAs, relating rubrics to course assignments, giving feedback on analytical writing, or leading discussions on engaging students and providing effective feedback. These activities by the teacher candidates and faculty will not only lead to greater success in the edTPA, but they will also strengthen candidates as they prepare to graduate and be teachers of record.

The acceptable support for candidates who are preparing their official edTPA submission (typically during student teaching) should look different. By the faculty stepping back and changing the type of support and feedback given to candidates, edTPA promotes greater learning, puts the responsibility of the assessment on the candidate, and ensures that it is the work of the candidate. SCALE (2016) gives many examples of acceptable support during the official edTPA work, including providing schedules for submission, a checklist for completing edTPA tasks, asking probing questions, and assisting candidates with understanding how to use the platform provider for submission. Examples of unacceptable forms of support include editing a candidate’s work, giving detailed feedback or corrections, or uploading edTPA submissions on behalf of the candidate (SCALE, 2016).

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