Video Considerations for the World Language edTPA

Video Considerations for the World Language edTPA

Elizabeth Goulette (Georgia State University, USA) and Pete Swanson (Georgia State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch668
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For decades in the United States, teacher preparation has been both a political and social focus. The development of highly effective teachers is highly scrutinized and there is a new, nationally-reviewed teacher performance assessment, edTPA, which teacher candidates must pass in order to become certified in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Research shows that teacher candidates in World Language Education have the most difficulty in assessing teaching and learning. In this chapter, the authors outline edTPA and present considerations regarding the use of video in conjunction with the Integrated Performance Assessment as a means to improve novice teacher performance on this high-stakes assessment.
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For decades in the United States, teacher education has been both a political and social focus. As part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty, Congress passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) in 1965 (P.L. 89-10). This six-part groundbreaking federal legislation placed an emphasis on equal access to education while setting high standards for academic performance and demanding accountability from schools and districts within a framework of six titles. Additionally, the ESEA funded primary and secondary school education, with the goal of decreasing the achievement gap. A year later, two amendments were proposed and passed: Title VI – Aid to Handicapped Children and Title VII – Bilingual Education Programs. At the turn of the new millennium, the landmark legislation was reauthorized by the George W. Bush administration and retitled as No Child Left Behind (NCLB, U.S. Department of Education, 2002).

The unfunded mandate demanded even more rigorous testing and accountability of k-12 student learning and included foreign language as part of the core curriculum. While the legislation’s philosophical merits (e.g., a highly effective teacher in every classroom) were difficult to dispute, researchers criticized NCLB because it narrowed the k-12 curriculum and prioritized reading, mathematics, and science instruction over non-tested content areas, such as foreign languages (Rosenbusch, 2005; Rosenbusch & Jensen, 2004). Additionally, teachers had to be considered highly qualified. That is, educators in public schools had to have: 1) a bachelor's degree, 2) full state certification or licensure, and 3) prove that they know each subject they teach (U. S. Department of Education, 2004).

When the legislation was reauthorized by the Obama Administration, the law demanded further scrutiny of schools and practitioners. Race to the Top required states to measure beginning and veteran teacher effectiveness in order to receive full federal funding (U.S. Department of Education, 2009). Eager to secure federal funds, states began to pass legislation that centered on pre-service teacher preparation and certification standards, emphasizing teacher performance and effectiveness at the state level (e.g., Georgia Professional Standards Commission, 2014; Illinois State Board of Education, 2012). As funding was awarded, states required to use student learning as evidence in teacher evaluation practices (Darling‐Hammond, 2012), and in many states throughout the country, pre-service teacher candidates have to demonstrate “the results of classroom processes, such as impact on student learning” (Goe, Bell, & Little, 2008, p. 4), often through teacher performance assessments.

In December 2015, Congress reauthorized the law, now known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Maintaining the rigor of its predecessors, the new legislation leaves the majority of the details regarding teacher education, qualifications, and certification procedures up to the states (U.S. Department of Education, 2015). Aligned with the federal legislation, a new national teacher portfolio, edTPA, has been developed and pilot tested in a variety of states. However, while novel, this new externally-reviewed portfolio is problematic (Hildebrandt & Swanson, 2014), especially in the area of assessment of learning. In this chapter, the authors present edTPA in the context of world languages and then discuss how the Integrated Performance Assessment can be used as teacher candidates develop their portfolios in order to successfully pass edTPA.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Communicative Language Teaching (CLT): An approach to language instruction that prioritizes target language interaction as both the overarching goal as well as an avenue for accomplishing that goal. This approach focuses primarily on the development of students’ communicative competence in a meaningful cultural context.

Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA): A standards-based and performance-based assessment which incorporates three tasks, aligned with a common central focus, that focuses on each of the following modes of communication: interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational.

Pre-Service Teachers: Also known as teacher candidates, this term is used to describe student teachers who are enrolled in a teacher preparation program and working toward teacher certification. They complete supervised field-based teaching experiences with the support and mentorship of university faculty and K-12 cooperating teachers.

Central Focus: As defined by SCALE, the important understandings and core concepts that students will develop during the teaching of the learning segment.

edTPA: The first nationally available subject-specific performance-based assessment adopted by many U.S. states as a means to measure teacher candidates’ developing skills and knowledge.

Modes of Communication: Based on ACTFL’s stance that communication occurs in three modes: interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational.

Learning Segment: As defined by SCALE, a series of three to five days of consecutive instruction centered on a common central focus, marked by identifiable beginning and ending points.

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