edTPA is the assessment and support system designed to provide evidence to states and educator preparation programs that their teaching candidates are ready to teach. Through its authentic, performance-based and educative approach, edTPA helps develop and assess the effectiveness of aspiring teachers. With a focus on learning for all students, edTPA engages teacher candidates in developing the knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to meet the needs of today’s diverse learners.
edTPA assesses subject-specific pedagogy
edTPA is a subject-specific performance assessment that recognizes that teaching and learning are not the same across all
subjects and all grades or levels. A history teacher doesn’t approach inquiry the same way as a science teacher. A kindergarten
teacher doesn’t communicate the same way as a middle school math teacher. That’s why edTPA doesn’t assess all teachers the
same way. As the nation’s first pre-service, subject-specific performance assessment, edTPA measures relevant skills for each of
the 27 different teaching fields. But it’s much more than just an assessment. edTPA’s invaluable support resources help teacher
preparation programs deepen their focus on the subject-specific skills of aspiring teachers, reflecting the rigors of a real
edTPA is embedded in authentic clinical practice
edTPA is designed to provide a realistic and meaningful gateway to the teaching profession, something educators and
policymakers expect. Current course-completion tests of subject-area knowledge alone may not comprehensively reflect the
realities and authenticity of what it takes for a beginning teacher to be effective. edTPA’s integrated portfolio model and
authentic artifacts of practice are prepared by candidates in a clinical teaching experience and reflect a cycle of effective teaching.
The candidate demonstrates how s/he plans instruction based on their teaching context and students’ strengths and needs,
engages students in deep subject-specific instruction and analyzes student learning to inform next steps for teaching. This cycle
of planning, instruction, and assessment mirrors what real teachers do day-to-day to ensure their students learn
How Can Mentors Help?
The Do's of Supporting a Candidate with the edTPA Process
- Discuss edTPA® tasks and scoring rubrics
- Use rubric constructs or rubric language to evaluate and debrief observations made by cooperating teachers as part of the clinical supervision process
- Discuss samples of previously completed edTPA® portfolio materials (with permissions granted)
- Ask probing questions about candidates’ draft edTPA® responses or video recordings, without directly editing the writing or providing specific answers to edTPA® prompts
- Discuss support documents (such as Making Good Choices) about lessons or examples to use within the assessment
- Arrange technical assistance for the video portion of the assessment
The Don'ts pf Supporting a Candidate with the edTPA Process
- Don’t edit a candidate’s official materials prior to submission
- Don’t instruct candidates on which video clips to select for submission
- Don’t offer critiques of candidate responses that provide specific, alternative responses, prior to submission for official scoring
- Don’t upload candidate edTPA® responses (written responses or videotape entries) on public access social media websites
Seminar is a class that meets one evening per week during Residency I and Residency II. During seminar, the components of the edTPA will be reviewed, completed, and submitted for grading. The edTPA is a nationally normed, performance-based assessment for pre-service teachers (See page 29 in the Handbook for additional details on the edTPA).