Concerns have been raised about the high stakes nature of edTPA potentially leading to reductionist, test-driven approaches to teacher preparation. This has come to fruition in practice within many teacher preparation classrooms. EdTPA can devalue anything that is not formally assessed and limit opportunities for faculty and teacher candidates to imagine new possibilities for education (Madeloni & Gorlewski, 2013). In middle level teacher preparation, we can build upon the connections found between AMLE standards (AMLE, 2012) and edTPA. This includes the goal of improving pedagogy through reflection, inquiry, and intentional design to positively impact student learning. As middle level education professors, we can define the language and focus of the edTPA assessment tool for ourselves and our teacher candidates. We can focus on relationships, responsiveness and professionally grounded decision making, instead of the rote procedures of didactic teaching, or the technical steps of “doing” the edTPA. Strategies to accomplish this as related to each of the tasks within edTPA are discussed in this article.

Author Bio

Holly Thornton is a Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Appalachian State University.



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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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