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UNCP hosts teacher assessment training

Local teacher educators take part in regional edTPA training

UNC Pembroke’s School of Education hosted 54 teacher educators, central office personnel, and classroom teachers at a one-day edTPA Institute on July 16.

Participants represented 11 area colleges/universities and three area school districts.

The edTPA is a performance assessment in which teacher candidates document their ability to plan, teach, and assess their students during the student teaching semester. Written by teachers for teachers, the assessment was developed at Stanford University and is scored by Pearson-trained teachers and teacher educators.

edTPA was adopted by UNCP’s Teacher Education Program in 2016 as its nationally-normed assessment, as required by legislation. Although scores on a nationally-normed performance assessment of teacher candidate readiness are not consequential for state licensure until July 2019, UNCP has already begun its implementation by requiring teacher candidates to complete edTPA and by incorporating the skills assessed by edTPA in students’ preparatory coursework. So far, about 100 UNCP teacher interns have completed edTPA and about 35 have had their portfolios sent to Pearson for official scoring.

Beginning with the fall 2018 semester, all UNCP teacher interns will complete edTPA and have their portfolios officially scored. After a breakfast and a welcome by Dr. Lisa Mitchell, chair of UNCP’s Elementary Education department, participants attended one of two session options: a beginners’ and an intermediate session to provide local evaluation training for those who were familiar with the basics of edTPA.

Both sessions proved to be informative and helpful, according to the participants. Dr. Josephine Harris from N.C. Central University Department of Curriculum and Instruction attended the beginner’s session.

“As a university supervisor for elementary and middle grades student teachers, I will be able to better support candidates/student teachers in their completion of edTPA as I visit them in their assigned schools,” she said, adding,

“As a faculty member teaching methods courses, the ideas I learned in the session will help me embed edTPA in my courses with greater depth and breadth.”

Dr. Yolanda Dunston, also from N.C. Central University, felt that she was on the “right track” when introducing edTPA to her students prior to the internship.  She also “received several ideas for embedding edTPA into early courses and methods courses so that the language and expectations are familiar prior to the official submission deadline.”

Dr. Beatrice Carroll from Fayetteville State University attended the intermediate session. “Most beneficial was learning the ‘how’ to score the assessment. Detailed explanations were given for each rubric which will help the course instructor at the beginning level of this assessment,” she said.

Dr. Kay Pitchford, UNCP’s edTPA Coordinator, collaborated with Pearson representatives, Kellie Crawford and Jerry Bush, to coordinate the event. “I wanted to ensure that the opportunity would be open to anyone who was interested,” she said.

"It’s important that IHE partners who are using edTPA and other stakeholders not only know the skills that it develops and assesses, but also understand how those skills will better prepare our candidates to be high-quality beginning teachers,” she continued.

"I see us all as partners when it comes to providing effective teachers for our children so I look for opportunities to reach out when I can.”

Dr. Lisa Barron from Austin Peay State University in Tennessee presented the beginners’ session and Dr. Ann Bullock from Elon presented the intermediate session. Both presenters are Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE) National Consultants.