edTPA puts educator development ahead of the curve
When the educator development program debuts in fall 2013, it may well be the most anticipated academic program at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in recent memory. Part of the initiative for a successful program launch includes meeting Educator Teacher Performance Assessment guidelines (edTPA) that will be required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in 2015.
"After August 2015, every person newly licensed to teach in the state of Wisconsin must take the performance assessment [edTPA]," said Pat Hoffman, director of the university's Institute for Professional Educator Development (IPED).
Preparing students to meet the edTPA guidelines will be incorporated in the UW-Parkside program from the moment students begin next fall.
"Essentially, it puts our students ahead of the curve," Hoffman said. "We have a standards-based program. And those standards correlate with what the national accreditation agencies are looking for; they correlate with what the state Department of Public Instruction is looking for; and they correlate with the new teacher assessment program we're building from the ground up. So, we're in a great position for preparing candidates to be successful 21st-century educators."
Hoffman describes the edTPA as "an electronic portfolio" that contains a prospective teacher's responses to the four primary tasks of teaching: the context in which they teach, planning to teach, the actual teaching, and reflecting and analyzing the results of the teaching supported by a video clip of work in the classroom.
At a recent conference in the Wisconsin Dells attended by teacher preparation professionals from around the state, including IPED administration and faculty representatives, various elements of edTPA were on display and open to discussion.Hoffman is confident that educator candidates from UW-Parkside will be well prepared to meet the edTPA requirements; they will be ready to pass the PRAXIS series, a battery of tests taken by prospective educators required by many states as part of the certification process; and they will be ready to demonstrate that they have the required competencies.
Getting the UW-Parkside educator development program ready for the edTPA and other measures of assessment, Hoffman said, has been the work of a strong team that includes the IPED staff of Denise Hancock, Michelle Pliml, and Shannon McGuire; faculty members Shi Hae Kim, Penny Lyter, Nancy Whitaker, and Theresa Castor; and former university student teacher supervisors Sonja Bengtson and Judy Kirby.