Academic journal article NACTA Journal

A Case Study of Technology Mediated Observation in Pre-Service Teaching Experiences for edTPA Implementation

Academic journal article NACTA Journal

A Case Study of Technology Mediated Observation in Pre-Service Teaching Experiences for edTPA Implementation

Article excerpt

Introduction

The experiential learning component of the total student teaching experience is a critical time for preservice teacher development (Borne and Moss, 1990; Bruce and Ewing, 2012; Covington and Dobbins, 2004; Darling-Hammond, 2010; Torres and Ulmer, 2007). Preservice teachers are assessed by cooperating teachers and university supervisors after being placed in a cooperating school. Assessments typically measure the pre-service teachers' teaching behaviors including the "frequency of specified teacher actions or interactions with students" (Jaeger, 1993, p. 2.), through a series of instruments and observation techniques unique to each teacher preparation program and discipline. Universitysupervised teaching observations at the student teaching site are a hallmark of preparing pre-service teachers as they provide valuable feedback to the preservice teacher.

While the ideal number of observations has not been established in the literature, traditionally agricultural education university supervisors complete three on-site observations at approximately five hours a piece to assess the pre-service teacher's progress and completion of necessary tasks (Borne and Moss, 1990; Fritz and Miller, 2003). University-supervised observations combined with completed coursework and a content-based knowledge exam result in teacher certification and completion of a teacher preparation program. The graduate is then credentialed and eligible for employment as an agriculture teacher.

In recent years, many states have implemented additional requirements to increase teacher account ability. These requirements often include an addition of output measurements such as a teacher performance assessment (Caughlan and Jiang, 2014). Caughlan and Jiang (2014) identified several types of teacher performance assessments, including the Christopher Newport University Student Teacher Observation Form (CNU), the Michigan State University Field Instructor Feedback Form (FIFF), and the Performance Assessment for California Teachers and Pre-service Teachers (PACT).

The focus of the research reported here is on the teacher performance assessment edTPA. The Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE) (2013) defined edTPA as "the first nationally available, educator-designed performance assessment for new teachers entering the profession" (p. 4). Although edTPA is subject-specific with an assessment explicitly designed for agricultural education, all subject areas share a similar structure when evaluating the pre-service teacher's ability to plan for instruction and assessment, instruct and engage students in learning, and assess student learning outcomes (SCALE, 2013). Under the rubric for edTPA, teacher candidates are responsible for submitting artifacts demonstrating competency in each of the aforementioned areas and providing written commentaries to explain the artifacts, and engage in reflective analyze of their professional learning through the act of teaching (SCALE, 2013). Artifacts take the form of lesson plans, copies of instructional and assessment materials, unedited video recording(s) of the candidate teaching, and pupil work samples (SCALE, 2013).

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission (2014) adopted new certification criteria that require preservice teachers to successfully complete the edTPA assessment, in addition to completing university program requirements and passing the state-approved educator certification assessment, to achieve certification. The University of Georgia pilot tested the implementation of edTPA in spring 2014 to better prepare university supervisors, pre-service teachers, and cooperating teachers for full implementation of edTPA in 2015. The agricultural education teacher preparation faculty found pre-service teachers were adequately prepared for all of the edTPA requirements through coursework, with the exception of recording and reflecting on their instruction at the student teaching site. …

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