This interview features insights on the article, “Sense Making and Professional Identity in the Implementation of edTPA,” by Julie Cohen, Ethan Hutt, Rebekah L. Berlin, Hannah M. Mathews, Jillian P. McGraw, and Jessica Gottlieb. The article was published in the January/February 2020 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education.
edTPA is designed to strengthen teacher professionalization and provide a framework for program redesign. However, using a national assessment to shift the content of local programs is challenging because of their inherent organizational complexity. In this article, we focus on this complexity, using a systems lens to analyze edTPA implementation at a large, public university. Employing a mixed-methods case study design, we survey 250 teacher educators and candidates to understand how they interpret the demands of edTPA and how their varied perspectives impact each other. We interview a stratified, purposive subset of participants to explore mechanisms underlying quantitative findings. We find substantial internal variation in edTPA implementation that translates into differential support for candidates. This variation could not be explained by duration of implementation of edTPA. Varied perspectives may stem from distinct perceptions of teacher educators’ professional roles and the role they see edTPA playing in teacher professionalization.
Earlier this year, Colorado lawmakers proposed a bill that would task their state’s Department of Education and Department of Higher Education with devising strategies for recruiting more teachers of color. Almost half of Colorado students are students of color, while teachers of color comprise about 10 % of all teachers. This mismatch is even wider in Denver Public Schools, the largest district in the state, where 75 % of students are students of color but the share of teachers of color is a mere 27%.
Worse still, enrollment data from Colorado’s teacher preparation programs suggests these numbers are unlikely to inch up anytime soon: The state has not seen growth in the number of Black candidates enrolling in teacher programs in almost a decade, and its seen only a modest increase in the number of Latinx candidates. In the 2017–18 school year, only about 28 % of those enrolled in teacher preparation programs identified as people of color.
Research shows that teachers of color can boost the achievement of students of color—a needed skill in a state where these students face wide gaps in academic performance. However, it is increasingly clear that preparation programs will need to be more forward-thinking if they are going to usher more aspiring teachers of color into the profession.
AACTE Responds to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
AACTE is spotlighting interviews with its member leaders on effective ways for educator preparation programs to navigate through COVID-19. AACTE Board Chair Ann Larson took time to share important tips in this video on leading in difficult times. She also discusses the leadership role all educators have during the coronavirus crisis.
On May 6, 2020, the U.S Department of Education, under the leadership of Secretary Betsy DeVos, released the final rule for the Title IX regulations—also known as the final regulation. Built from the law that prohibits sexual discrimination at federally funded institutions, this update to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) has been contentious since the process started in November 2018. AACTE joined nearly 60 organizations on a letter led by the American Council on Education pointing out challenges and questions with the proposal during the public comment period in January 2019. Overall, the Department received over 124,000 public comments that were reviewed prior to the determination of the final rule.
The review and update of the regulations were initiated due to a response to guidance issued by the Obama Administration in 2011 leading to an increase in civil lawsuits, mostly from men who were accused of sexual misconduct alleging their rights were violated under the Title IX procedures. The updated regulations are purported to be fair to both the accuser and the accused.
Registration is open for AACTE’s 2020 Washington Week, to be held September 8-11 at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Arlington, VA. Please note the discounted registration rates based on the following:
- Register for the State Leaders Institute and you will receive a 12% discount on the Day on the Hill rate.
- Register for the Holmes Institute and you will receive a complimentary registration for Day on the Hill.
- Register to attend Day on the Hill and receive a 12% discount on State Leaders Institute.
The reviews are in, and AACTE’s 2020 Annual Meeting was its most successful and engaging learning opportunity yet! Under the theme “Disrupting Inequities: Educating for Change,” attendees explored and developed methods and strategies to infuse equity and inclusivity into preparation and practice. And looking to the 2021 Annual Meeting, attendees will continue to revolutionize the profession by “Resisting Hate, Restoring Hope: Engaging in Courageous Actions.”
Want to feature your work during AACTE’s 2021 Annual Meeting in Seattle? Each year, AACTE receives many more proposals for consideration than can be accommodated, and only the “best of the best” content makes its way into the programming for the conference. So take note, because you will want to follow these tips to submit a competitive proposal:
Due to the effects of COVID-19, many states have issued guidance or directives to assist educator preparation programs (EPPs) and teacher candidates in their response to the associated academic challenges and interruptions. In an effort to track relevant changes in state policies and practices, AACTE has developed a new interactive map designed to highlight and present such changes, with a focus on four key categories:
- initial licensure and certification
- clinical experiences
- hiring and induction
- state standards and other program requirements
You, like many AACTE members, are likely facing pauses and interruptions to the clinical practice partnerships in your educator preparation program due to COVID-19. AACTE wants to provide you with solutions, and as such, I am excited to announce our collaboration with Mursion to provide our members access to virtual reality classrooms. This technology enables teacher candidates to receive experiential learning to continue their career development in virtual settings. View the complete details at aacte.org/vrclassrooms.
Please take a few minutes to watch the video and learn more about this special member-only benefit and other ways to engage with your Association this month. Stay positive and rest assured that AACTE is here to support you through this difficult time.
How Virtual Classrooms Can Help Train Preservice Candidates
“Currently, under normal times, this would not count in Texas. This may change with pandemic issues,” chimed a participant at a recent Mursion Roundtable webinar. This was not an ordinary Zoom event though. It was a group of educators who gathered to test drive a classroom simulation for “Introducing Content for Middle School.” Messages in the chat were flying. In true teacher form, they were engaged, curious, forthright and funny. Several chat messages started with “I’m here to learn …”
What does it actually mean to train a teacher candidate in a simulated clas sroom? What does that look like? How does it feel? One brave volunteer blurted, “I’m terrified …and excited, but mostly terrified.” For those who have observed a first-time participant jump into a simulation, what follows is quite predictable. The learner starts out very tentative. Within minutes of the student avatars appearing on screen, they’re conversing and chuckling at the students’ responses. Then at their command “pause simulation,” they pop out of the scenario with a sigh and a wow. “That was very realistic,” is the usual description of this new experience.
While the coronavirus is prompting cancelation of graduation ceremonies across the nation, AACTE joins the GraduateTogether2020 celebration to honor the more than three million high school seniors in America with the recognition they deserve. AACTE invites members to tune into the one-hour primetime special, GRADUATE TOGETHER: AMERICA HONORS THE HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 2020 , on Saturday, May 16—via television, social media, and streaming platforms—to pay tribute to high school seniors, their extraordinary teachers, and their families.
The primetime special, developed by XQ Institute in partnership with The LeBron James Family Foundation and The Entertainment Industry Foundation, is a rally of all Americans around a message of hope and unity.
The partnering organizations are inviting you to get involved and spread the word about about how students, teachers, and families can get involved;