Voices From the Field

Case Studies of Teacher Preparation programs and their experiences using edTPA.


"Yes, it’s a lot of writing. But it’s writing for a purpose. It’s writing so that you are a better teacher because you are reflecting."

– Marcey Wennlund, Teacher, Blackwell Elementary School, Schaumberg, IL

"I love being able to take that evidence in and to say it's beyond anecdotal. We thought about these things but we've got evidence now.” "

– Chandra Foote, Associate Dean and edTPA Coordinator at Niagara University, NY

"With edTPA a number of changes have taken place over the years. The fact is that we’re collaborating with other people in the schoolhouse."

– Margaret Spicer, Director of Secondary Education at Morgan State University, and former principal in Baltimore

"[Teacher candidates] need to stop and be thinking practioners. Our mentor teachers have been great with helping us to get them to slow down and think."

– Elizabeth Wynkoop, Supervisor of Student Teachers & Lecturer at Towson University, MD

"Had I gone through a program that had required me to do the edTPA, I would have been a better first-year teacher."

Niki T. Brown, Principal, Mary Harris "Mother" Jones Elementary School, Prince George’s County, Maryland

"One of the things edTPA has done for our program is cause us to focus much more on issues of outcomes and evidence, as they relate to student learning."

– Marvin Lynn, formerly Associate Dean for Teacher Education at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

"About 70% of text from [edTPA] handbooks provides either an opportunity or prompt for candidates to reveal practices that reflect the elements of culturally relevant pedagogy. That’s pretty significant."

– Maria Hyler, Assistant Professor at University of Maryland

Stephanie Wittenbrink, a Student Board member of the Washington Education Association and former NEA Board of Directors member, talks about how edTPA accelerated her preparation as a teacher candidate at Western Washington University http://www.nea.org/home/54775.htm

"I am a supervisor for secondary and middle science TPA scoring. I am also a benchmarker for edTPA in secondary science. I have absolutely become a fan of this whole process. I have found the process to be excellent with a minimum of glitches, and the ability to evaluate candidates in this way an effective tool. Although the rubrics are excellent, the video clips are the true strength of this assessment process. If a picture says a thousand words the videos do even more."

– Gwynne S. Rife, PhD, Professor of Biological Sciences and Education, Chair, Advanced Programs COE The University of Findlay

"The edTPA was designed and is scored by accomplished teachers and teacher educators from around the country. I believe this strengthens our profession, not only because the assessment creates more useful evidence about what teachers can do, but also because it creates a common language and set of expectations for teaching - defining characteristics of all professions."

– Beverly Falk, Ed.D., Professor and Director, Graduate Programs in Early Childhood Education, The City College of New York

"We have now completed several studies on the impacts of the TPA (and its forebear in California) on teacher preparation programs. While some college faculty view the assessment as an intrusion (particularly before they have direct experience using it), many more view it as a highly valuable source of feedback about what their teacher candidates are able to take up from their courses and apply in the classroom. Our studies indicate that, in the hands of thoughtful and proactive teacher educators, the TPA can be a powerful and effective tool for program improvement."

– Charles A. Peck, Professor of Teacher Education and Special Education, College of Education, University of Washington

“The TPA provides something long overdue in teacher education: a clear, concise, and precise definition of the core of effective beginning teaching. It takes us a step further than other professional licensure exams because it goes beyond knowledge and judgment and examines actual candidate performance.”

– Amee Adkins,  Associate Dean, Illinois State University

“…I have really dug into some of the [TPA] resources and found them extremely useful and I can see how this will really strengthen the teaching profession – and I agree with you….it is all about good teaching. We are in the process of revising our program here, and this is the perfect “goal post” to work toward. I am really excited about this – and anxious to get moving.”

– Paul Busceni, Dean of Education, Kendall College

"As a former high school social studies teacher and current University of Colorado School of Education Instructor, I welcome a demanding and reliable way for the profession to identify the best young teachers and to counsel out those who are not ready for the classroom."

– Kent Willmann, Instructor, School of Education, University of Colorado Boulder

“In Tennessee, eight universities are piloting the TPA. Each report that the assessment has helped focus conversation around concrete images of sound teaching practices, and what is needed to learn them. At Vanderbilt, where we have used TPA data to make changes, our candidates are better prepared and more skilled -- according to school principals and teachers.”

– Marcy Singer-Gabella, Professor, Vanderbilt Uniersity

“Most exciting to us is the potential for this assessment to improve both the practice of candidates and our practice as teacher educators. Throughout the pilot and field test, we have engaged our School of Education faculty in reviewing our candidates’ performances. That experience is already helping us to fine tune the faculty-designed assessments we use prior to their student teaching semester.”

– Mary Diez, Dean, School of Education, Alverno College