All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Lois M Christensen

Advisory Committee Members

Jennifer Kilgo

Robin Ennis

Amanda Pendergrass

Jenna Lachenaye

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2020

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education

Abstract

The purpose of the qualitative research study was to examine the perspectives and experiences of teacher candidates and novice teachers regarding the edTPA assessment for teacher certification at a public university in the southeast. Aside from understanding their perspectives, the researcher hoped to gain an understanding of the impact on teaching practices and real-life experiences in the classroom. Research questions served as the framework for this study, including the following: (1) How do participants describe their perspectives and experiences as teacher candidates in the process of completing edTPA? (2) How do teacher candidates describe how edTPA influences their perspectives on their teaching practices in the first year of teaching? and (3) How do the participants describe how their perspectives change or influence teaching practices in the first year of teaching? Participants of this study included four teacher candidates and three first-year teachers who participated in the edTPA assessment for teacher certification from the same university. These participants represented teacher candidates and novice teachers from the fields of Early Childhood Special Education, Elementary Education, and Collaborative Special Education. Semi-structured individual and focus group interviews were conducted to understand participants’ experiences regarding their participation in the edTPA. The researcher also analyzed artifacts related to participants’ experiences with the assessment. Artifacts consisted of training resources, manuals, pacing guides, and timelines used by the participants during their edTPA experiences. Based on the analysis of the data, four themes emerged from this study regarding the participants’ experiences and perspectives of the edTPA, which were (a) interpretation of the assessment, (b) training, (c) challenges of the assessment, and (d) benefits of the assessment. Additionally, several sub-themes emerged regarding the perspectives and experiences of the participants. Findings revealed the positive and negative experiences of teacher candidates and novice teachers participating in the edTPA assessment for teacher certification. Furthermore, the results of this study provided several critical implications for the edTPA developers, teacher education programs, and faculty members. This study contributed to the limited availability of research regarding the impact of the edTPA on teacher candidates and first year teachers. Finally, recommendations for future research were included.

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