EKU Faculty and Staff Scholarship


Trouble with the edTPA: Sliding from Teaching to Preparing for the Test

Author ORCID Identifier

Stacey KorsonORCID iD iconhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-6577-3421


Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership

Document Type


Publication Date



This paper is written by faculty, staff, and graduate students responsible for preparing a group of 100 elementary/middle school licensure students for the edTPA portfolio assessment. It is a narrative self-study analysis of our experiences doing so during the pilot year. The edTPA is a performance assessment that requires future teachers to plan, teach, assess, and reflect—all of which are at the heart of any teacher education program. We considered this performance assessment to have significant advantages over a multiple choice test and we debated for a year how best to implement it. Our plan was to integrate what students needed to know into our courses rather than to prepare them directly for the test. We approached this with a positive attitude but emerged with a skeptical one. The pressures we, and our students, experienced were unexpected as we unwillingly slid into a test preparation mode that appeared unavoidable. Instead of preparing students to be teachers, i.e., to plan, teach, assess and reflect we felt trapped by the practical realities of the test, i.e., doing things “the right way” in order to score well on the rubrics. This report uses narrative self-study methods to analyze the move from preparation for teaching to preparation for taking the test.

Journal Title

Journal of Inquiry & Action in Education

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