All aspiring physical education students in the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences Physical Education and Kinesiology (PEK) program have overcome a crucial hurdle as they prepare to follow their dreams to teach in the classroom. In the spring of 2020, CPASS teacher candidates recorded the highest national pass rate in their first attempt for their compulsory teacher preparation program.
Students are required to pass edTPA, a performance-based, subject-specific assessment and support system used by teacher training programs throughout the United States. edTPA focuses on the skills and knowledge that all teachers need from day one in the classroom.
“The PEK program's ability to maintain a high passage rate on the edTPA is critically important to our students' success. Passing edTPA is now a requirement for students to be eligible for licensure. Given the high-stakes nature, I am incredibly proud to say that since the implementation of edTPA in 2017 all our teacher candidates have passed,” James Wyant , PEK assistant professor, said.
Wyant explains the process. “Since its inception in 2017, PEK program faculty have adopted several measures to prepare teacher candidates for the edTPA performance assessment. Most importantly is the systematic understanding of developmental opportunities for teacher candidates to learn about and receive targeted feedback on edTPA related topics. To date, PEK faculty have worked in concert to ensure teacher candidates are well prepared for the edTPA process,” he said.
For prospective students considering a career in teaching, how they ultimately perform on edTPA is considered as a critical determinant of their success. “Plainly stated, if you want to become a teacher, many states across the country now have a requirement to pass the edTPA,” Wyant said.
“Given how PEK students in CPASS have established a strong track record of success on the edTPA, I am supremely confident that our program will remain a destination for those considering a career in the field of teaching. The PEK program and faculty will prepare prospective teachers to pass the edTPA,” he added.
“As noted, I think this speaks to how well the PEK faculty is grooming students for the edTPA process. We congratulate the PEK faculty and student teachers. With the results, all student teachers have passed the edTPA and will officially graduate this spring. Their passing scores are well above the national average,” said Valerie Wayda , associate dean for undergraduate and academic affairs.
“James and PEK faculty have done an excellent job managing this process and helping students to understand the expectations and requirements,” Wayda added.
“This is wonderful news. CPASS faculty have done an outstanding job with these students. Most programs in America would be jealous of this outcome, which is a true testament to the quality of the instruction and mentoring within the CPASS program,” said Jack Watson, dean and professor, CPASS.
According to the organization, edTPA is a subject-specific assessment that includes versions for 27 teaching fields. Aspiring teachers must prepare a portfolio of materials during their student teaching clinical experience. edTPA requires aspiring teachers to demonstrate readiness to teach through lesson plans designed to support their students' strengths and needs; engage real students in ambitious learning; analyze whether their students are learning and adjust their instruction to become more effective.
Teacher candidates submit unedited video recordings of themselves at work in a real classroom as part of a portfolio that is scored by trained educators. edTPA builds on decades of teacher performance assessment development and research regarding teaching skills and practices that improve student learning.