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The edTPA and The (De)Skilling of America’s Teachers?


by Mark Conley & Gina Garner — July 17, 2015

With more and more states adopting edTPA as an assessment of a teacher candidate’s readiness for the classroom, it is important to ask: will edTPA result in increasing a teacher’s classroom reasoning and decision making ability? Or could edTPA, like some reforms from No Child Left Behind, lead to a deskilling of America’s teachers? The purpose of this article is to explore these questions in the context of implementation scenarios and cases that can only be described as the worst of times and the best of times with regard to teacher preparation. This article portrays several different ways in which the tensions between state mandates and local contexts create conditions for a narrowing of visions for teacher preparation. On the other hand, edTPA poses some alluring possibilities for teacher preparation programs and teacher candidates to engage in self-study and improvement. The authors describe ways in which programs can maximize the potential for edTPA to complement and improve assessment and teacher preparation, as opposed to de-skilling teachers.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: July 17, 2015
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18037, Date Accessed: 10/23/2017 6:12:16 PM

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About the Author
  • Mark Conley
    University of Memphis
    E-mail Author
    MARK CONLEY is a professor at the University of Memphis. Research interests include teacher education policy and practice, adolescent literacy, assessment and human and artificial intelligence tutoring, all within interdisciplinary contexts.
  • Gina Garner
    Aquinas College
    E-mail Author
    GINA GARNER, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Aquinas College and serves as the Learning Disabilities Program Coordinator.
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