Exploring High Stakes edTPA in Physical Education Teacher Education
Educational reforms, such as the Educative Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) have affected not only classroom learning, but also curriculum and programs within teacher education institutions. Utilizing multiple case study design and action research to study the effects of edTPA, the focus of this research was to explore the perspectives of university physical education teacher education (PETE) faculty and changes made to PETE programs, examine and deconstruct PETE students’ socialization experiences, and engage in action research to determine the condition of my position regarding edTPA implementation. Data were analyzed utilizing multiple qualitative techniques. The purpose of the first study was to explore the extent of changes taking place within the context, structure, and culture of university PETE programs facilitating high stakes edTPA policy. Faculty reacted in three distinct ways to the process of change which were labelled: prevailers, conceders, or exceeders. The process of change appeared to be based upon an implementation continuum from isolation to internalization. The second study examined and deconstructed socialization experiences relative to the edTPA process of pre-service teachers during their physical education teacher education (PETE) program and their induction year as a physical education teacher. The following themes were identified: (a) initial interactions and impetus for teaching—engaging and fun; (b) instruction in PETE—learning a ton; (c) internship—gauging, I’m stunned; (d) implementation of edTPA—raging, I’m done; (e) induction—waging has begun. In the third study, I engaged in action research to facilitate edTPA implementation. Using self-study and action research, I analyzed the edTPA policy, reflected upon my teaching, and created edTPA learning activities. Results indicated that the edTPA policy has brought about dissention, taken away invention, and has led professors to subtract from their curricula. University programs have a responsibility to prepare effective physical education teachers who use the best practices for teaching. edTPA has the potential to “box students in” to direct instruction. It is imperative for PETE faculty to reflect upon the impetus and impact of changes made to their programs in light of edTPA. PETE faculty must continue to advocate for and teach meaningful evidence- and research-based PE practices while negotiating preparations for edTPA.