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Teacher Performance Assessment

Visual Arts


The Teaching Performance Assessment (TPA) is being developed as a nationally available assessment of readiness to teach for novices. The assessment is focused on student learning and is designed around the principles that successful teachers apply knowledge of subject matter and subject-specific pedagogy, develop and apply knowledge of their students’ varied needs, consider research/theory about how students learn, and reflect and act on evidence of the effects of their instruction on student learning.

As a performance-based assessment, the TPA is designed to engage candidates in demonstrating their understanding of teaching and student learning in authentic, experiential ways. As a participant in this assessment, you will have an opportunity to develop a collection of materials that represents the ways in which you teach students in your “student teaching” classroom or other instructional settings. When developing your materials, you will be prompted to synthesize what you have learned throughout your preparation program and apply it with the students you currently teach. Your TPA evidence will demonstrate your current abilities, knowledge and skills as a beginning teacher on your way to becoming a highly accomplished teacher.

Summary of Tasks

In this assessment, you will describe, analyze, and evaluate the teaching of 3-5 instructional days (3-4 if you teach the same students once or twice a week in an elementary setting) of visual arts lessons referred to as a learning segment
You will complete four tasks for the TPAC assessment: . Consistent with the Visual Arts section of the National Standards for Arts Education (Consortium of National Arts Education Associations, 1994),a learning segment prepared for this assessment should reflect a broad approach to the visual arts, addressing creating and responding to visual art, applying knowledge and skills related to its production (tools, techniques, and processes), form and structure (expressive features and organizational principles), and/or context (personal, social, cultural, historical).

You will complete three tasks for edTPA:

  1. Planning, Instruction and Assessment
  2. Instructing and Engaging Students in Learning
  3. Assessing Student Learning

Evidence of Teaching Practice: Artifacts and Commentaries

To complete the assessment, you will submit artifacts and commentaries as evidence of how you planned and implemented instruction to deepen student learning in the visual arts. Artifacts represent the authentic work of you and your students. These include lesson plans, copies of instructional and assessment materials, two video clips of your teaching, and student work samples.

The commentaries are your opportunity to describe your artifacts, explain the rationale behind their use, and analyze and reflect on what you learned about your teaching practice and your students’ learning. In each commentary, you will respond to prompts to provide evidence of what you know and understand about your students and their learning. Note that although your writing ability will not be scored directly, commentaries must be clearly written and well focused.

Evaluation and Scoring Criteria

The evidence you submit will be judged on five dimensions of teaching:

  1. Planning
  2. Instruction
  3. Assessment
  4. Analyzing Teaching
  5. Academic Language

Evidence for the planning, instruction, assessment, and analyzing teaching dimensions will come from the corresponding tasks. Evidence for the academic language dimension will come from the planning and either the instruction or assessment tasks.

The rubrics used to score your performance on the TPA are included in the handbook. The descriptors in the five-level rubrics address a wide range of performance representing the knowledge and skills of a novice not ready to teach (Level1) to advanced practices of a highly accomplished beginner (Level 5). When preparing your artifacts and commentaries, refer to the rubrics frequently to guide your thinking, planning and writing.

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