Recently, Edthena visited the 2013 American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education Conference (AACTE) in Orlando, Fla. Integrating video into the teacher certification process was the hot topic this year as a result of edTPA, a multi-measure assessment of a teacher’s readiness to enter the classroom.
Aligned with national standards and supported by 24 states plus the District of Columbia, edTPA requires that teachers demonstrate the skill set and knowledge necessary to teach their subject-matter effectively. The portfolio model, developed by the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity, requires video clips of teacher candidates actually teaching.
Sure, part of the benefit (from a policy perspective) is that edTPA provides a layer of accountability during the certification process. But we think the impact of edTPA is bigger than just accountability.
edTPA serves as a final checkpoint during the certification process for executing instruction in a classroom. And as a final checkpoint for the ability to self-reflect on video of one’s teaching.
Teachers aren’t minted as experts — they’re supposed to be prepared to evolve their practice to continually increase effectiveness. And video of one’s practice makes the self-reflection process concrete. Almost tangible.
Video is a high-impact method for developing habits of self-reflection around instruction and, simultaneously, equipping teachers with a tool for continual improvement1. The sooner a teacher develops skills for self-reflective practice, the better he will be at meeting the needs of students in a classroom.
We like to think edTPA institutionalized the practice of video self-reflection as part of the certification process. Some might view edTPA as an endpoint in the certification process, but we believe edTPA is a milestone along the path to becoming a self-reflective practitioner throughout one’s career.
 Scott, S.E., Kucan, L., Correnti, R. & Miller, L.A. (2013). Using video records to mediate teaching interns’ critical reflection. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 21(1), 119-145. Chesapeake, VA: AACE.