What to Expect from the Physical Education edTPA

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Novice teacher performance has a new standard: the edTPA (formerly known as simply the TPA). The edTPA is a nationally designed pre-service assessment tool that was designed to determine if new teachers are prepared for teaching at all levels and all subjects—and K-12 physical education is no exception.

The Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE) at Stanford University developed the edTPA when it became clear that performance-based assessments of teaching were crucial to ensuring that novice teachers were prepared for the job. It was designed as a national framework for the assessment of pre-service teachers and allows teacher preparation program providers and state boards to better determine if a physical education teacher is ready for the job.

The edTPA supports Common Core State Standards that emphasize focused, coherent, and centered instruction.

Teacher Prep Programs and States that have Implemented the edTPA

There are currently 523 educator preparation programs in 34 states (including the District of Columbia) currently participating in the edTPA.

The following states have statewide policies in place requiring a state-approved performance assessment as part of program completion or for state licensure:

  • Washington (21 participating institutions)
  • Oregon (17 participating institutions)
  • Minnesota (31 participating institutions)
  • Wisconsin (41 participating institutions)
  • New York (107 participating institutions)
  • Connecticut (2 participating institutions)
  • Tennessee (13 participating institutions)
  • Georgia (60 participating institutions)
  • Hawaii (4 participating institutions)

The following states are taking steps toward implementation:

  • California
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Ohio
  • Massachusetts

The following states have at least one teacher preparation program either participating or trying out edTPA:

  • Idaho
  • Wyoming
  • Colorado
  • Arizona
  • Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • Missouri
  • Arkansas
  • Michigan
  • Indiana
  • Florida
  • South Carolina
  • North Carolina
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Pennsylvania
  • Connecticut
  • Rhode Island
  • Maryland
  • Delaware
  • New Jersey
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K-12 Physical Education Teacher Performance Assessment: An Overview

The purpose of the edTPA K-12 Physical Education assessment is to measure a teacher’s readiness to teach physical education at the K-12 level. The assessment was designed with a focus on the principles from research and theory and based on the findings that successful teachers:

  • Are able to understand student needs and apply knowledge that reflects this understanding
  • Are able to develop a knowledge of content standards and subject-specific pedagogy related to physical education subject matter
  • Can take into consideration the research and theory of how students learn
  • Can take into consideration and analyze the evidence that concerns instruction on student learning

Students are evaluated on five components of the teaching practice through this physical education assessment:

  • Planning
  • Instruction
  • Assessment
  • Analyzing teaching
  • Academic language


K-12 Physical Education Teacher Performance Assessment: Breaking it Down

The edTPA K-12 Physical Education assessment encourages the implementation of three tasks:

  • Planning for Assessment and Instruction
  • Assessing Student Learning
  • Instructing and Engaging Students in Learning

Students are required to plan three to five consecutive physical education lessons (referred to as learning segments), with the length of the learning segment depending on how frequently and how long the class is taught.

Each task consists of a number of planning rubrics to guide the teacher in completing the assessment:

Planning for Assessment and Instruction

This task includes (among others):

  • Providing relevant context information
  • Identifying a segment to plan, teach, and analyze student learning
  • Identifying a central focus that should support students’ competencies and knowledge in:
    • Psychomotor
    • Cognitive
    • Affective learning domains related to movement patterns, health-enhancing fitness, and/or performance concepts

Rubric 1: Planning for Developing Competencies in Physical Education

Rubric 2: Planning to Support Varied Student Learning Needs

Rubric 3: Using Knowledge of Students to Inform Teaching and Learning

Rubric 4: Identifying and Supporting Language Demands

Rubric 5: Planning Assessments to Monitor and Support Student Learning

Instructing and Engaging Students in Learning

This task includes (among others):

  • Obtaining required permission for video recording of students
  • Identifying lessons from the learning segment in Task 1
  • Choosing lessons to show interaction with students
  • Focusing students as to represent a range of psychomotor competencies within the class

Rubric 6: Learning Environment

Rubric 7: Engaging Students in Learning

Rubric 8: Strengthening Student Competencies through Active Monitoring

Rubric 9: Subject-Specific Pedagogy

Rubric 10: Analyzing Teaching Effectiveness

Assessing Student Learning

This task includes (among others):

  • Selecting one formal, performance-based assessment from the learning segment chosen to evaluate students’ competencies in cognitive, psychomotor, and/or affective domains related to performance concepts, health-enhancing fitness, and/or movement patterns
  • Reviewing the class results to identify quantitative and qualitative patterns of learning within and across learners in the class
  • Using video clips to illustrate patterns in student learning

Rubric 11: Analysis of Student Learning

Rubric 12: Providing Feedback to Guide Learning

Rubric 13: Student Use of Feedback

Rubric 14: Analyzing Students’ Language Use and Physical Education Learning

Rubric 15: Using Assessment to Inform Instruction

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K-12 Physical Education Teacher Performance Assessment: Setting it in Motion

To complete the edTPA K-12 Physical Education assessment, students must successfully complete these steps:

  1. Select one physical education class for the assessment
  2. Provide the appropriate context information in the form of a template
  3. Identify a learning segment to plan, teach, and analyze
  4. Identify a central focus that will be addressed, along with the content standards and objectives, in the learning segment
  5. Select language demands required by the task and write a lesson plan for each lesson in the learning segment; lesson plans should include:

a)    State-adopted physical education content standards or AAHPERD/NASPE standards

b)   Learning objectives that are associated with the content standards across all domains

c)    Informal and formal assessments (that include evaluation criteria, types of assessments, and what is being assessed)

d)   Instructional strategies and learning tasks

e)    Instructional materials, equipment, and resources

  1. Submit original lesson plans
  2. Select and submit key instructional materials
  3. Submit copies of all written assessments

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