SCALE teaching performance assessments (TPAs) have several features distinguishing them from other pre-service teaching assessments: 1) they are subject-specific, focusing on specific teaching and learning tasks important to a discipline, and are scored by individuals who have matching subject-specific pedagogical expertise; 2) they preserve the complexity of teaching by using evidence collected from the teaching of a multi-lesson unit to real students; 3) they focus evidence on the learning of the students in one class; and 4) the analytic rubrics used to score the TPAs reflect varied performance on different dimensions of teaching and provide feedback to candidates and programs about strengths and areas for continued professional growth.
The evidence collected in SCALE TPAs includes teaching artifacts (lesson plans, video clips, and student work samples) plus candidate-produced commentaries that explain or evaluate teaching decisions in terms of their expected or actual effects on their students’ learning. Elements of the TPA also include teacher-assembled evidence of learning for individuals and groups of students.
National Teaching Performance Assessment Consortium (TPAC) Assessment
The nationally available TPA currently under development by SCALE builds upon the highly successful assessment developed by SCALE for the Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT) consortium. PACT is currently in use by 32 institutions of higher education across the state of California. Successful completion of a teaching performance assessment is required to earn a California Preliminary Multiple Subject or Single Subject Teaching Credential.
Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT) Teaching Event
The national TPAC assessment shares the structure of the PACT assessment, the Teaching Event, but is being revised to reflect nationwide teaching emphases. The PACT Teaching Event is a multiple measure assessment that documents teaching and learning in a 3-5 day learning segment for one class of students. It occurs during student teaching. The PACT assessment is subject-specific, with separate forms for elementary and secondary credential areas. Elementary candidates have a choice to complete a Teaching Event in either literacy or mathematics. The specific records of practice (evidence) for PACT consist of artifacts of teaching (lesson plans, video clips of instruction, student work samples, teacher assignments, daily reflections) and reflective commentaries that explain the professional rationale underlying the teaching and learning artifacts. PACT assessments have a common structure across credential areas and parallel but distinct subject-specific prompts to inform the commentary development.
Teaching Performance Assessment Tasks
The PACT assessment consists of five performance tasks, with associated records of practice:
- Plans and rationale for 3-5 lessons and assessments that are connected and sequenced around a central learning focus;
- One or two video clips of instruction from these lessons accompanied by commentary pointing out and elaborating on the instructional strategies that took place in these excerpts;
- Analysis of results from one assessment from the learning segment, including whole class patterns of performance and focusing on several individual students, along with documentation of feedback provided to students;
- Written reflections on the success of the candidate’s instructional decisions that draw upon both the candidate’s observations of the student learning outcomes from the learning segment and research and theory; and
- Evidence systematically gathered across tasks focusing on the candidate’s ability to support student development of academic language.
A description of the candidate’s teaching context, including the academic, social and language development of students in the documented class is also collected. The context description is not scored but the information is used to make judgments about the extent to which the candidate is able to make appropriate teaching decisions for students.