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COLUMBUS, Ga. — Education faculty from colleges and universities throughout Georgia flocked to Columbus State University recently for training in a new teacher preparation assessment.
Columbus State hosted 179 participants for the April 11 edTPA Training Workshop. Thirty of CSU’s education faculty acted as facilitators — along with colleagues from Georgia State, Shorter College and Valdosta State, the Board of Regents and Georgia’s Professional Standards Commission — for sessions that ran from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
The edTPA is a Teacher Performance Assessment tool developed by Stanford University education faculty. Starting in fall 2015, teacher candidates, also known as pre-service teachers, in universities across Georgia will have to pass the edTPA. For future teachers, edTPA is a critical assessment of their pre-teaching service portfolio, and their failure to earn certification could impact their institutions’ teacher education programs.
“(The edTPA) is robust, to say the least, but it’s all based on best practices,” said Pam Wetherington, CSU’s edTPA coordinator. “Because it’s consequential — meaning they have to pass it in order to get certified to actually even teach in our state, possibly even other states — we are helping train faculty across the state and getting them ready to help prepare their candidates, their pre-service teachers.”
Wetherington said the workshop was a collaborative effort with facilitators working collectively within the state to prepare teaching candidates, and that the results benefit everyone.
“It’s not just about our (CSU) candidates, but about impacting p-12 (pre-kindergarten through 12th grade) learners,” Wetherington said. “Because the better our candidates are, the better the students will be.”
The objective of Saturday’s workshop is for education faculty to take what they learned back to their campuses and train their teaching candidates for the edTPA.
“There’s lots at stake here,” Wetherington said. “This is very significant.”
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