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San Diego State University

SDSU College of Education



The edTPA is an updated, national version of the Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT) that was developed by SCALE (Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity) and is being implemented in partnership with Pearson Education. The edTPA Teaching Event (TE) is a subject-specific, portfolio-based assessment of teaching performance that is completed by student teachers to demonstrate their readiness for a full-time classroom teaching assignment. It is aligned with the California Teaching Performance Expectations (TPEs) and the relevant Common Core standards, California student academic content standards and/or curriculum frameworks. edTPA Teaching Event handbooks and the associated rubrics are proprietary information and are currently available only to registered participants. You can find out more about the edTPA at

The focus of the Teaching Event is on K-12 student learning. In the Teaching Event, teacher candidates show the strategies they use to make subject matter accessible to students, and how they support students in learning. They explain the thinking underlying their teaching decisions and analyze the strategies they use to connect students with the content they are teaching. They examine the effects of instructional design and teaching practices on student learning, with particular attention to students with diverse cultural, language, and socio-economic backgrounds and learning needs.

What do candidates do?

In their Teaching Event, candidates describe, analyze, and evaluate the teaching of a series of 3–5 lessons (or, if teaching within a large time block, about 3–5 hours of connected instruction) referred to as a learning segment. These focus on specific skills for each content area (for example, using textual support in English) and are consistent with the Common Core State Standards, and additional state and national content standards as appropriate. The edTPA Teaching Event consists of three inter-related tasks:

Task 1:Planning for Instruction and Assessment (including Academic Language Support)

The Planning task describes and explains candidates' plans for the 3-5 lesson learning segment. It demonstrates their ability to organize curriculum, instruction, and assessment to help their students meet the standards for the curriculum content as well as to identify a key language function, then analyze and develop academic language related to that function. It also provides evidence of their ability to use knowledge of their students and of research/theory to select, adapt, or design learning tasks and materials to provide equitable access to subject-matter content. Although the exact topic is left open, each subject area has a particular focus.

Candidates learn about their school and students, plan a learning segment appropriate to their students and content standards (adapting existing lessons and/or creating original material as needed), and comment on the underlying rationale(s). They include plans, instructional materials such as handouts and graphic organizers, and a context form.

Task 2: Instructing and Engaging Students in Learning

The Instructing Students & Supporting Learning task illustrates how candidates work with their students to improve their skills and strategies in the content area during instruction. The short video and commentary provide evidence of the candidate's ability to create a positive learning environment, actively engage students in meaningful tasks related to the appropriate Subject Area Focus and deepen their learning. They will also analyze students' use of academic language either here or in the assessment. At the end, candidates analyze their teaching and student learning to propose changes that they justify with reference to research and theory.

The learning segment should be implemented around the 6th to 8th week of second semester student teaching. Single Subjects Candidates will select one to three video clips, of no more than 15- 20 minutes total, depending on the specific instructions for their subject area.

Task 3: Assessing Student Learning

The Assessment of Student Learning task focuses on just one of the assessments from the learning segment and illustrates how candidates diagnose student learning needs through the analysis of student work samples. It provides evidence of their ability to 

  1. Select an assessment tool and criteria that are aligned with their central focus, student standards, and learning objectives;
  2. Analyze student performance on an assessment in relation to student needs and the identified learning objectives (including academic language);
  3. Give appropriate feedback (including what the student did well and suggestions for improvement), and provide structured opportunities for the use of that feedback for revision or improvement of future work;
  4. Use their analysis to identify and plan next steps in instruction for the whole class and individual students as well as justify these next steps with reference to student needs, research and theory.

Candidates will need to provide a rubric or quality criteria and use it to analyze one assignment or other assessment from their week-long instructional segment in literacy. They will also need to summarize learning across the class (including academic language if it was not already covered in the video), give feedback, structure opportunities to use that feedback, and plan next steps as well as provide work samples from 3 students at different levels.

Evaluation of the edTPA:

The evidence submitted in the edTPA is evaluated across five components of teaching practice:

  • Planning
  • Instruction
  • Assessment
  • Analyzing Teaching
  • Academic Language

Candidates can download edTPA handbooks with directions and assessment rubrics from the BlackBoard site for their edTPA seminar.