Sensemaking and Policy Implementation of edTPA: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
De Voto, Craig
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This dissertation examines the edTPA—a new performance-based, subject-specific, assessment and support system—and its associated policies/implementation across states and teacher preparation programs (TPPs). A multiple embedded case study was used to explore how adopted policy designs and micro-organizational factors influenced local edTPA sensemaking and its subsequent implementation. Two states and eight TPPs were selected. Data gathered included interviews (N = 69), focus groups (N = 6), and supporting documents. Analysis was conducted using grounded theory methods. Findings showed edTPA sensemaking and implementation varied. These variances were the result of what policy design TPPs operated under, as well as their existing institutional capacities and compatibility. Three responses were found: active use, cosmetic compliance, and active resistance. In the process, edTPA became an inquiry-based or compliance-based policy tool. Recommendations included reconsidering edTPA as a mandate; emphasizing the edTPA Coordinator role; harnessing leadership to support its implementation; and improving faculty and cooperative teacher training.