What happens after edTPA?


  • Kristen V. Napolitano Mercy College https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0248-8711
  • Meghan E. Marrero Mercy College
  • Amanda M. Gunning Mercy College
  • Latanya T. Brandon State University of New York, New Paltz
  • Jessica F. Riccio Teachers College, Columbia University




teacher education, teacher certification, performance assessment, edTPA


The teacher certification process can be overwhelming for early-career educators. Negotiating teacher identity, completing fieldwork hours, and navigating institutional expectations can stress the most resilient teacher candidates. These pressures are further compounded as teacher certification assessments, such as the edTPA, introduce additional hurdles to achieving state licensure. This study approaches these obstacles by examining the stories of a diverse group of 14 early-career teachers as they reflect on completing edTPA and their current teaching practices. Through social constructivist perspectives and professional learning continuum framing, we interpreted narrative data to examine early-career teacher discussions of completing edTPA and developing pedagogical practices. These 14 teachers elucidated that the collaborative nature of their preparation program was integral to their completing the assessment, that the program approach to completing the portfolio assessment positioned them to think reflexively about their practice, and that the skills and tools used on edTPA remained useful to them throughout their early-career teaching. We suggest ways that preparation programs can interpret this teacher certification policy as an instructional touchpoint and can limit the gatekeeping capabilities of certification exams through collaboration, building capital, and supporting reflective portfolios. This work has implications for policymakers in teacher education and induction programs.


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Author Biographies

Kristen V. Napolitano, Mercy College

Kristen Napolitano, PhD, is postdoctoral researcher and adjunct professor of secondary education at Mercy College in New York. She teaches courses in science education with a specialization in teacher education. Her research interests include teacher performance assessment, teacher education, teacher identity and agency, and professional development. Currently, she is working with Meghan E. Marrero and Amanda M. Gunning at the Mercy College Center for STEM Education on community-centered STEM initiatives and professional development programs for local school districts.

Meghan E. Marrero, Mercy College

Meghan Marrero, PhD, is a professor of secondary education at Mercy College, where she also co-directs the Mercy College Center for STEM Education, which seeks to provide access to STEM experiences for teachers, students, and families. Dr. Marrero was a 2018 Fulbright Scholar to Ireland, during which she implemented a science and engineering program for young learners and their families in Dublin. Her research interests include ocean science education and STEM education for students and K-12 teachers.

Amanda M. Gunning, Mercy College

Amanda M. Gunning, PhD, is an associate professor of science and STEM education at Mercy College. She teaches K-12 science methods, STEM pedagogy, and interdisciplinary science content courses for teachers. Her research interests lie in K-12 science teacher education; family learning of STEM; and the history of physics education. Gunning co-founded Mercy College’s Center for STEM Education, which she co-directs, providing outreach programs for K-12 students and teachers.

Latanya T. Brandon, State University of New York, New Paltz

Latanya Brandon, PhD (she/her/hers), is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Her work involves teacher education, collaboration with school districts and nonprofit organizations, and has been presented at multiple education conferences. Dr. Brandon's research interests lie at the intersection of teacher learning and leadership for equity in science education.

Jessica F. Riccio, Teachers College, Columbia University

Jessica F. Riccio, EdD, is a senior lecturer in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University. She directs the Preservice, Inservice and Residency Masters Programs in biology, chemistry, earth science and physics teacher certification for secondary school grades 7-12. She also co-directs a new doctoral specialization program in science teacher education. As current co-chair of the Teacher Education Policy Committee (TEPC) at the College, and Women in Science Forum Chair for the Association of Science Teacher Education (ASTE), Dr. Riccio works to confront issues of inequity in the STEM pathway.




How to Cite

Napolitano, K. V., Marrero, M. E., Gunning, A. M., Brandon, L. T., & Riccio, J. F. (2022). What happens after edTPA?. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 30, (80). https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.30.6988