What to Expect from the Mathematics TPA

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Stanford University, along with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), developed the edTPA to help qualify candidates for teacher certification through real-world assessments. The implementation of the edTPA ensures that all teachers, including mathematics teachers, have the skills necessary to support student learning the first day they enter the classroom.

The Emergence of the Math Teacher Performance Assessment Nationwide

The edTPA provides school districts with a multiple-measure assessment system, which is aligned to both state and national standards, including the Common Core State Standards.

Today, institutions in 34 states, including the District of Columbia, are now using the edTPA at a number of different levels. Some states are still in the exploratory phase, while others have fully implemented edTPA as a performance-based assessment for teacher candidates.

There are 27 different teaching fields within the edTPA that cover early childhood, elementary, middle school, and secondary grade levels, although not all states offer all teaching fields and grade levels. There are three edTPA assessments in mathematics:

  • Elementary Mathematics
  • Middle Childhood Mathematics
  • Secondary Mathematics

Although the edTPA does not address anything that teacher candidates are not learning already in their teacher preparation programs, it does call for the ability to demonstrate these skills in real-world scenarios.

Mathematics Assessment through the edTPA

The assessment method used by the edTPA is focused on student learning and is designed to reflect the principles that successful teachers most often apply:

  • A knowledge of subject matter and subject-specific pedagogy
  • Research and theory of mathematics and how students learn
  • Reflect evidence of the effects of instruction on student learning
  • Develop and apply knowledge of the varied needs of students

Because the edTPA serves as a performance-based assessment, it affords candidates the opportunity to apply their student teaching in authentic, experimental ways.

Mathematics teachers use the edTPA to describe, analyze, and evaluate their teaching through a series of mathematics lessons that are referred to as learning segments, all of which are consistent with the Common Core Standards and the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics.

Each learning segment should reflect the teacher’s balanced approach to mathematics and also include opportunities for them to develop and monitor their students’ mathematical reasoning, problem solving skills, procedural fluency, and conceptual understanding of mathematics.

The edTPA for mathematics calls for the completion of three, specific tasks:

  • Task 1: Planning for Instruction and Assessment
  • Task 2: Instructing and Engaging Students in Learning
  • Task 3: Assessing Student Learning

Each task will include the submission of artifacts and commentaries about how they were planned and implemented as to deepen their students’ learning of mathematics.

Artifacts, which is work completed by the teacher and the students, may include everything from student work examples, instructional and assessment materials, and video clips of teaching.

A Break Down of Tasks that Comprise the Math TPA

Task 1: Planning for Instruction and Assessment

Planning Rubrics:

  • Planning for Mathematical Understandings
  • Planning to Support Varied Student Learning Needs
  • Using Knowledge of Students to Inform Teaching and Learning
  • Identifying and Supporting Language Demands
  • Planning Assessments to Monitor and Support Student Learning

Task 2: Instructing and Engaging Students in Learning

Instruction Rubrics:

  • Learning Environment
  • Engaging Students in Learning
  • Deepening Student Learning
  • Subject-Specific Pedagogy: Using Representations
  • Analyzing Teaching Effectiveness

Task 3: Assessing Student Learning

Assessment Rubrics:

  • Analysis of Student Learning
  • Providing Feedback to Guide Learning
  • Student use of Feedback
  • Analyzing Students’ Language Use and Mathematics Learning
  • Using Assessment to Inform Instruction

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