Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Ed Psychology and Research


Educational Psychology

Committee Chair

Denise Lynn Winsor

Committee Member

Christian Mueller

Committee Member

Happel-Parkins Alison

Committee Member

Tollefsen Deborah


Research into preservice teachers’ epistemic cognition has been a growing field of study, although this research has not yet implemented newer models of epistemic cognition, such as the AIR model. The AIR model has also never been used to examine how preservice teachers conceptualize and operate with knowledge as they are completing their summative teaching performance assessment. Preservice teachers are in a unique position to inform he field as they straddle the line between student and teacher. In this exploratory multiple case study, the researcher interviewed five preservice teachers in the final semester of their teacher education program during which they complete the edTPA teaching performance assessment. This study took place in a large, mid-southern university in order to examine the epistemic cognition of preservice teachers with regard to their own teaching practices and the edTPA as they negotiate their changing classroom identities. Participants indicated many sources of knowledge for teaching practices, with their mentor teacher being the most frequently utilized for knowing how to plan, instruct, and assess students. Other sources were utilized, but were more trusted if the teaching context of the source matched the teaching context of the preservice teacher. Preservice teachers also voiced concerns that the edTPA was an inadequate measure of teaching effectiveness, preferring to be assessed by a combination of their mentor teacher, student teaching supervisor, and university instructors. Teacher education institutions relying on teaching performance assessments as measures of teacher readiness should find ways of managing student expectations for their own assessment as well as reclaiming local control over recommendations for initial teacher licensure.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.