Are We Lovin' It?: The edTPA and the McDonaldization of Music Teacher Training
Data is provided by the student.
This qualitative study addresses the growing body of research about the implementation and impact of edTPA on the training and assessment of music teacher candidates at the college/university level from the viewpoint of 12 music education teacher trainers in the state of Tennessee. Ritzers four dimensions of McDonaldization (efficiency, calculability, predictability and control) provided the sociological framework used to explore the lived experiences of the music teacher trainers. Constructivist grounded theory was used to analyze the 12 semi-structured qualitative interviews with the goal of determining themes and patterns. Out of 12 respondents, two were in support of continuing the use of this portfolio assessment as a capstone project for their music teacher candidates, two were for discontinuing the edTPA, and the remaining eight saw both positive and negative aspects of the edTPA. During the coding process, all research participants responses echoed Ritzers four dimensions of the McDonaldization of Society. The discourse related to efficiency/inefficiency mostly centered on the K-12 Performing Arts Assessment Handbook. Concerns with calculability/incalculability focused on the scoring process. Discussions concerning predictability/unpredictability focused on issues of licensure and standardization. Experiences related to control/lack of control centered on state and federal mandates for teacher evaluation, the control of the scoring process by Pearson/SCALE, the relationship between music education program areas and their College of Education and the impact of the edTPA on coursework and the teacher candidates clinical practice. Since the edTPA will be required for Tennessee licensure in January, 2019, the music education teacher trainers seem resigned to the fact that it will be a part of music education programs for, at least, the foreseeable future. The research participants did, however, offer advice to improve the process including creating a specific handbook for music, adding edTPA language to methods classes, training all stakeholders, maintaining a cooperative relationship between the College of Education and music education, developing a lesson plan more suited to a music classroom and focusing on areas of overlap between the edTPA and TEAM to reduce stress and burn out.