Subject-Specific Pedagogy (TASK 1)

Principles of Developmentally Appropriate and Content Specific Pedagogy

  • You will demonstrate your knowledge of principles of content-specific pedagogy and developmentally appropriate pedagogy. Currently, there are seventeen (18) subject-specific versions of this task. You will complete one version to be determined by your credential content area.
  • Each version has four scenarios. They address developmentally appropriate pedagogy, assessment practices, adaptation of content for English learners, and adaptation of content for students with special needs. You will respond in writing to each of the four scenarios.
  • You will submit your completed response.


The California Teaching Performance Assessment (CA TPA) tasks are designed to measure aspects of the TPE’s and to reflect what beginning teachers should know and be able to do before receiving a Preliminary Credential. The CCTC, ETS, and professional teacher educators from California teacher preparation programs designed and tested a pilot and a field review version of the four performance tasks to ensure that the final CA TPA tasks are fair and equitable for all preliminary credential candidates. There are four inter-related yet separate tasks that increase in complexity as you move through them. They were designed with a specific sequence in mind. As the tasks increase in complexity, there are more choices and decisions to make about how to respond to the prompts. Each performance task measures aspects of a number of TPE’s, and many TPE’s are measured in more than one task.

Subject-Specific Pedagogy Task


The following six Teaching Performance Expectations are measured in this task:

  1. Making Subject Matter Comprehensible to Students
  2. Assessing Student Learning
  3. Engaging and Supporting Students in Learning
  4. Planning Instruction and Designing Learning Experiences for Students

Task Directions

Directions for Subject-Specific Pedagogy Task: Principles of Content-Specific and Developmentally Appropriate Pedagogy

Case 1
Developmentally Appropriate Pedagogy
  • Read the “Elements of a Learning Experience in a Unit,” “Class Description,” and “Developmental Needs of the Students” which are provided.
  • Describe strategies and activities that address the learning goals and the developmental needs of the students.
  • Explain why the strategies and activities are appropriate for the students and the content.
Case 2 Assessment Practices
  • Read the “Elements of a Learning Experience in a Unit,” “Teacher’s Dilemma,” and “Assessment Plan” which are provided.
  • Analyze the assessment plan, identifying strengths and weaknesses of the plan.
  • Read the “Additional Assessment” provided.
  • Describe how the additional assessment could be used to improve the plan and to address the teacher’s dilemma.
Case 3
Adaptation of Content–Specific Pedagogy for English Learners
  • Read the “Elements of a Learning Experience for 2 Days in a Unit,” “Outline of Plans for Days 3 and 4,” and the “Student Description,” including the “Written Response” and the “Transcript of Oral Response” provided.
  • Identify two specific learning needs of the student.
  • Identify a strategy or activity that would be challenging for the student.
  • Suggest an adaptation to the strategy or activity and explain how it would be effective in supporting the student’s academic progress and English language development.
  • Identify an assessment you would use to monitor the student’s progress and give a rationale for your choice.
  • Describe the next steps in facilitating the student’s English language development.
Case 4
Adaptation of Content–Specific Pedagogy for Students with Special Needs
  • Read the “Elements of a Learning Experience for 3 Days in a Unit,” “Outline of Plans for Days 3, 4, and 5,” and “Student Description” provided.
  • Identify parts of the plan that would be challenging for the student considering his learning disability and other learning needs.
  • Describe adaptations to the plan to meet the needs of the student and explain why they would be effective for this student and content.
  • Identify an assessment you would use to monitor the student’s progress and give a rationale for your choice.
After Completing Your Response
  • Remove all last names and identifying references to children and adults on the response and artifacts.
  • Submit your response as directed by your program.

Rubrics for Subject-Specific Pedagogy Task

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Page updated: November 7, 2012