The College of Education is proud to recognize several research award winners that have been named this year. This is one in a series of posts.

Dr. Sue Hildebrandt, acting chairperson of the Department of Special Education, received the Freeman Award from the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL).

This award recognizes the best published article on language teaching techniques to have appeared in a professional journal during the preceding year. The editor of the NECTFL Review nominated her co-authored article “Re-examining Teacher Candidate Performance on World Language edTPA as a Consequential Assessment” for the award.

edTPA has been a rather controversial topic since its inception, but her research has helped to unpack intricacies of one edTPA handbook and examine the scores from Illinois State University’s world language teacher education program.  Additionally, the research has helped to pinpoint some of the problematic aspects of the assessments and call for changes.

Hildebrandt started investigating the World Language edTPA in 2012, and began publishing research on the assessment in 2014. Her collaborative research on edTPA led to writing one of the first articles across all content areas using edTPA data.  Another four articles (one of which earned Honorable Mention for the Hispania Outstanding Scholarly Publication Award in 2018), a book, and an edited volume followed. World Language edTPA was also the topic of a book chapter with another co-author and a single-authored article.

Hildebrandt’s more recent research has explored Universal Design for Instruction in the area of language teaching, and she anticipates writing more about social justice in world language teacher education programs.

“Winning this award means that my research is having an impact, which is incredibly gratifying,” said Hildebrandt. “It means people are paying attention to the high-stakes assessment and understanding how it influences the preparation of teacher candidates across the country.”

Fun fact
While she is a self-proclaimed “open book” now, Hildebrandt’s colleagues might be very shocked to hear that she used to be painfully shy.  She credits immersing herself through a study abroad experience in Spain as a life-changer and confidence booster.

For more information about Hildebrandt’s research, visit her website.