In 2012, TPA was renamed edTPA, to emphasize the “the educative nature of the assessment for teacher candidate learning and program renewal” (Professional Educator Standards Board, 2012).
Claiming that TPA was renamed edTPA to emphasize educative features is an exaggeration. There are practical reasons companies rebrand their products.
The most plausible reason, in the case of edTPA, is that an insurance company has owned the domain tpa.com since 1993. Pearson, Stanford’s operations partner, began using edtpa.com in 2012, presumably since tpa.com was already taken. Another reason is that TPA has been used as a general term to describe other performance assessments, according to California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing, which uses the phrase Teaching Performance Assessment and the acronym TPA on its website. Leaving edTPA as TPA would have caused confusion and interfered with SCALE Stanford’s ability to enforce trademark and copyright provisions on their product.
Adding the prefix ed does not make an activity educative. Continuity linked to interaction makes an experience educative, according to John Dewey (1938).
Continuity refers to the principle that humans respond to experiences and learn from them. Interaction goes with continuity since humans recollect previous experiences to make predictions about the future and then adjust their behavior accordingly. Alternatively, miseducative experiences are those that “narrow the field of further experience.”
Hopefully, student teachers completing edTPA portfolios exit the process feeling ed- (rather than) mis-educated.
Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and Education.