(Click to change area.)
- Questions about teacher or professional portfolios
- Teacher Professional Portfolios and the Integration of Technology by Nancy Coquard. MEd.
- Bless This Mess! The Journey of Nancy Coquard and her Professional Portfolio...
- Part II: The Portfolio Chaos Theory: Random is an Order - sequel to "Bless This Mess"
- Useful references
- More on teacher/professional portfolios from the Portfolio Collaborations project coordinated by Nancy Coquard at the Eastern Townships School Board - 2003-2004
What is a teacher or professional portfolio?
A teaching portfolio is the structured, documentary history of a set of coached or mentored acts
of teaching substantiated by samples of student work and fully realized only through reflective
writing, deliberation, and serious conversation. (p.64)
Norma Lyons (1999) uses a definition from an article by Shulman (1998)
A portfolio is a container of documents that provide evidence of someone's knowledge, skills,
and/or dispositions. (p.203)
Barton & Collins (1993), Bird (1990)
What makes the difference between a portfolio and a journal and a portfolio and a scrapbook?
The main difference between a portfolio and a journal and a portfolio and a scrapbook is the definition of purpose or stated goals with the intent to evaluate. According to Barton & Collins the first and most consequential act of preparing a professional portfolio is the decision of its purpose and the definition of goals. Each piece selected, created and collected must demonstrate progress towards the target. The working towards goals allows teachers to manage their own growth towards change and innovation. Winsor, Butt & Reeves (1999) include the goals in their winning conditions for making a difference in teacher education:
Yes, portfolios developed through the processes of considered reflection, collaborative goal-setting, and clearly rationalized and illustrative documentation ... can be guiding lights that enable clearer vision of teachers' professional growth. (p31).
What goes into a teacher or professional portfolio?
According to Barton & Collins there are four classes of documents - artifacts, reproductions, attestations and productions. Among these productions are most important including belief statements, goals, reflections and captions on artifacts. Lyons also talks about including beliefs in portfolios. The portfolio should then provide the scaffold for examining beliefs and values and marrying theory and practice. As teachers explore and develop their beliefs about what it means to be a teacher and what is involved in the teaching and learning process, Bell and Gilbert (1994) discuss how carrying out new ideas and practices over an extended period of time helps teachers reflect critically. The role of the evidence then in a professional portfolio would support and chronicle this growth and change.
What is the role of reflection in the teacher portfolio process?
Reflection is another key ingredient in a professional portfolio. For Winsor(1995) the use of portfolios "involves inseparable processes and products" and portfolio means "fusion of process and product". Teaching, learning, reflection, and assessment are intimately related in the portfolio model. The portfolio allows teachers to display their growing strengths rather than expose their weaknesses. Reconceptualizing what professional development is and learning is the metacognitive part of teacher education. The portfolio provides an alternative mode for reflection; for contemplating what is good teaching and what represents my best work and what is truly important for learning. Reflection on concrete examples documented in the portfolio provides a secure base for experimentation and innovation.
This section is being developped with the collaboration of Nancy Coquard (ETSB RÉCIT).