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Teacher's portfolio a genius tool for professional growth

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As important changes are taking place in education regarding teaching as a complex issue, news ways for evaluating teachers’ practices are being explored to enhance their teaching quality - a sine qua non- condition to make learning come alive for students. Indeed teachers’ development has become the forefront concern of school reforms, policy makers, educators and those in charge of evaluating their performance in the classroom. However, this new interest was challenged, by two main questions:
 How can teachers develop?
 How can their accomplishments be measured and their efforts evaluated?
The answers were found in the fine arts where artists’ work is exhibited in art galleries. Artists display the best of their paintings and drawings, leaving in this way a chance for both amateurs and professionals see what they have accomplished and value their work. Likewise teachers’ efforts and growth can be fleshed out through a teacher portfolio (TP) that documents three key components: their goals, accomplishments and their reflection about their practices.

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  • 1. Teacher’s Portfolio: A Genius Tool for Professional Growth By Azzeddine Bencherab & Abdelkrim Chami University of Mascara, Algeria Faculty of Letters Department of English
  • 2.
    • Outline:
    • Introduction
    • Background of the topic
    • Reflection:
    • Definition of reflection
    • Reflection: a process
    • Teaching Portfolio (TP)
    • Definition of TP
    • Reasons for developing a TP and Guidelines for developing one
    • TP’s Contents
    • Benefits of using a TP
    • Conclusion
  • 3.
    • I- Introduction :
    • New ways are explored to promote teacher’s development (TD)
    • Promoting teacher’s development enhances students’ achievements
    • Growing interest in TD on the part of educators, researchers and
    • policy makers was met with two challenges:
    • How to promote teachers’ development
    • How to acknowledge their efforts and measure their accomplishments
  • 4.
    • II- Background of the topic :
    • Important events are traced back by photos, slides, video sequences, diaries or small gadgets.
    • Keeping traces occurs also in, almost, all professions:
    • architects keep records of plans;
    • artists exhibit the best of their portraits and paintings;
    • lawyers keep files of cases they have defended;
    • building designers brag about designs they have sketched out
    • … .. except in teaching whereby teachers’ actions are not tracked
    • or given the right value .
  • 5.
    • III- Reflection :
    • 1- Definition:
    • Reflection is an action undertaken by teachers to consider their practices (Dewey, 1933).
    • For Dewey reflection means exploring and questioning teachers’
    • and other beliefs.
    • Reflection is key component for teacher growth (Richards, 1990)
  • 6.
    • 2- Reflection as a process :
    • The reflective process is not to limited to questioning and
    • evaluating but to taking future decisions.
    • It involves four main steps:
    • Collecting data
    • Analyzing data
    • Considering how the situation could have been different
    • Planning new actions
  • 7.
    • a- Collecting data :
    • gathering information from colleagues
    • gathering information on what’s happening
    • documenting oneself on the explored area
    Collecting Data
  • 8. Collecting Data b- Analyzing Data : Data collected in step 1 are analyzed through asking: What happened? What was unexpected? Surprising? What are the consequences? Analyzing Data
  • 9.
    • c- Considering how the situation could have been different :
    • This step involves alternatives through questions like:
    • How would have another teacher acted?
    • What about…? What if….?
    Collecting Data Analyzing Data Considering alternatives
  • 10.
    • d- Planning new actions :
    • This step involves:
    • linking information in steps 1, 2 and 3 and making changes;
    • finding about their impacts and the cycle goes on.
    Collecting Data Analyzing Data Considering altenatives Planning new actions
  • 11.
    • IV- Teaching Portfolio :
    • A Professional Tool for Professional Development
    • 1- Definition of TP :
    • TP is a narrative, biographical document where teachers’
    • accomplishments and details of their efforts are organized
    • (Zubizaretta, 1994) ;
    • Murray (1994) defines TP as a collection of documents that
    • represent teachers’ practices and provides them with the
    • occasion to reflect upon their own teaching.
  • 12.
    • 2- Reasons for developing one :
    • acknowledge and reward teachers (Wolf, 1998);
    • describe teachers’ ability over an extended period of time
    • (Urbach, 1992);
    • promote dialogue between the teacher and himself;
    • develop a culture of critical thinking;
    • build a sound foundation for changes.
  • 13.
    • 3- Guidelines for developing a TP:
    • the audience (peers, supervisor, administrator…);
    • the clarity of reasons (personal satisfaction, job offer, professional
    • growth…)
  • 14. 4- TP’s Contents: A teaching portfolio should contain at least:
    • A table of contents
    • Statement of teaching philosophy
    • Work samples
    • Reflective statement
  • 15.
    • 5- Benefits of Using a TP :
    • TP does showcase teachers’ growth over time;
    • It is tremendous tool to assess teachers’ actions in the classroom, reflect upon them and envisage changes.
    • It places learning and self evaluation in the hands of teachers, sets clear teaching objectives
    • It informs its author whether his/her objectives have been attained or not.
    • and chief above it heightens teachers’ quality.
  • 16. Problem Solving activity : What word if used in teaching would make a teacher 100% effective? Procedure : Let’s proceed as follows: Each letter of the found word is assigned its number in the alphabet order and the total is obtained by adding up all the numbers. For example: C O M P E T E N C E 3 15 13 16 5 20 5 14 3 5 = 99 H A R D 8 1 18 4 = 31 S A L A R Y 19 1 12 1 18 25 = 96 K I N D 11 9 14 4 = 38
  • 17. A T T I T U D E = 100
  • 18.
    • V- Conclusion:
    • TP if well implemented enables teachers to question their actions.
    • Teaching philosophy and statement of reflection: key elements of TP.
    • Teachers in continuous cyclical movement.
  • 19.
    • References:
    • Brown, H. D. 1994. Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Regents.
    • Dewey, J. 1933. How we think. In Mental Discipline in Modern Education, ed. W. Kelesnick. Madison, WI: University of Wisconson Press.
    • Richards, J. 1990Beyond training: Approaches to teacher education in language teaching. Language Teacher, 14, 2, pp. 3-8.
    • Murray, J. P. 1994. Why teaching portfolios? Community College.
    • Urbach,F. 1992. Developing a teaching portfolio. College, 40, 2, pp 71- 74.
    • Wolf, K. 1991. The school teacher’s portfolio: Issues in design, implementation, and evaluation. Phi Delta Kappan, pp 129- 136.
    • Zubizaretta, J. 1994. Teaching portfolios and the beginning teacher Phi Delta Kappan, pp. 323- 326.