Education & Social Sciences

Education - Teacher Education Program: Portfolio

Teacher Education Digital Portfolio

In "How We Think," John Dewey refers to reflective action as the active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in light of the grounds that support it and the consequences to which it leads. The Teacher Education Digital Portfolio utilizes Dewey's concept of reflective action as its principle of organization. As students progress through the Teacher Education Program, they are enabled to reflect about their own teaching and learning in four broad areas: CURRICULUM,ASSESSMENT, RELATIONSHIPS, and ENVIRONMENT. The portfolio offers a process of self-assessment that promotes growth through analytical and critical evaluation regarding the goals and objectives of the program. Building their personal web pages early in their education program, education majors will periodically update their portfolios as well as present their completed digital portfolios as part of their senior comprehensive evaluation

Introduction: What Is a Digital Portfolio?

A digital portfolio is an organized collection of documents that represent the undergraduate preparation for teaching. The documents teacher candidates select for their portfolios will illustrate their unique personal and professional growth, a portrait of their abilities and skills. the Manchester University Teacher Education Program requires teacher candidates to build a digital portfolio in order to provide them with an opportunity to learn important 21st century skills.

Organization of the Portfolio

The portfolio organization reflects the conceptual framework for the Teacher Education Program. Based on the motto "Preparing Teachers of Ability and Conviction," the pictorial model illustrates preparation of teachers of ability by engaging in liberal arts, professional, and content area studies. One's convictions develop through participation in faith, learning and service experiences. The conceptual framework emanates from the model, teaching standards developed by professional organizations and established goals and objectives of the Teacher Education Program. The goals and objectives serve as the guide for the teacher candidate's professional preparation and focus on four broad areas. Upon completion of the Teacher Education Program, teacher candidates will
  1. Construct and deliver appropriate curriculum for students.
  2. Assess student learning and development with a variety of measures.
  3. Establish professional and reciprocal relationships with others invested in students' learning.
  4. Create positive and caring environments for student development and learning.

The portfolio is organized by these four broad goals. Documents need to illustrate the teacher candidate's professional development and ability in each area.

Development of the Portfolio

Development of the portfolio begins during the first year and continues until graduation. Students may evaluate their own work and select materials that represent their best work.

Materials are collected and arranged in the four categories as outlined on the goals page.

Evaluation of the Portfolio

The portfolio is evaluated at four points in the undergraduate program. The purpose is to evaluate progress in the portfolio development and to assist with questions, if necessary. The four evaluation times are:
  1. Spring semester, sophomore year during the interview for admission to the teacher education program with the Director of Teacher Education
  2. Fall semester, junior year, during the interview for student teaching, with the Director of Teacher Education
  3. Upon completion of methods classes: fall semester, senior year for elementary majors with methods faculty; junior or senior year for secondary majors with methods instructor.
  4. Upon completion of student teaching and all coursework, students will submit their portfolio and student teaching videotape for evaluation by one of the education department faculty.

Senior Comprehensive Evaluation

During the final week of student teaching, students will complete an oral final review with a member of the faculty in the Education Department. Students will present evidence of their attainment of the goals and objectives of the teacher education program. The portfolio and a videotaped recording sample of their best teaching will be a basis for the oral presentation. 

Successful completion of student teaching and a "pass" grade for the portfolio will fulfill the senior comprehensive evaluation requirements. The diploma will be granted when both requirements are met.

NOTE: The portfolio is a licensing requirement for all teacher education majors. Students who are pursuing an academic major in addition to teacher certification will need to meet senior comprehensive evaluation requirements in both areas.