Portfolio as a Tool for Teachers’ Reflective Thinking and Professional Identity Development
Burns, Eila (2016)
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The purpose of this presentation paper is to discuss whether teacher trainees’ portfolios demonstrated evidence of reflective thinking on the different aspects of teachers’ performance. An investigation onto teacher trainees’ portfolios was conducted in teacher education in Kosovo (University of Pristina, Faculty of Education) and in Finland (JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Teacher Education). This investigation was a part of the activities in the EU Funded TEMPUS Project “Modernizing Teacher Education at University of Prishtina”. The paper was presented at the Teacher Conference in Pristina in 2015. We used Korthagen’s (2004) model as a theoretical frame to analyse outcomes of 10 teacher trainees’ portfolios. The analysis of written portfolios revealed that the students prompted reflective thinking in many, but not all, dimensions of teachers’ work. Teacher trainees’ portfolios suggest that their thinking seems to be oriented towards the areas of skills and competencies, rather than on the dimensions of beliefs and internal teacher identity. The paper suggests that teacher education institutions should plan portfolios not as simple collection of artefacts but rather a core part of developing teachers’ professional identity.