Title

Role of portfolio in teacher's professional development and learning

Date of Award

8-1-2004

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

Professional development of teachers is considered a source to enhance teachers' content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. To meet this purpose teacher education institutions use a variety of ways in their teachers' development programs. Mostly these ways and strategies are used in short and long programs where teachers are provided opportunities to learn knowledge and skills. The purpose of these courses is to enhance the capacity of teachers and improve the learning outcomes of the students. However, most of these learning and strategies are limited to the training centers and teachers face challenges while implementing the learning in their schools. Teachers generally consider the professional development centers and training centers as the only source of professional learning. They ignore the importance of workplace learning, which is possible through reflection on their own experiences. This study focused on the role of portfolios for professional learning of the course participants in the Teacher Learning module of the M.Ed. program 2004 at AKU-IED. The study was conducted using the qualitative mode of research and was carried out at AKU-IED with six course participants from different contexts and three faculty members. Interviews and portfolios of six course participants were the major source of data. As a result of qualitative data analysis, the study has generated some findings related to the role of portfolios as a professional development/learning tool for teachers. One of the significant roles was the documentation of teachers' learning over a period of time, which is generally not documented by the teachers. The process leads the teachers to continuous reflection on their beliefs and practices. This continuous reflection provides opportunities for teachers to learn from their own experiences and construct their knowledge and understanding. In relation to the implementation of this concept there were a number of challenges that the course participants faced in content selection of their portfolio. It could be an effective way of recording learning from daily experiences therefore, I recommend the introduction of portfolios in all programs running at AKU-IED.

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