COURSE PORTFOLIO A STRATEGY FOR HIGH EDUCATION TEACHERS’ EVALUATION AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Instituto Piaget (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The European Space of Higher Education convergence has stressed the importance of a potentially systemic shift in paradigms, away from what has been labelled the "instruction paradigm" toward the "learning paradigm", i.e. shifting the interest from the teacher to the student, thus leading to pedagogical implications which imply that teachers reflect upon their methodologies of teaching, evaluate the work they develop with their students and change their proceedings accordingly.
We propose the course portfolio, a fraternal twin of the teaching portfolio as Cerbin, its inventor, has named it, as a strategy to:
- evaluate (auto and hetero-evaluation) what teachers do;
- promote critical reflection;
- promote collaborative work among teachers;
- improve teaching skills ;
- document the progress teachers gradually accomplish through this strategy;
- make teaching and learning visible as a scholarly activity.
Although the construction of a portfolio is a much-personalised process, we believe that meeting together, sharing points of view and discussing strategies, will certainly bring benefits from the input of others (colleagues and experienced teachers). We acknowledge the importance of teachers’ critical reflection through dialogue within their community of practice. Teaching is a solitaire endeavour and working in co-operation with other minimizes that solitude and increases the possibility of feedback, maximizing, therefore, the possibility of change. This is the main strategy of the construction of the course portfolio, in this study. On the other hand, teaching, to be recognized as a valuable and scholar activity needs to be open to public scrutiny, something that the portfolio will allow.
In this paper we present the process of building a course portfolio in a Portuguese Higher Education institution that has at its core a formative approach to teaching. Teaching in Higher Education, in Portugal, does not require any kind of pedagogic or didactic preparation, so many of those who teach in universities and colleges have never been prepared for this professional activity that takes most of their time. A group of ten teachers accepted the challenge of producing a course portfolio in order to evaluate their performance and promote their professional development. We will describe the process and the preliminary outcomes of the study.
Keywords: teaching portfolio, course portfolio, teaching evaluation, professional development, higher education.