The journey from pre-service teacher to practicing teacher: A national snapshot of portfolios of evidence in Australian initial teacher education
Masters, JE and Morrison, CM, The journey from pre-service teacher to practicing teacher: A national snapshot of portfolios of evidence in Australian initial teacher education, 2017 ePortfolio Forum Book of Short Papers, 20-21 September 2017, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 53-58. (2017) [Refereed Conference Paper]
It is now over two and a half years since the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG) report, Action now: Classroom ready teachers (TEMAG, 2014) specified that pre service teachers should develop a ‘portfolio of evidence’ during their initial teacher education program to demonstrate ‘classroom readiness’ before their graduation. Since its release, Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers have been progressively realigning course design, curriculum, assessment and professional experience programs in order to encompass the key recommendations that have filtered from the TEMAG report into national teacher course accreditation requirements.
The study reported in this paper was funded by Federal Government’s Department of Education as part of an investigation into priority research areas relating to ITE Professional Experience. The funding was made available through the Australian Council of Deans of Education (ACDE) and the National Academic Directors of Professional Experience’s (NADPE) national steering committee has managed a set of research projects addressing the priority
areas. The Pre-service teachers’ portfolios of evidence: A national snapshot of the collection and assessment of evidence of practice within Australian ITE project targeted all 48 Initial Teacher Education providers in Australia. It recruited the Academic Director of Professional Experience (ADPE) (or equivalent) in each institution to ask individual staff members working on implementing portfolios to complete an online survey.
The survey addressed a range of aspects relating to portfolio implementation in teacher education. It was designed to report on the characteristics of portfolio use and the progression of portfolio enactment in each context. The data collected provided an insight into the use of portfolios in initial teacher education from the perspective of a range of staff involved in the process. The study found that implementation of portfolios of evidence is predominantly undertaken by academic lecturing staff and is usually led by those responsible for course coordination. Portfolio work customarily occurs at a program/course level in pockets of innovation and, when successful, portfolio activity enables professional requirements (including the Australian Professional Teacher Standards), units of study and professional experience placements to be connected across a course of study in a meaningful and systematic way.
This snapshot confirms that a collection of ‘champions’ are driving responsive change for the implementation of portfolios of evidence in initial teacher education. While full portfolio integration is not yet widespread, there is clear evidence that the portfolio has the potential to serve as a device to evidence classroom readiness in ITE.
Refereed Conference Paper
Initial Teacher Education; Portfolios of Evidence;