Portfolios for Professional Development - Steve Barkley

Portfolios for Professional Development

I spent Thanksgiving in Madrid, Spain at the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) Conference. My two day pre–conference on mentoring and coaching was attended by international educators from around the world. They had various positions from headmaster and principals to department chair, lead teacher, and mentor or coach.

One group of participants were mentors for ECIS’s International Teaching Certificate (ITC) program. This program, designed with the University of Cambridge International Examinations, was designed to enable candidates to develop and demonstrate:
-Competence in teaching international students
-Commitment to continuing professional development reflective practice on personal performance

Those of you looking to design an alternative to teacher evaluation might find some ideas in the ITC format.

This year-plus program has candidates working with a mentor and completing a portfolio around five standard areas:

1. Education in an international context: The teachers design and run an extra-curricular activity, project, or event connecting with the host country’s culture.

2. Teaching competencies for the international educator: Teachers plan, teach, and assess a short classroom based learning program with his/her students.

3. Teaching students for whom English is an additional language: The teachers design and conduct a workshop on the EAL learner.

4. Student transition and mobility in international schools: Teachers complete two case studies examining the experiences of two students in transition.

5. Reflective Practice Continuing Professional Development: Teachers complete, undertake, and reflect upon a personal professional development plan.

Portfolios are submitted for evaluation and necessary refinement leading to rewarding of the certificate. Several schools have begun professional development activities to assist teachers in preparing for the ITC.
I was intrigued by the variety of the portfolio activities to assess the key components.

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