Electronic Portfolio Adoption for Teacher Education Candidates

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<ul><li><p>Electronic Portfolio Adoption for Teacher Education Candidates</p><p>Michael W. Ledoux1,2 and Nadine McHenry1</p><p>Programs of professional development for preservice teachers of young children in the UnitedStates attempt to align their program goals and candidate performances to The NationalAssociation for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Association of Childhood</p><p>Education International (ACEI), and their particular state standards. In addition they attemptto teach candidates to be knowledgeable and reective practitioners who use the best practicesin their eld. This article will address one universitys attempt to adopt this process and utilize</p><p>electronic portfolios. The article will include examples of course objectives, standards, rubrics,and candidate performances interwoven through program matrices in order to insure theproper delivery of instruction while maintaining exibility and creativity. It is hoped that the</p><p>article will foster discussion about the strengths and challenges of accountability and academicfreedom in preparing candidates in early childhood education.</p><p>KEY WORDS: standards; teacher preparation; portfolios; technology; assessment.</p><p>INTRODUCTION</p><p>We live in an era of accountability. Govern-mental agencies, churches, businesses, and privatecitizens are being scrutinized more closely than everfor actions and behaviors that are inconsistent withthe missions and goals of organizations. Teachereducation programs in colleges and universitiesthroughout the United States are undergoing strin-gent reviews from state agencies and accreditingbodies to make sure that their programs are properlyaligned to performance standards established byprofessional societies, accreditation agencies orgovernmental bodies (cf. Association for ChildhoodEducation 20002001; Darling-Hammond, 1999;Edelfelt &amp; Raths, 1998; Galluzzo, 1999; Myers &amp;Crowe, 2000).</p><p>One may wonder whether this new fervor forstrict alignment of objectives, instruction, and</p><p>assessment with standards in order to improveprograms is meritorious or whether it is a fad thatwill pass. It is also hoped that reection upon thisprocess will cause educators to review the meaning ofacademic freedom and press for expanded notions ofassessment that will allow for more ample expressionsof ideas in preparation programs.</p><p>Within this context, we would like to address theuse of an electronic portfolio system for the prepa-ration of candidates in early childhood educationprograms at the initial licensure level. We will makeuse of the program standards for The NationalAssociation for the Education of Young Children(NAEYC: NAEYC, 2001), Association of ChildhoodEducation International (ACEI), since these standardsmay be the most familiar to practitioners in theUnited States and are comparable to standards inother countries with similar school systems. It is byusing these core standards (see Table I) that anelectronic portfolio system can be helpful in aggre-gating data to assist in program approval, and, moreimportantly, program improvement.</p><p>As those who have gone through the accreditingprocess recently know, the rst, and possiblymost daunting task in establishing a program</p><p>1Education, Widener University, One University Place, Chester,</p><p>PA 19013, USA.2Correspondence should be directed to Michael W. Ledoux,</p><p>Education, Widener University, One University Place, Chester,</p><p>PA 19013, USA; e-mail: Mwledoux@mail.widener.edu</p><p>Early Childhood Education Journal, Vol. 34, No. 2, October 2006 ( 2006)DOI: 10.1007/s10643-006-0111-1</p><p>1031082-3301/06/1000-0103/0 2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.</p></li><li><p>TableI.</p><p>StandardsAlignment</p><p>INTASCStandards</p><p>ACEIStandards</p><p>NAEYCStandards</p><p>NETsCompetencies</p><p>Principle#1:Theteacher</p><p>understandsthe</p><p>centralconcepts,toolsofinquiry,and</p><p>structure</p><p>ofthediscipline(s)heorshetea-</p><p>ches</p><p>andcancreatelearningexperiences</p><p>thatmaketheseaspectsofthesubject</p><p>matter</p><p>meaningfulforstudents</p><p>1.Development,learning,andmotivation.</p><p>Candidatesknow,understand,anduse</p><p>the</p><p>majorconcepts,principles,theories,and</p><p>researchrelatedto</p><p>developmentofchildren</p><p>andyoungadolescentsto</p><p>constructlearn-</p><p>ingopportunitiesthatsupportindividual</p><p>studentsdevelopment,acquisitionof</p><p>knowledge,andmotivation.</p><p>1.PromotingChildDevelopmentand</p><p>Learning.Candidatesuse</p><p>theirunder-</p><p>standingofyoungchildrenscharacteristics</p><p>andneedsandofmultipleinteracting</p><p>inuencesonchildrensdevelopmentand</p><p>learning,to</p><p>createenvironmentsthatare</p><p>healthy,respectful,supportiveandchal-</p><p>lengingforallchildren.</p><p>1.TechnologyOperationsandConcepts.</p><p>Teachersdem</p><p>onstrateasoundunder-</p><p>standingoftechnologyconceptsand</p><p>operations</p><p>Principle#2:Theteacherunderstandshow</p><p>childrenlearn</p><p>anddevelopandcanprovide</p><p>learningopportunitiesthatsupporttheir</p><p>intellectual,socialandpersonaldevelop-</p><p>ment</p><p>2a.Centralconcepts,toolsofinquiry,and</p><p>structuresofcontent.Candidatesknow,</p><p>understand,anduse</p><p>thecentralconcepts,</p><p>toolsofinquiry,andstructuresofcontent</p><p>forstudentsacrosstheK-6</p><p>gradesandcan</p><p>createmeaningfullearningexperiencesthat</p><p>developstudentscompetence</p><p>insubject</p><p>matter</p><p>andskillsforvariousdevelopmen-</p><p>tallevels.</p><p>2.BuildingFamilyandCommunityRela-</p><p>tionships.Candidatesknowabout,under-</p><p>stand,andvaluetheimportance</p><p>and</p><p>complexcharacteristics</p><p>ofchildrens</p><p>familiesandcommunities.They</p><p>use</p><p>this</p><p>understandingto</p><p>createrespectful,</p><p>reciprocalrelationshipsthatsupport</p><p>andem</p><p>power</p><p>familiesin</p><p>theirchildrens</p><p>developmentandlearning.</p><p>2.PlanninganddesigningLearningEnvi-</p><p>ronmentsandExperiences.Teachersplan</p><p>anddesigneectivelearningenvironments</p><p>andexperiencessupported</p><p>bytechnology.</p><p>Principle#3:Theteacherunderstandshow</p><p>studentsdier</p><p>intheirapproaches</p><p>tolearningandcreatesinstructional</p><p>opportunitiesthatare</p><p>adapted</p><p>todiverse</p><p>learners</p><p>2i.Connectionsacross</p><p>thecurriculum.</p><p>Candidatesknow,understand,anduse</p><p>the</p><p>connectionsamongconcepts,procedures,</p><p>andapplicationsfrom</p><p>contentareasto</p><p>motivateelem</p><p>entary</p><p>students,build</p><p>understanding,andencouragetheappli-</p><p>cationofknowledge,skills,tools,andideas</p><p>torealworldissues.</p><p>3.Observing,DocumentingandAssessingto</p><p>SupportYoungChildrenandFamilies.</p><p>Candidatesknowaboutandunderstand</p><p>thegoals,benetsandusesofassessm</p><p>ent.</p><p>They</p><p>knowaboutanduse</p><p>system</p><p>atic</p><p>observation,documentation,andother</p><p>eectiveassessm</p><p>entstrategiesin</p><p>arespon-</p><p>sibleways,inpartnershipwithfamiliesand</p><p>other</p><p>professionals,to</p><p>positivelyinuence</p><p>childrensdevelopmentandlearning.</p><p>3.Teaching,LearningandtheCurriculum.</p><p>Teachersimplementcurriculum</p><p>plans</p><p>thatincludemethodsandstrategiesfor</p><p>applyingtechnologyto</p><p>maximizestudent</p><p>learning.</p><p>Principle#4:Theteacherunderstandsand</p><p>usesavarietyofinstructionalstrategiesto</p><p>encouragestudentsdevelopmentofcritical</p><p>thinking,problem</p><p>solving,andperfor-</p><p>mance</p><p>skills</p><p>3a.Integratingandapplyingknowledgefor</p><p>instruction.Candidatesplanandimple-</p><p>mentinstructionbasedonknowledgeof</p><p>students,learningtheory,subjectmatter,</p><p>curriculargoals,andcommunity.</p><p>4.TeachingandLearning.Candidates</p><p>integratetheirunderstandingofandrela-</p><p>tionship</p><p>withchildrenandfamilies;their</p><p>understandingofdevelopmentallyeective</p><p>approaches</p><p>toteachingandlearning;and</p><p>theirknowledgeofacadem</p><p>icdisciplines,to</p><p>design,implement,andevaluateexperi-</p><p>encesthatpromotepositivedevelopment</p><p>andlearningforallchildren.(Thereare</p><p>subsectionsto</p><p>thisstandard.)</p><p>4.Assessm</p><p>entandEvaluation.Teachers</p><p>applytechnologyto</p><p>facilitateavarietyof</p><p>eectiveassessm</p><p>entandevaluation</p><p>104 Ledoux and McHenry</p></li><li><p>Principle#5:Theteacher</p><p>usesanunder-</p><p>standingofindividualandgroupmotiva-</p><p>tionandbehaviorto</p><p>createalearning</p><p>environmentthatencourages</p><p>positive</p><p>socialinteraction,activeengagem</p><p>entin</p><p>learningandself-m</p><p>otivation</p><p>3b.Adaptationto</p><p>diverse</p><p>students.Candi-</p><p>datesunderstandhowelem</p><p>entary</p><p>students</p><p>dierintheirdevelopmentandapproaches</p><p>tolearning,andcreateinstructional</p><p>opportunitiesthatare</p><p>adapted</p><p>todiverse</p><p>students.</p><p>5.BecomingaProfessional.Candidates</p><p>identify</p><p>andconductthem</p><p>selves</p><p>asmem</p><p>-</p><p>bersoftheearlychildhoodprofession.</p><p>They</p><p>knowanduse</p><p>ethicalguidelines</p><p>and</p><p>other</p><p>professionalstandardsrelatedto</p><p>earlychildhoodpractice.They</p><p>are</p><p>contin-</p><p>uous,collaborativelearnerswhodem</p><p>on-</p><p>strateknowledgeable,reective,and</p><p>criticalperspectives</p><p>ontheirwork,making</p><p>inform</p><p>eddecisionsthatintegrateknowl-</p><p>edgefrom</p><p>avarietyofsources.They</p><p>are</p><p>inform</p><p>edadvocatesforsoundeducational</p><p>practices</p><p>andpolicies.</p><p>5.ProductivityandProfessionalPractice.</p><p>Teachersapplytechnologyto</p><p>enhance</p><p>theirproductivityandprofessional</p><p>practice.</p><p>Principle#6:Theteacher</p><p>usesknowledge</p><p>ofeectiveverbal,nonverbal,andmedia</p><p>communicationtechniques</p><p>tofoster</p><p>active</p><p>inquiry,collaboration,andsupportive</p><p>interactionin</p><p>theclassroom</p><p>3c.Developmentofcriticalthinking,prob-</p><p>lem</p><p>solvingandperform</p><p>ance</p><p>skills.Candi-</p><p>datesunderstandanduse</p><p>avarietyof</p><p>teachingstrategiesthatencourageelem</p><p>en-</p><p>tary</p><p>studentsdevelopmentofcritical</p><p>thinking,problem</p><p>solving,andperfor-</p><p>mance</p><p>skills.</p><p>6.Social,Ethical,LegalandHumanIssues.</p><p>Teachersunderstandthesocial,ethical,</p><p>legalandhumanissuessurroundingtheuse</p><p>oftechnologyin</p><p>PK-12schoolsandapply</p><p>those</p><p>principlesin</p><p>practice.</p><p>Principle#7:Theteacherplansinstruction</p><p>baseduponknowledgeofsubjectmatter,</p><p>students,thecommunity,andcurriculum</p><p>goals.</p><p>3d.Activeengagem</p><p>entin</p><p>learning.Candi-</p><p>datesuse</p><p>theirknowledgeandunder-</p><p>standingofindividualandgroup</p><p>motivationandbehavioramongstudents</p><p>attheK-6levelto</p><p>fosteractiveengagem</p><p>ent</p><p>inlearning,selfmotivation,andpositive</p><p>socialinteractionandto</p><p>createsupportive</p><p>learningenvironments.</p><p>Principle#8:Theteacherunderstandsand</p><p>usesform</p><p>alandinform</p><p>alassessm</p><p>ent</p><p>strategiesto</p><p>evaluateensure</p><p>thecontinu-</p><p>ousintellectual,socialandphysical</p><p>developmentofthelearner.</p><p>3e.Communicationto</p><p>foster</p><p>learning.</p><p>Candidatesuse</p><p>theirknowledgeand</p><p>understandingofeectiveverbal,nonver-</p><p>bal,andmediacommunicationtechniques</p><p>tofoster</p><p>activeinquiry,collaboration,and</p><p>supportiveinteractionin</p><p>theelem</p><p>entary</p><p>classroom.</p><p>Principle#9:Theteacher</p><p>isareective</p><p>practitioner</p><p>whocontinuallyevaluatesthe</p><p>eectsofhis/her</p><p>choices</p><p>andactionson</p><p>others(students,parents,andother</p><p>pro-</p><p>fessionalsin</p><p>thelearningcommunity)and</p><p>whoactivelyseeksoutopportunitiesto</p><p>growprofessionally.</p><p>4.Assessm</p><p>entforinstruction.Candidates</p><p>know,understand,anduse</p><p>form</p><p>aland</p><p>inform</p><p>alassessm</p><p>entstrategiesto</p><p>plan,</p><p>evaluate,andstrengthen</p><p>instructionthat</p><p>willpromotecontinuousintellectual,so-</p><p>cial,em</p><p>otional,andphysicaldevelopment</p><p>ofeach</p><p>elem</p><p>entary</p><p>student.</p><p>Principle#10:Theteacher</p><p>fostersrela-</p><p>tionshipswithschoolcolleagues,parents,</p><p>andagencies</p><p>inthelarger</p><p>communityto</p><p>supportstudentslearningandwell-being.</p><p>5a.Practices</p><p>andbehaviors</p><p>ofdeveloping</p><p>career</p><p>teachers.Candidatesunderstand</p><p>andapplypractices</p><p>andbehaviorsthat</p><p>are</p><p>characteristicofdevelopingcareer</p><p>teachers.</p><p>105Electronic Portfolios</p></li><li><p>TableI.</p><p>Continued</p><p>INTASCStandards</p><p>ACEIStandards</p><p>NAEYCStandards</p><p>NETsCompetencies</p><p>5b.Reectionandevaluation.Candidates</p><p>areawareofandreectontheirpracticein</p><p>lightofresearchonteachingandresources</p><p>availableforprofessionallearning;they</p><p>continuallyevaluatetheeectsoftheir</p><p>professionaldecisionsandactionsonstu-</p><p>dents,parents,andother</p><p>professionalsin</p><p>thelearningcommunityandactivelyseek</p><p>outopportunitiesto</p><p>growprofessionally.</p><p>5c.Collaborationwithfamilies.Candidates</p><p>knowtheimportance</p><p>ofestablishingand</p><p>maintainingapositivecollaborativerela-</p><p>tionship</p><p>withfamiliesto</p><p>promotethe</p><p>intellectual,social,em</p><p>otional,andphysical</p><p>growth</p><p>ofchildren.</p><p>5d.Collaborationwithcolleagues</p><p>andthe</p><p>community.Candidatesfosterrelationships</p><p>withschoolcolleagues</p><p>andagencies</p><p>inthe</p><p>larger</p><p>communityto</p><p>supportstudents</p><p>learningandwell-being.</p><p>2b.English</p><p>languagearts.Candidates</p><p>dem</p><p>onstrateahighlevelofcompetence</p><p>in</p><p>use</p><p>oftheEnglish</p><p>languageartsandthey</p><p>know,understand,anduse</p><p>conceptsfrom</p><p>reading,languageandchilddevelopment,</p><p>toteach</p><p>reading,writing,speaking,view-</p><p>ing,listening,andthinkingskillsandto</p><p>helpstudentssuccessfullyapplytheir</p><p>developingskillsto</p><p>manydierentsitua-</p><p>tions,materials,andideas.</p><p>2c.Science.Candidatesknow,understand,</p><p>anduse</p><p>fundamentalconceptsin</p><p>thesub-</p><p>jectmatter</p><p>ofscienceincludingphysical,</p><p>life,andearthandspacesciencesaswellas</p><p>conceptsinscience</p><p>andtechnology,science</p><p>inpersonalandsocialperspectives,the</p><p>history</p><p>andnature</p><p>ofscience,theunifying</p><p>conceptsofscience,andtheinquirypro-</p><p>cesses</p><p>scientistsuse</p><p>indiscoveryofnew</p><p>knowledgeto</p><p>buildabaseforscienticand</p><p>technologicalliteracy.</p><p>106 Ledoux and McHenry</p></li><li><p>2d.Mathem</p><p>atics.Candidatesknow,</p><p>understand,anduse</p><p>themajorconcepts,</p><p>procedures,andreasoningprocesses</p><p>of</p><p>mathem</p><p>atics</p><p>thatdenenumber</p><p>system</p><p>s</p><p>andnumber</p><p>sense,geometry,measure-</p><p>ment,statisticsandprobability,andalge-</p><p>bra</p><p>inorder</p><p>tofoster</p><p>student</p><p>understandinganduse</p><p>ofpatterns,quan-</p><p>tities,andspatialrelationshipsthatcan</p><p>representphenomena,solveproblems,</p><p>andmanagedata.</p><p>2e.Socialstudies.Candidatesknow,</p><p>understand,anduse</p><p>themajorconcepts</p><p>andmodes</p><p>ofinquiryfrom</p><p>thesocial</p><p>studiestheintegratedstudyofhistory,</p><p>geography,thesocialsciences,andother</p><p>relatedareasto</p><p>promoteelem</p><p>entary</p><p>stu-</p><p>dentsabilitiesto</p><p>makeinform</p><p>eddecisions</p><p>ascitizensofaculturallydiverse</p><p>dem</p><p>o-</p><p>craticsocietyandinterdependentworld.</p><p>2f.Thearts.Candidatesknow,understand,</p><p>anduseasappropriateto</p><p>theirown</p><p>knowledgeandskillsthecontent,func-</p><p>tions,andachievem</p><p>entsofdance,music,</p><p>theater,andtheseveralvisualarts</p><p>asprimary</p><p>mediaforcommunication,</p><p>inquiry,andinsightamongelem</p><p>entary</p><p>students.</p><p>2g.Healtheducation.Candidatesknow,</p><p>understand,anduse</p><p>themajorconceptsin</p><p>thesubjectmatter</p><p>ofhealtheducationto</p><p>createopportunitiesforstudentdevelop-</p><p>mentandpracticeofskillsthatcontribute</p><p>togoodhealth.</p><p>2h.Physicaleducation.Candidatesknow,</p><p>understand,anduseasappropriateto</p><p>theirownunderstandingandskillshuman</p><p>movem</p><p>entandphysicalactivityascentral</p><p>elem</p><p>entsto</p><p>foster</p><p>active,healthylifestyles</p><p>andenhancedqualityoflifeforelem</p><p>entary</p><p>students.</p><p>107Electronic Portfolios</p></li><li><p>review is to align the various standards for the mul-tiple programs being oered by any institution. Asample of the possibly alignment is oered in Table I.Once this alignment is complete, demonstrating thecongruence of required performances across IN-TASC and Specialized Professional Association(SPA) standards, the faculty engaged in this processmust agree on how to reect these outcomes in theptograms(s) and individual courses. Many faculties inthe US have come to adopt the INTASC Principles asthe driving force describing candidate performance.The INTASC standards then need to be reectedwithin the syllabi of each of the faculty members whoare teaching preparation courses and a matrixdeveloped to show where each of the programmaticoerings intend to present candidates with thelearning opportunities aligned with these Principles.Making the standards matrix in an electronic move-able format will allow faculty to rearrange thestandards to t into the appropriate conguration.Faculty members who develop their own courseobjectives and assessment tasks then need a furthertranslation. A sample of the syllabus and coursetask alignments is oered in Table II. Those whohave gone through this process realize the complexi-ties involved, especially when teacher educatorprograms involve faculty from schools or divisionsother than education. For those who have not yetwrestled with these standards and the alignmentprocess, you are wished the best of success and lots ofpatience.</p><p>HOW TO ASSESS PRESERVICE EARLYCHILDHOOD PRACTITIONERS</p><p>Accrediting agenc...</p></li></ul>