A lifelong portfolio for professional teaching
The project is based on the awareness provided by international research showing that a portfolio can be an effective device to support the professional growth of teachers. Compiling a portfolio to document the development of skills is, in fact, implemented both with students in school, university, and in initial and in-service training.
The need for a portfolio emerges from a teacher’s conception as a training professional, whose growth is always connected to a continuous review of his or her experiences and methods of reflection. Indeed, a teaching portfolio lends itself to enhancing the visibility of key steps of professionalisation, namely: skills employed in the situation, reflexivity, transferability between various contexts of what has been learned, and documentation, including the dynamics of what has happened.
To date, there is no online portfolio with a similar rationale that can be used at the various stages of a teacher’s professional growth, from initial university training to induction and in-service training. The various experiences of using a portfolio have progressed, to date, in separate ways, producing a certain fragmentation that makes it difficult and artificial to think about teacher training with a view to lifelong learning.
To validate the teaching portfolio model in usage settings that will be implemented in projects run by INDIRE and the Ministry of Education, in the context of universities and the emerging Higher Education Courses, as well as other sectors which, on the basis of specific agreements, will want to adopt it.
- Does digital implementation of the theoretical construct of the teaching portfolio promote the teacher’s reflection and his or her awareness of the continuous professional direction across all three training phases of initial, intake and in-service training?
- How are training needs modified on the basis of reflection on the three levels of the teaching profession (initial Teacher Education, Induction, and In-Service Training)? Can a framework of training priorities be reconstructed in the various stages of a teacher’s professional life?
Research will involve:
- all newly hired teachers for the school year 2022/2023 (about 25,000 teachers estimated on the basis of historical data);
- two groups of teachers in initial training at universities partnering in the research and in any universities participating in the trial;
groups of teachers attending continuous training, potentially selected within the national movements managed by INDIRE (eTwinning, Educational Avant-garde, Small Schools).