Reconstructing practice for change
Shepherd, Craig Erschel
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Since the mid 1980s portfolios have been used within teacher education programs in an attempt to holistically assess teacher practice, make field experiences more visible to university faculty and support personnel, develop reflective and content knowledge skills, and promote teacher inquiry. Despite these claims, most portfolio practices either focus on summative assessments or fail to include sufficient information to justify conclusions. Even when portfolio research reports reliable assessments, several proponents question preservice teachers’ ability to focus on and examine teaching practices because of their inexperience, and cite time and resource requirements as hinders to portfolio development. This dissertation is a compilation of four, journal-ready manuscripts that explore electronic portfolio development that employ evidential reasoning and formative assessment for preservice teacher professional development. The first article is a review of portfolio literature across the teaching profession that identifies successes and hurdles to sustained portfolio development. The second article is a preliminary case study of three preservice social studies teachers who used video-based evidence and electronic portfolio (eportfolio) tools to support evidential reasoning practices. The third and fourth articles are case studies of six preservice social studies teachers who also used eportfolios to support evidential reasoning but included multiple sources of evidence to examine teaching practices within field-experiences. These articles describe how eportfolios can support evidential reasoning when embedded question prompts, personal coaching, and embedded tutorials and inquiry suggestions are provided.