Consider Portfolio Thinking
"Who looks outside, dreams; who looka inside, awakes."
- Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist
What is Folio Thinking?
Folio thinking is characterized by a personal awareness of one's own contribution, value, and responsibility. It requires individualized thinking, context-creating communication infrastructure and may use technology-based knowledge management. In other words, you may be posting your thoughts online. You will be undertaking a reflective practice of creating a personal portfolio for the purpose of creating coherence and making meaning. This will draw on:
- Experiential processes
- Reflective thinking
- Analytical thinking
- Thinking about your thinking
Why is it Important to Create a Portfolio?
In today's education system there is a strong move to assess student learning by having them develop portfolios that showcase their understanding and development. In BC, this is now a part of the high school curriculum and many other programs and content areas have and are implementing them to enhance and expand the depth of education and understanding. What is somewhat surprising is that there has been little done to support and encourage those who tutor to do the same thing for themselves.
What is a Tutoring Portfolio?
Tutoring Portfolio: A comprehensive record of activities and accomplishments, created by tutors, and can include:
- Qualitative assembling of evidence of good tutoring, facilitations, and other activities.
- Documents the content and quality of these activities.
- Descriptions, through documentation over an an extended period of time, of the full range of abilities as a tutor.
A Tutoring Portfolio is intended to present tutoring achievements and major strengths in the areas of:
- interpretation by others
A Tutoring Portfolio is a story about tutors and who they are as a tutor and a learner. They may include some or all of the following:
- Examples of what tutors have learned about tutoring others,
- What tutors do as a learning leader in their preparation and tutoring,
- Their private and public scholarship of tutoring,
- A description of their journey as a tutor,
- Connected with a reflective narrative of their growth, values, future vision, and plans.
Portfolios may go well beyond this list and are a way to show a tutor's capacity and to showcase their focus on learning for themselves and others.
Each semester, the level three peer tutors consolidate their Personal Tutoring Portfolio and post to Mahara.
Identify Information for Inclusion in a Tutoring Portfolio
Whether tutors are new to tutoring or have years of experience, it is always a good time to begin to develop a portfolio. The product and effect will grow over time and provide long lasting rewards.
Any artifact that can be captured may lend itself to being part of a portfolio. Text, graphics, video, audio, photos, and animations are all candidates for inclusion and each of these categories have many sub genres. Tutors can start by identifying what they have in their "Experience Trunk" - all of those items that they have created or worked with during their time as a tutor - all evidence that may be used as part of their portfolio.
However, they probably will not want to use everything that they collect. To support the tutors with this task, tutor trainers guide the tutors through the following steps:
- Ask yourself, "For what purpose am I creating this object?"
- identify the audience that you intend to reach. Contemplation and anlysis of these two elements will allow you to filter your information and plan an approach that will focus your evidence to heighten impact.
- Think about the things that you have created in your time tutoring. This will include session plans, learning tasks, reflective journal entries, handouts to help your tutees, feedback that you have received, your response to feedback, and anything else that you have done as a tutor.
- Look for the artifacts that you already have or might be in the process of creating.
Share with Others
Tutors start to create a portfolio that only they see. This gives them the benefits of reflective practice and the positive effects on their learners of any mindful acts that arise from contemplation of personal tutoring practices. Over time, the sharing of their tutoring perspectives and philosophy invites feedback and makes for rich and thoughtful conversations with peers.
There is a growing body of research on the benefits of Learning Communities where such conversations spark deeper connections and tutoring portfolios can both inspire and record these interactions.
The next steps for our Tutoring Portfolios is to expand on existing activities currently included in our KPU Peer Tutor Training Workbook - Level Three. These include:
- Tutor Evidence Activity
- Develop a Personal Tutoring Philosophy
The Tutor Evidence activitiy currently asks tutors to reflect on evidence for the following items:
- Tutoring products
- Current and recent tutoring responsibilities and practices
- Professional development to improve tutoring
- Steps taken to evaluate your own tutoring
- Comments from other tutors
- Scholarship of tutoring and learning (publication)
- Outside activities that support tutoring and learning
- Other artifact or sources of information about your tutoring
The Develop a Personal Tutoring Philosophy activity currently asks tutors to draft a statement of tutoring and learning by asking the following questions:
- Actions: What do I do that encourages, enables, and/or empowers learning for myself and/or others?
- Intentions: What do I intend my tutoring to do for myself and/or others?
- Beliefs: What do I believe is important about tutoring and learning?