Source: Action of Teacher Education, Vol. 36, p. 157-170, 2014.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This study focused on comparison between preservice physics teachers’ quality of reflections in their teaching portfolios and their perceived reflections.
Qualitative research design was used for this study.
The participants were 12 preservice physics teachers, who enrolled to in Physics Education course in a large university in the west part of Turkey.
Their portfolios were evaluated based on the rubric developed by the researcher focusing on personal reflection, artifacts, professional development, and organization.
Data were collected through the participants’ portfolios and interviews.
Findings demonstrated that preservice physics teachers were aware of how much they could reflect their teaching profession to their portfolios.
The participants realized which products reflected them better and what else they could have put into their portfolios to be more reflective. For example, almost one half of the participants (41%) performed exceptional reflective thinking while one fourth of them (25%) could not reflect their professional skills enough to their portfolios. On the other hand, one fourth of the participants’ reflective portfolios were adequate, and only 9% of the participants’ portfolios were close to exceptional.
These findings point out that most of the preservice teachers were expert reflectors and demonstrated evidence about their teaching skills in their portfolios.
Furthermore, the participants whose portfolios needed improvement to be more reflective knew that the instructor’s evaluation about their portfolios was in the same line.
The following conclusions can be drawn from the study: First, preservice teachers are able to create exceptional reflective portfolios. Second, using a reflective model as a guide, instructor’s supervision and working with real situations may enhance preservice teachers’ ability of self-reflection. Third, preservice teachers’ reflections in their portfolios and their perceived reflections intersect. This intersection illustrates that they can do reflective thinking.