Making the Case for the Use of Web-Based Portfolios in Support of Learning to Teach
Portfolios have been used in teacher education in different formats, in a variety of ways and for different purposes. Portfolios can be used as evaluation tools, to illustrate good teaching, to demonstrate progress, to integrate collection of work, to share work, and to support reflection and professional growth. In this paper we demonstrate through a review of the literature how portfolios have been used in teacher education and we discuss how hypermedia portfolios have been gaining popularity among teacher educators due to their potential to overcome the limitations of the traditional paper portfolio: failure to capture dynamic and complex processes of teaching and learning, danger of a portfolio becoming a mere exhibition, photocopying and storage problems. We argue that portfolio development, hypermedia authoring, and the Web-based forum combined has the potential to provide a powerful learning tool for prospective teachers. We propose a model of Web-based portfolio in service of supporting reflecting thinking and learning to teach at the elementary school. This model includes two main components: (a) three versions of a personal, evidence-based philosophy about teaching and learning developed and revised over a semester, and (b) a collection of evidence consisted of course assignments.