Danilo M. Baylen

Graduate ePortfolio

Reflections

I reminisced with a smile on my decision to take graduate courses in elementary education about three or four years ago. During that time I was not sure why I did it except that I need more contextual knowledge of my students' background as well as more content knowledge of what they are supposed to learn in preparation to become teachers. Initially, I don't need the degree. However, after attending a couple of classes, I decided to earn credits towards a second master's degree. I believe that putting myself in many students' shoes helped my thirst for knowledge as well as enhanced my motivation to complete the program amidst competing demands as faculty member.

   
The Graduate Experience  

 
I enjoyed every course I took to complete this graduate program. I believe that I acquired new knowledge on teaching and learning at the elementary level, and develop alternative perspectives in viewing K-12 education in southwest Florida. I found the interactions with other graduate students, most are practicing teachers, valuable in helping me understand the "culture" and the community that many of my undergraduate students will find jobs. I feel that being part of this educational process helped me become a better teacher educator.
   
Artifacts and Critical Thinking  

 
I believe the artifacts involving animated books and digital stories showcased how my students enhanced their critical thinking skills. Completion of these projects requires students not only to demonstrate their reading and writing skills, but more so ask them to make visible how they identify and select appropriate key texts, images, sounds, or clips to communicate their thought processes. The target audience of these materials were able to see the students' analysis of a data set or synthesis of their position to an issue.
   
Higher Level Thinking and Portfolio Work  

 

Howard Gardner, in his book Multiple Intelligences, stated that "it is the proper mission of educated individuals, as well as those who are under their charge, to engage in regular and appropriate reflection on their goals, the various means to achieve them, their success (or lack thereof) in achieving these goals, and the implications of the assessment for rethinking goals or procedures" (p. 174). I believe that in creating this portfolio, I was given the means to revisit my initial goals and the process involved in meeting them.

   

I embarked on this academic journey because I want to become a good teacher educator -- with integrity, credibility and expertise as a resource to those who want to become elementary school teachers.

The process of creating a portfolio had challenged me well -- asked me to be thoughtful in putting together a strong set of evidence of what I can do based on my graduate and related experiences. It was not an easy process for a reason -- teaching in and out of the classroom for several years provided numerous materials to choose from.

After going through several artifacts, I have to keep asking myself why this is a good evidence to show to my peers of own my development. For selected student works, I also have to ask myself why they are good evidence to showcase the development of my students. However, as I sift through files after files of submitted student works, I realized how much of my professional development is tied to what I asked them to do. I have assignments that evolved through the semesters and every iteration demonstrated academic rigor and curriculum alignment based on acquired knowledge from my graduate program.

 
Professional Development and the Future  

 
After more than three years of balancing acts in two different roles, I look forward to moving on as a faculty member in curriculum and instruction with specialty areas in media literacy, technology integration and now, elementary education. I look forward to the day when I can say that I have integrity, credibility and expertise as teacher educator for those who want to work in elementary classrooms. The path I have taken might be different in comparison to many graduate students, however, I feel accomplished to break new grounds.
   

Contents
 
Resume
 
Framework
 
Propositions
 
Discussions
 

Artifacts

Assessment
Reflections
 
Summary
 
 Bibliography
 

 
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Designing Effective Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategies
Updated last April 24, 2007