Integration of Technology Through Digital Portfolios in Transformative Foreign Language Teacher Education for Professional Development
Foreign language teacher education has been having a shift from a transmissive into a transformative and progressive perspective with which pre-service teachers (student teachers) have become more aware of their own learning, growth and progress since the beginnings of the 2000s, in particular. What transformative teacher education is designed for today is that a prospective teacher is to be aware of how they are learning to teach by themselves. Transformative teacher education focusses mainly on pre-service teachers’ awareness of how they are becoming a teacher and what is happening throughout their becoming since they can transfer all of that experience into their own future careers and their prospective students’ lives. With the integration of technology, we, teacher educators, have more opportunities today, to witness our student teachers’ (pre-service education teachers’) awareness situation and their stories of becoming teachers. Digital portfolios which provide them to save all of their written work as a digital copy throughout months, even years, help us be constant witnesses of their professional growth and development throughout the years they attend the faculty of education. This also gives way to make our evaluation from many different perspectives: we can see how they prepare their paper work as lesson plans, worksheets, reports, checklist and so on and besides, we can read their digital journals where they write their thoughts, opinions, ideas and feelings about their own practices, experience and learning, which would make their becoming stories a very humanistic cooperation and collaboration work. This paper intends to present a longitudinal research on the digital portfolio of pre-service (student) teachers of FLTE in a state university, İstanbul, Turkey for two years from 2015 to 2017. During their final years (year 4), approximately 120 student teachers kept a digital portfolio in which they saved their lesson plans, observation checklists, and teaching reports about and in a practicum course at the faculty and the practicum in primary and secondary schools in İstanbul. This paper evaluated the process and outcomes of these portfolios in terms of their contributions to the student teachers’ professional developments regarding pre-service teachers’ reported reflections. The results showed that the digital portfolios, especially their digital journals provided quite positive outcomes relevant to their awareness on their professional development.
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