Teacher professional development is an integral part of teaching practice, and teacher reflection is one of the methods to develop teachers’ skills, knowledge, and techniques. Teacher reflection shows the way of how teachers may interrogate their practices, pose questions concerning the effectiveness of their work, and meet students’ needs and expectations (Lyons, 1998: 115).
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Valli (1992: 140) introduces reflection as a deliberative process within the frames of which the ethical implications of teachers’ work are considered alongside with the students’ observations, and the alternative practices are offered.
The purpose of teacher reflection is not only to change the style of teacher’s work but also to promote the evolution in work and understanding of what can be done to help students benefit with the chosen teaching practices. Though teacher reflection is directed to improve the work of teachers, this practice remains to be student-centered as well because the opinions and attitudes of students are considered.
There are many ways on how to promote teacher reflective practice, and e-portfolio is one of the tools that help to engage students in evaluating tutors’ readiness to cooperate (Lyons, 1998: 115).
The study developed by Jenson (2011: 49) explains electronic portfolio from four main principles according to which students should take responsibility for managing information they give about their teachers, select important pieces of information and share them properly, promote the creation of lifelong records about their learning processes, and develop the opportunities to reflect on their tutors’ work consistently.
The success of this study is explained by the possibility to use self-regulation as a powerful chance to reflect on teachers’ work using personal experience and opinions. The work by Alwraikat (2012: 154) aims at describing e-portfolio as a new study formula that can be used in all developed countries on the basis of graduate students’ attitudes.
The author underlines that the level of academic degree is more important than such factors as gender or specialization. Effective portfolios can also serve as the measurements of reflective practice and a kind of pedagogical space where learning and teaching practices can be properly explained (Parkers, Dredger, & Hicks, 2013: 99).
Portfolios offered to students for whom English is a foreign language are characterized by a number of benefits. For example, the process of e-portfolio creation helps to enhance the professional develop and self-confidence among teachers and promote autonomous learning among students (Cimermanova, 2015: 58).
Portfolios help to identify the main qualities of teachers and compare them with those expected by students and developed in reality. Finally, the study developed by Landis, Scott, and Kahn (2015: 119) generate the overall effects of e-portfolio on teacher reflection and identify the purposes and the best practices that can be used by teachers for personal growth and professional rewards.
Each study is an opportunity to evaluate the worth of e-portfolios in teacher practice from a variety of perspectives: gender, academic degrees, specializations, personal interests, and educative methods.
All researchers admit the importance of e-portfolios in teaching practice and define it as one of the best tools to understand the level of the effectiveness of teachers’ work that is identified by students regarding their achievements, intentions, and expectations.
Teacher reflection through e-portfolios is a good chance to promote self-confidence and motivate students and teachers to work hard in order to achieve the best results in learning, teaching, and developing communicative skills.
Alwraikat, M. (2012). Graduate students’ attitudes towards the use of electronic-portfolios in the college of educational sciences at the University of Jordan. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 2(12), 154-163.
Cimermanova, I. (2015). Digital portfolio in building teaching efficacy of pre-service teachers. Journal of Language and Cultural Education, 3(1), 57-68.
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Jenson, J.D. (2011). Promoting self-regulation and critical reflection through writing students’ use of electronic portfolio. International Journal of ePortfolio, 1(1), 49-60.
Landis, C.M., Scott, S.B., Kahn, S. (2015). Examining the role of reflection in ePortfolios: A case study. International Journal of ePortfolio, 5(2), 107-121.
Lyons, N. (1998). Reflection in teaching: Can it be developmental? A portfolio perspective. Teacher Education Quarterly, 25(1), 115-127.
Parkes, K.A., Dredger, K.S., & Hicks, D. (2013). ePortfolio as a measure of reflective practice. International Journal of ePortfolio, 3(2), 99-115.
Valli, L. (1992). Reflective teacher education: Cases and critiques. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.