Examining the ideas generated through the negative brainstorming activity, teachers and students seem unclear about the purpose of using the learning portfolio to collect learning artefacts and record reflections over time. The questions of how and when to use the learning portfolio were also raised. In addition, teachers were also unclear the type of the portfolio we try to implement at KIS. Many teachers treated it as a showcase portfolio and had students interact with it only at the end of their unit learning.
First, it is important for teachers to distinguish showcase portfolio and process portfolio. We want to focus on the process rather than only showcasing a student's best work. Next, I made an attempt to explain how we could guide students to build their learning portfolio in the process of acquiring knowledge, concepts and skills, from the beginning, middle and end of a learning unit. If the process of using the learning portfolio is structured correctly and clearly, the use of the student learning portfolio is an effective way to encourage ownership of learning and develop metacognition and reflective thinking. It will allow students to monitor their own development as a learner and promote self-regulation.
In order to make this work, one important step is for some teachers to change the way they teach. We need to shift from covering content to using content in order to help students develop conceptual understanding. Time must be allocated for students to reflect and most importantly, we should not assume students know how to reflect independently. Reflection is a skill that requires teaching and deliberate practice. If we expect students to move beyond superficial description of what they have learned, we must show them how and provide them with strategies to reflect critically and creatively. This is the first prototype that we will test it out and next we will explore using different protocols or models to help students reflect critically and systematically.