Australian Journal of Education

Article Title

'Even if no-one looked at it, it was important for my own development’: Pre-service teacher perceptions of professional portfolios


This study was conducted with 15 pre-service teachers enrolled in the Reflective Practice Seminar in primary/junior division at a Canadian university. Data were gathered through interviews, informal classroom conversations and reflections over an eight-month period. This article considers the issue of how constructing a professional portfolio helps pre-service teachers examine their identity as learners. The findings highlight their perceptions around purpose, process and impact. Despite the overwhelming nature of reflection, preservice teachers in this study said that constructing a professional portfolio challenged them to cyclically reflect on taken-for-granted assumptions, articulate growth and gain perspectives. They also recommended that exemplars be provided for improvement as well as increased instructor and peer feedback within the reflective seminar.