An E-Portfolio Pedagogy and Its Implications for Transformative Learning
Transformative learning occurs when an individual’s understanding opens up a new vista of interconnected learning (Meyer and Land, 2003). As an individual develops, s/he is increasing able to solve abstract problems logically and to think critically of the self and others in moral, social, emotive and judgemental terms. The individual assimilates and accommodates the reformed knowledge gained into new structures of thought, affecting esteem and efficacy. For Mezirow, the transformation achieved results in autonomy, a necessary attribute in the current climate of world-wide change. Of course, the reformed knowledge might result in negative outcomes with the individual’s sense of self being lowered with resulting dependency. A way of ensuring positive outcomes is through the structured and supported use of e-portfolios in personalized and reflective mode.
This approach reflects current policies in England calling for the development of e-assessment and the embedding of personal learning and thinking skills into school, further and higher education curricula. However, the success of these initiatives based on technologies will be determined by what happens at the point of pedagogical interaction. This paper takes as its starting point the UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee’s declaration that in using e-portfolios: ‘it is the pedagogy, not the tool, that comes first’.
Keywords: Transformative Learning, Pedagogy, Curriculum, E-Portfolio
Dr. Andrea Raiker
Fellow, Centre of Excellence for Teaching and Learning, University of Bedfordshire