ortfolios are not a new concept to me. Previously, while both staff and student at an Ontario college, I led and completed the process of crafting portfolios for the purposes of securing employment. Although my portfolios were more descriptive in nature, focusing on course work in the context of an anticipated profession, the process itself was informative. Learning how to select, arrange and present content was as important of a lesson as was understanding the audience for whom I was writing to and the why of the overall process. As relevant as they were more than a decade ago these elements are still as important as I craft this professional portfolio.
As I embark on a process to better comprehend, name and communicate my professional practice there are specific goals I aim to achieve. First, as I review and consolidate a body of work which I often feel is disconnected my aim is to identify connections between my efforts to see what patterns emerge both in approach and outcomes. Facing the challenge of validating my efforts to others and myself on what seems like a daily basis, I am hopeful that this process and the resulting product will provide a better understanding of my practice and the value it offers.
A second goal is to understand the nature of adult education and the multifaceted forms it can take. Having always found satisfaction in supporting others as they work towards achieving their goals I have not necessarily framed this work in terms of adult education. I am interested in understanding perspectives of adult education and community development and how they manifest themselves through the strands of my practice. I aim to craft a narrative which identifies and speaks to the practice I have developed in the context of adult education from perspectives such as my own, those of my peers and of the people I serve. Often struggling to find alignment between my personal worldview and those which provide the groundings for societal and industry expectations, I am hopeful that this process will help to identify bridges between these diverging worldviews while enhancing my understanding and communication among them.
Requiring careful thought and consideration to more deeply understand the nature of my work, my fear is that I will end up still confused about my practice, continue to lack confidence in my ability, or that I will identify the strands of my practice do not align with adult education whatsoever. Although the later concern, my practice not aligning with adult education, is highly unlikely it is a fear nonetheless. I am hopeful that this process will help me to establish a stronger foundation upon which a more focused practice can continue to be built. Identifying strengths to leverage and deficiencies to develop, I want to shape my practice more intentionally and fill it with greater meaning. Although primarily completed for academic purposes with an emphasis on reflective practice, I hope this portfolio can also be used as a tool when seeking out more challenging and purposeful professional roles.
- Reflection date June 2, 2017