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Student teachers to present their work at "Portfolio Conference"

STANFORD -- Eighty Stanford student teachers will demonstrate their skills, knowledge and attitudes about teaching at a "Portfolio Conference" open to the community on Friday, May 5.

The drop-in conference at the Center for Educational Research building (on Library Quad at the end of Alvarado Row) is an opportunity for everyone interested in teaching -- from those in the market to hire teachers to those who are just curious about whether they would like to be teachers themselves -- to see new teachers in formal and informal discussions and demonstrations of teaching with more experienced teachers, principals and professors.

"It's more than just a show-and-tell," said Professor John Baugh, a director of the Stanford Teacher Education Program. "It's an opportunity for our teachers in training to crystallize some of their ideas and work experience to provide a wider representation of their work than can be done in a one-on-one job interview. It's also an opportunity for a professional exchange of ideas about teaching" among all teachers, principals, parents and others who decide to attend.

The conference is called a "portfolio" conference because the student teachers, who have been teaching in schools around the San Francisco Bay Area since last fall, each will display a portfolio of their teaching accomplishments and ideas. Portfolios are now used in some California schools, in addition to paper-and-pencil tests, as a means of assessing students' work over time. Much like an artist's portfolio of his or her artwork, the teachers collect such materials as statements of their philosophy of education, evaluations others have done of them, letters of reference, journals or essays they have written while teaching, videotapes of their classrooms, sample lessons, syllabi, classroom management plans, samples of their students' work and how they evaluated them, even samples of their communication with their students' parents, or of research they have conducted while student teaching, said Delberta Meyer, placement coordinator for the teacher training program.

"By providing settings for professional dialogue, we aim to foster a culture of schooling in which ideas, dilemmas and successes are shared with diverse groups of people," wrote Beverly Carter in her invitation to area school personnel.

"Most public schools have interview teams who ask set questions of teacher applicants," Meyer said. "This is a chance for people hiring teachers to informally screen candidates and take a closer look at what they can do and have done" before an interview might be arranged. Participation is a requirement for all the students, including those who already have signed contracts to teach after graduation in June.

The Portfolio Conference begins at 9 a.m. with an opening session and then breaks into individual demonstration sessions with a chance for informal discussions mid-morning, at lunch and from 4 to 5 p.m. before a closing session from 5 to 6:15 p.m. For more information, contact the Stanford Teacher Education Program at (415) 723-4891.



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