Choosing Exemplars for your Professional Portfolio

You will choose exemplars for the five core standards and for two additional standards of your choice. Work closely with your advisor in choosing what to include as an exemplar to make sure your proposed item is appropriate and how it might be best submitted if there are multiple parts. Students are encouraged to be creative in considering what types of materials to use. Exemplars may be selected from professional activities and course projects. Reflection is an important part of this process.

Students may use one exemplar to address several different benchmarks, but should keep in mind the need to effectively communicate with your reader that you have acquired a depth and breadth of knowledge, skills and dispositions in each of the standards you have chosen. Substantial exemplars that require great investments of time and effort may show the integration of knowledge and practice across standards. Smaller exemplars perhaps should best be used to demonstrate competency in one standard or benchmark. Quality is more important than quantity!

Since your Professional Portfolio also represents a journey and how you have developed your voice as a leader and advocate, exemplars to develop content knowledge can provide the foundation for leadership activities. It is expected that later exemplars will build on what was accomplished in previous coursework and exemplars. A general list of possible exemplars is provided below. This list provides potential ideas, but is not exclusive. You will decide on exemplars particular to your interests, gifts and situation in concert with your advisor.

  • A professional presentation at a workshop, conference or a college class (including description, materials and evaluations)
  • A curriculum guide, unit and lesson plans (including description, materials, children’s work samples, photographs, and other documentation)
  • A published article or review for a professional journal or other publication
  • An academic paper that shows the ability to synthesize and analyze current theory and research
  • A community publication such as a newsletter, brochure demonstrating effective communication with parents or community groups
  • A case study of a child or children including recommendations and reflections
  • One or two sections of a child’s portfolio
  • Professional resource materials created for adult students or colleagues
  • A project or activity designed for peers, parents or community members (including description, materials, photos, and evaluations)
  • A grant proposal created on your own or with others to promote an early childhood program or other early childhood educational endeavor
  • A research proposal
  • Reflection on an ethical dilemma
  • An original research study on children or an early childhood education issue
  • Documentation of a leadership role in a program or a professional organization
  • A course or program designed to fulfill a community or training need
  • A video, documentation panel, or other public awareness effort designed to educate parents, educators, legislators, community members, or students

Examining Plan B – Professional Portfolios written by former students will give you a clearer idea of how portfolios are formatted, how to compose the portfolio narrative, and exemplars that have been chosen by students in the past. Please see examples of Plan B – Professional Portfolios in the MEd ECE Program Laulima.

*We highly recommend that you identify study buddies or critical friends from whom you can accept feedback to assist you in your writing process.