Make Connections for Growth
The ECE Competencies are criteria by which you can assess yourself, and the quality of your work as an early childhood educator. The CompSAT Portfolio helps you connect your work with the expectations for performance identified in the ECE Competencies.
Demonstrating your competence goes well beyond collecting artifacts and telling stories. True competence is shown in how well your actions convey sound ECE practices, and by how well you articulate what you know and believe about development and learning, yours and children's. Professionals in any field are able to provide sound arguments that clearly explain, and sometimes defend, their practices, philosophies, and theoretical perspectives.
Your professional arguments (also called rationales), in which you connect your actions to the ECE knowledge base, are an essential component of your portfolio. Here is a definition from the University of Florida:
"…a professional argument for the evidence you are submitting to demonstrate the accomplished practice. The rationale statement communicates the link between the accomplished practice and the evidence…If the reviewer of your portfolio has to construct the link on his/her own, then the…rationale statement is not strong enough."
When you write a rationale statement, begin with a brief summary of the activities you have documented. Include the specific Competency, Performance Area/s, and Topic/s your work addresses. Provide a context (for instance, things you have read, courses you have taken, videos you have seen) for understanding the importance of the activity and how it contributes to your professional knowledge and practice.
Think about these questions as you develop your rationale. You can apply them to any Competency.
- How has the activity you’ve documented fostered your desired outcome?
- How does your documentation reflect, expand, and promote your knowledge, skills, and dispositions?
- How does the documentation link to your professional knowledge and practice?