Husband, Father, Grandfather, Manager, Educator/Facilitator, Entrepreneur, and wannabe explorer of the seven seas.
Introduction/Executive Summary | Audience | Introductory Guide
This professional portfolio is submitted in partial fulfillment of AE510 for the degree of Master of Adult Education, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and has been continually (but sporadically) updated since.
When I began this portfolio project, I was focused on my professional career, but as I record my narrative and reflect, I realize a professional portfolio is much more than just my professional experience. It is self-reflection, a method of developing a deeper understanding of who I am. My work does not define who I am. The person of David Wolff is defined through all past experiences. It is difficult to separate my personal life from my professional life.
All my experiences inform my core beliefs and perspectives, whether they are professional or personal. All new experiences are filtered through those lenses and future actions and decisions are made accordingly. Through the creation of this portfolio, I am discovering my story. To only write about my professional accomplishments would be to only tell part of the story. How could I, or you as the reader, determine who I am with only that small part? How could I, or you, know if I am a good manager or educator if I, or you, do not know who I am; what my beliefs are; or how I developed those beliefs?
As I write my portfolio (my portfolio is my narrative so as I continue, so will it), I am discovering who I am, and through that discovery, tell you the story of who David Wolff is, what my philosophies are, and the beliefs that drive every aspect of my life. You will discover the how of my mind, my thoughts, beliefs, and how they may affect my future actions (Bolton, 2014, p. 47). I am documenting and detailing what I learn from experience and turning that insight into improved action (Hughes & Moore, 2007, p 15). I will tell you who I am personally (husband, father, grandfather), professionally (manager, educator/facilitator, entrepreneur), and explore some of my deepest emotions, thoughts and desires (wannabe explorer of the seven seas).
A question that arises is, who are you as a reader of my portfolio? What reason brings you here to review this portfolio? The first assumption is a potential employer. Possibly past, current or future employees or students. Maybe internet trolls. For the purposes of the AE510 course, my peers or advisor. For the most part, I write this portfolio for me. It is a means to help me reflect on my practice of teaching and management. It is less focussed on quality assurance and more on quality enhancement (Hughes & Moore, 2007, p 15).
Regardless of who you are, I post my story for your review. Potential employers can gain a sense of who I am, what I have accomplished and what I can do, to assess a fit to their organization. Employees or students can inform themselves of who I am, for positive or nefarious reasons. My peers can provide support and/or challenge paradigms, both of which are crucial to critical thinking; by opening up my private interpretations in dialogue with others, it helps identify my theories in use and brings espoused theory into practice, thus I am more likely to realize theories in action (see Bolton, 2014; Brookfield, 1987).
I am an open book, everything is here for your review for what ever reason you may have. I hope through this part of my narrative you will learn as much about me as I have.
The portfolio, although (it) includes multiple tabs, can be viewed as four major categories. The first three tabs, Knowledge, Skills and Atitudes (KSAs), Testimonials and Volunteer, considers myself as a whole and provides a background of myself as a Manager and Educator, and will be of most interest to potential employers or clients. Philosophy and Facilitating focus solely on adult education and development, which can be considered my specialty. A Reflective Analysis on both areas sum up the Professional Portfolio and is followed by a Consulting tab where more information is available regarding what I can do for you or your organization.
Manager and Educator
The first tab, KSA, is a documented record of my Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes. It includes my resume but speaks about the skills and attitudes resulting from experience. The next tab, Testimonials, includes reflections on where I have come from with images, samples, letters and testimonials attesting to my informal and non-formal learning as well as my professional accomplishments. The following Volunteer tab outlines how I use my skills to give back and help others.
The Philosophy tab summarizes my core beliefs in regards to adult education and development. The Facilitating tab provides examples of my past and current work used in the course of my duties as an educator. The next tab, Research, documents research I have been involved with and my current and future work.
The final tab, Reflective Analysis, is the mainsail of my beliefs and documents the core of who I have become and why, and where I am going in my practice as a manager, an adult educator and as an individual.
The final tab outlines the focus of my specialties that are of most interest to organizations seeking assistance with workplace adult education and development programs and systems that are transformative in nature; to build organizational cohesiveness and resiliency. Enjoy your visit to the mind of David Wolff and feel free to use the contact links below.
Hughes, J., Moore, I. (2007) Reflective portfolios for professional development. In O'Farrell, C. (Ed), Teaching portfolio practice in Ireland: A handbook (No.2) (pp 11-23) Dublin, Ireland: Centre for Academic Practice and Student Learning. Retrieved April 30, 2017 from http://www.aishe.org/readings/2007-2/aishe-readings-2007-2.pdf
Bolton, G. (2014). Reflective practice. Writing and professional development. Sage: Los Angeles.
Brookfield, S. (1987). Developing critical thinkers. Challenging adults to explore alternative ways of thinking and acting. Jossey-Bass: San Fransisco.