Critical & Creative Thinking Graduate Program

Regular and Science in a Changing World tracks

Reflective Practice and Metacognitive Portfolios

Contents: Rationale, Mechanics, including links to some examples, Recommended Components.
Click here to see links to students' Portfolios. The Portfolios (or particular pages within them) are private until released by the student.


A portfolio often means a showcase or a display for others of achievements, but the "Reflective Practice and Metacognitive Portfolio" (RPP) is designed to be a self-customized tool box and set of reminders that students intend to use in their on-going learning and practice (including their work beyond/after CCT) embedded in a narrative.
This narrative should be updated each semester after reflecting on themes and connections across courses. The minimum tool-box would include specific assignments in each course designed so that they could be components in a portfolio.

Asking students to build this kind of portfolio during their studies matches the goals of personal and professional development captured by the Program overview, excerpted below (from http://www.cct.umb.edu/overview.html), with emphasis added here. The Portfolio is now a formal requirement in the M.A.program of studies. Two weeks after the end of the semester in which students take their fifth course towards the CCT M.A. they should submit their Reflective Practice/Metacognitive Portfolio thus far and evidence of Research and Study Competencies they have acquired. The CCT faculty will review these and meet with the student to make recommendations. Before graduation, the final version should be submitted.


Portfolio = Narrative + self-customized tool box and set of reminders.
The toolbox/reminders might include each of the components designed with the Portfolio in mind from the required courses plus optional additions from any other course, or other pieces chosen by you, the student. Excerpts from the toolbox/reminders or other pieces may be woven into the narrative.

The portfolio should be updated each semester (or every second semester if you are moving slowly through the program). With each update, additions should be made to the narrative. Sometimes, however, the previous narrative will be superseded and the old version might become an exhibit to show your evolving process.

The simplest way to prepare a portfolio is to copy exhibits into a folder on your computer where you also have a file for your developing narrative. When you are ready to submit this material, you can either upload it to a website and provide the link, or combine it into a single pdf. You can also prepare the portfolio as a "project" on this wikispace, in which case you have to ask for an invitation to join it (cctcoordinator@umb.edu) and inform us when you have so we set up the project and give you access. (See also instructions ). Everything in projects on this cctrpp wiki is private until students graduate (viewable only by core program faculty).

After graduation the default is that the portfolios are made viewable by all signed-in wiki members (=CCT students, faculty, alums, and program reviewers [for the period of the review only]) to reflect on and be inspired by. You can also submitted a second version of the portfolio without materials that you want to keep private or ask for the portfolio as a whole to remain private (inform cctcoordinator@umb.edu).

Most of the following portfolios were produced before the RPP became a formal program requirement and go beyond the guidelines above. They have their own distinctive approaches (often more like a showcase than a toolkit).
When model RPP's become available, these will be highlighted so that subsequent students can refer to them as models:
If a project has no RPP in it, it is likely that for a current student who has yet to submit an RPP.

Recommended Components of a Portfolio

The assignments listed below have been designed to elicit a set of reminders that students intend to use in their on-going learning and practice (including their work beyond/after CCT). You are welcome to include an exhibit from a course that differs from these recommendations. (Click on link for more details)

Assignment recommended as Portfolio Component
601, Critical Thinking
Critical Thinking Manifesto
601, online

602, Creative Thinking
under development (Second Reflective Essay)
602, online

603 (phil 501), Philosophy
Reflections on my Philosophical Thinking under development
611, design for living complexity
Process Review
612, invention theme

612, online

616, dialogue (AB & MJ)
paper on what we learned & how we
plan to use dialogue in different settings
616, dialogue (OG)

618, Online (JS)
Final Paper/Plan for Practice
618, online (WC)

618, summer
Plan for Practice
619, biomed ethics
Short Paper on developing one's ethical theory
627, anti-racist ed.

630, lit & arts
Manfesto or selections from Creative Products
640, environment, science & society
Research plan
645, bio in society

649, sci & pol. change
"Education & civic engagement" units/activities
650, math thinking

651, Cognitive Psychology
General Principles Journal
652, children & science

653, epidemiological thinking
655, metacognition
Plan for classroom implementation
670, Thinking, Learning, and Computers
Expert Teaching and Learning Portfolio
688, reflective practice
Plan for Practice
692, Processes of Research & Engagement
Self-assessment in relation to 10+10 goals
693, Action Research
Process review based on Personal/Professional Development Workbook
694, Synthesis
Excerpts from the synthesis itself,
plus exit Self-assessment in relation to 10 + 10 goals