Publication Date: 2003-06-00
Author: Takona, James P.
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation
Portfolio Development for Teacher Candidates. ERIC Digest.
The portfolio has been defined as "a systematic and organized collection
WHY DO TEACHER CANDIDATES NEED A PORTFOLIO?
The dynamics of the current U.S. educational reform movement have led
to renewed emphasis on teacher quality and preparation.(USDE, 2002). In
recent years, the
WHAT BELONGS IN A PORTFOLIO?
The contents of a portfolio depend on what it is intended to demonstrate to whom. It is very common for instructors, licensing agencies, or certification bodies to established guidelines for portfolio development. Portfolios might include written work such as reports, term papers, graded tests and assignments, lesson/unit plans, artwork, lists of professional books and articles read, lists of conferences attended and sample materials from those conferences, letters from parents, notes from students, and video recordings of teaching. Products might come from multiple sources, including course work, field experiences, and volunteer activities in student groups, churches, or professional organizations. What keeps the portfolio from simply being a scrapbook is the reflection the teacher candidate undertakes regarding what each artifact demonstrates about his or her educational philosophy, learning, and professional growth and development.
HOW CAN TEACHER EDUCATION CANDIDATES DEVELOP PORTFOLIOS?
Portfolio development may be considered an ongoing and dynamic process
"Collection." Pre-service teachers should keep their term papers, tests,
When it is time to develop a portfolio, the teacher education candidate will sort through the accumulated material with an eye toward demonstrating mastery, or the path toward mastery, of standards required of him or her. This step requires a good understanding of the performance standards by which the candidate will be judged and careful selection of the artifacts that best illustrate growth and development attained as a result of gaining mastery of various instructional objectives. Teacher candidates may wish to collect both their worst and their best products to show gains and improvements. If students find at the end of a semester that they are lacking in a specific area, they can discuss the situation with their academic advisors and map out a plan to develop that area.
"Reflection." Reflection entails being able to step back from the immediacy
Teacher candidates typically select artifacts to serve as evidence that
they have met
"Reduction." In the reduction stage, portfolio artifacts that demonstrate mastery or path toward mastery of specified performance outcomes are selected. Artifacts may have the potential to demonstrate mastery of more than one performance outcome. Through artifact reduction, teacher candidates focus, select, abstract and transform documents to meet the standard. Since teacher portfolios serve dual purposes as a self- and collaborative assessment and evaluation tool, it is important that the artifacts chosen for inclusion in the portfolio have personal meaning for the prospective teacher.
One way to categorize items that might be included is to divide them
* materials from oneself (e.g., reflective statements, term papers, graded assignments and homework, quizzes and examinations);
* materials from others (e.g., student comments, evaluations made by student teaching supervisor); and
* products of field experiences activities (e.g.,student work samples that may include essays and creative work, a record of students' grades).
A good portfolio has variety. Claims about attainment of specified competencies will bemost convincing to readers when they are supported by documentation from a variety of sources. Some choose to include letters from their students (unsolicited letters are preferable to solicited) or from peers, regarding their teaching, or a listing of former students who have been successful. Others consider incorporating evidence of their growth and development, such as lab books that demonstrate improvement throughout the particular course. Video footage from actual classes and classroom activities from field experiences assignments may also be included. The final selection of materials for the portfolio requires self-reflection. Campbell, et al. (2000) recommend the following steps:
* Select an artifact for the portfolio.
* Mentally review the activity and reflect upon the process and product.
* Reflect on the greatest value of this activity or experience. Connect that value to one of the standards.
* Write a rationale about the selection. Include why the piece was chosen,
It is possible that some artifacts selected to be included in the initial
"Display." The final stage of the portfolio development cycle is artifact
A well-designed portfolio is aesthetically appealing and easy to navigate.
Research has shown that students who develop portfolios grow in their understanding of themselves as learners when they see the need and seek guidance and support from their instructors (Gomez,Grau, and Block, 1991). Peers can serve as partners in reflection activities and provide different perspectives. A student who has already completed a portfolio may be a particularly helpful source of ideas and help.
Academic advisors or members of possible assessment panels also provide an opportunity to influence reflection efforts. By gaining an understanding of how different people see their portfolios and see them as developing teachers, teacher candidates gain a fuller, more balanced view of themselves and their work.
From this discussion, it is obvious that portfolio development is not a scavenger hunt that results in the creation of a scrapbook. Rather, it is "a responsive and purposeful activity that engages reflective capacities of pre-service teachers to isolate growth and development within learning incidences against preset criteria" (Takona, 2002, p.53). The portfolio must therefore contain a repertoire of performances over time to paint a rich developmental portrait of learning and professional development and growth.
Blake, J., Bachman, J., Frys, M., Holbert, P., Ivan, T., & Sellitto,
P. (1995). A
Campbell, Dorothy M., et al. (2000). Portfolio and Performance Assessment in Teacher Education. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Debruin-Parecki, A., Boaz, M., Shaw, E., Yeager, E., Visscher, S.,& Lehan, M. (March, 1997). Preservice teachers and the development of their self-initiated professional portfolios. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Michigan Reading Conference, Grand Rapids, MI.
Gomez, M.L., Grau, M.E., & Block, M.N. (1991). Reassessing portfolio assessment: Rhetoric and reality. Language arts,68,620-628.
Guillaume, A. M., & Yopp, H. K. (1995). Professional portfolios for student teachers. Teacher Education Quarterly, 22 (1),93-101
NCATE. (2000). Groundbreaking teacher preparation standards to be used beginning next year; revolution in teacher preparation and training just ahead. Online http://www.ncate.org/2000/pressrelease.htm
Richert, A. E. (1990). Teaching students to reflect: A consideration of program structure. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 22,(6), 509-527
Takona, James, P. (2002). Pre-Service Teacher Portfolio Development. Lincoln, NE: Writers Club Press.
USDE. (2002). Meeting the highly qualified teacher challenge: The secretary's
annual report on teacher quality. Washington, D.C.: U. S. Department of
Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Office of Policy Planning
Library Reference Search Web Directory
This site is (c) 2003-2005. All rights reserved.
Please note that this site is privately owned and is in no way related to any Federal agency or ERIC unit. Further, this site is using a privately owned and located server. This is NOT a government sponsored or government sanctioned site. ERIC is a Service Mark of the U.S. Government. This site exists to provide the text of the public domain ERIC Documents previously produced by ERIC. No new content will ever appear here that would in any way challenge the ERIC Service Mark of the U.S. Government.