Term Paper: Teaching Profession

Pages: 8 (2269 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Teaching  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Because they contain more than one work sample, a global picture of a student's performance over a certain period of time can be developed. This is much more effective than other typical reporting exercises used during end-of-term assessments, such as speeches or essays that are done inside of an hour with a high stress factor. Thus, as portfolios are assembled throughout the year in a stress free instruction environment, it provides a more realistic view of what students are able to achieve.

Portfolios: Management, Access, Purpose

The purpose of the portfolio in general is then to provide the teacher, the student, as well as other stakeholders such as parents with an overview of the student's ability in certain areas. This overview is realistic, since the data are gathered in the normal course of instruction. For this reason students need to participate in selecting the content for such a portfolio. Furthermore students are expected to gradually, as their ability allows, participate in establishing guidelines for the selection, the criteria for merit and evidence of self-reflection. Assessment should thus occur on a continuous basis to capture a wide variety of data about what the student can accomplish. In assessing what students can do, both students and teachers should be able to reflect on what has been accomplished, which will then provide a springboard for future goal setting.

An important factor in portfolio assessment is recognizing that portfolios form an integral part of the instruction process. It should therefore not be treated as an add-on, but as a means of simplifying and improving instruction.

It is also important to consider who is doing the portfolio analysis. It is perhaps a good idea to let a team of teachers work on a portfolio project to ascertain that the same criteria are used for judging performance. Technical issues are therefore of importance in ensuring the authenticity of a portfolio.

In general, portfolios cover a wide range of structures. Systems can be completely open-ended, leaving a large part of the responsibility with the student. Other systems are closed and specific in their requirements. Determining these will depend on the students' ability for self-reflection.

The main purposes of the portfolio system is instructional, either as a tool or as an assessment method. Communication with parents have also been accomplished through the portfolio system. Purposes further included are college admission, a celebration of achievement or passing information to another teacher. Audiences with an interest in student portfolio are primarily the students themselves, parents and teachers. Other audiences could include school board members, district evaluation staff, state assessment staff, and the general public.

Criteria for assessment mostly include assessing individual portfolio entries. In fewer cases are assessing the portfolio as a whole or student reflection assessment discussed. These are of course two areas of primary importance. The portfolio as a whole is after all the purpose of the exercise. Student reflection is also very important in the process of understanding and development. When a student is adequately able reflect on the results achieved through the portfolio, his or her thoughts are guided to actions that need to be taken either for improvement or sustaining current performance. The time and energy necessary for creating adequate portfolios are considerable for students and teachers alike. However, the commitment to such a task is a worthy one. Students are provided with the power to think for themselves and take the responsibility for their own learning. By producing responsible human beings leaving school by means of portfolios, the country's workforce as well as the students individually can eventually greatly benefited.


Adams, Dennis, and Mary E. Hamm.(1992). "Portfolio Assessment and Social Studies: Collecting, Selecting, and Reflecting on What Is Significant." Social Education 56.2,103-105.

Arter, J.A. (1995). "Portfolios for Assessment and Instruction." ERIC Digest. http://www.ericfacility.net/databases/ERIC_Digests/ed388890.html

Broad, Bob. "Reciprocal Authorities in Communal Writing Assessment: Constructing Textual Value within a'New Politics of Inquiry.'"(1997). Assessing Writing 4.2,133-167.

Yancey, K.B. (1992). Portfolios in the writing classroom. Urbana, Illinois: National Council of Teachers of English.

Camp, R. (1992). Portfolio reflections in middle and secondary school classrooms. In. K.B. Yancey (Ed.), Portfolios in the writing classroom (pp. 61-79). Urbana, Illinois: National Council of Teachers of English.

Moya, S.S. & J.M. O'Malley. (1994). "A Portfolio Assessment for ESL." The Journal of Educational Issues of Language Minority Students, v13 p. 13-36, Spring 1994.

Reading/Langue Arts Center. (1997) "Portfolio Assessment." Houghton Mifflin Company. http://www.pgcps.pg.k12.md.us/~elc/portfolio.html

San Diego County Office of Education. (1997). "Portfolio Assessment" http://www.sdcoe.k12.ca.us/notes/5/portfolio.htm [END OF PREVIEW]

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