Teachers' perceptions of the teacher portfolio process
MetadataShow full item record
It was the purpose of this study to investigate one district's experience with the teacher portfolio process through the perceptions of participating teachers. The intent of this study was to further understand why and under what conditions portfolio development might result in teachers' reflections on their professional growth and development as well as the possible long-term implications of this process on practice. From a review of portfolios over the past nine years, for some teachers the process does not appear to promote critical reflection and assessment of practice. Instead creating portfolios appears to be more of an exercise in the collection of artifacts that supported what the teacher already knew and believed. In other instances, teachers submitted portfolios that appeared highly reflective and they believed this process informed their practice. The collection of data through individual interviews, focus groups, and document analysis of individual teacher portfolios using a "think aloud" methodology provided the means for the examination of the teacher portfolio process from the teachers' perspective. A total of eighteen teachers from the elementary, middle and high school levels participated in this study including eight teachers who had recently constructed teacher portfolios, five teachers who had constructed teacher portfolios in past years but have discontinued the process and five teachers who continue to construct teacher portfolios on their own after tenure, some for up to six years. From this study is a better understanding of the extent to which the construction of teacher portfolios did or did not inform reflective practice and the professional growth and development of teachers. An understanding of the various collaborative relationships in informing the portfolio process are revealed and examined. Finally, tensions were found to exist between the construction of teacher portfolios for both evaluation and professional growth and development.