Academic journal article Education

Portfolios in a Preservice Teacher Field-Based Program: Evolution of a Rubric for Performance Assessment

Academic journal article Education

Portfolios in a Preservice Teacher Field-Based Program: Evolution of a Rubric for Performance Assessment

Article excerpt

Introduction

The evolution of a rubric for performance assessment review of preservice teacher portfolios as a requirement of the field-based model is traced from a chart of expectations, to a list of required items, to a detailed rubric over a five year period of time. A review of the current literature on types of portfolios and their contents are addressed and description of the process is presented.

An education student in her last month of residency recently went to her professor and said "You won't believe what happened today! I showed my supervising teacher my portfolio and after looking through it for a few minutes, she put it under her arm and said let's go. The principal must see this! She practically dragged me into the principal's office and said `Look at this! I've been telling you we need to interview this student for our faculty. Her portfolio is outstanding.' After looking at the portfolio for a few minutes, the principal scheduled an interview with me and requested that I bring my portfolio."

This is just one of many similar scenarios that have occurred since portfolios became a requirement of our preservice teacher field-based program in 1993. While the requirement has been in place for students to develop portfolios during their internships (18 weeks, school calendar, ten hours a week with the same teacher and students) and to adding to the portfolio during the residency (another 18 weeks, school calendar with the same teacher(s) and students) the expectations of what the portfolio should look like like and contain have evolved. In 1993, a chart describing a portfolio was included in the intern and have evolved. In 1993, a chart describing a portfolio was included in the intern and resident handbook of the pilot field-based program. In 1996 a checklist was created for interns and residents to follow as part of the fully implemented field-based program and required of all students. Now a rubric has been developed to define clearly the levels of quality when assessing the portfolios. The rubric is being piloted during 1998-99 in the secondary methods classes and will be reviewed in the spring of 1999. This evolution has been based on clearly defining the purpose of the portfolio for our preservice field-based teachers and setting expectations and specific standards of quality.

Clarification was needed. The first portfolios ranged from scrapbooks which included baby pictures of the preservice teacher to very professional documents. They ranged in size from ten pages to six inch thick binders bursting at the seams. One student presented a two foot by three foot art portfolio fastened with duct tape (the zipper broke). When opened on a table top, it revealed a huge pile of papers intermingled with clay sculptures and smeared chalk drawings from seventh grade art students.

The early versions of the portfolios did not require reflective comments. This has been the most difficult part of the portfolio for our students. Guiding questions are also being piloted to help them move in the right direction (Appendix A). With experience and staying current on the research on portfolios and their uses, a set of guidelines and a rubric to conduct a performance assessment of preservice teachers' portfolios has been developed.

Literature Review

According to the National Education Association (1993) a portfolio is a record of learning that focuses on the student's work and her/his reflection on that work. Material is collected through a collaborative effort between the student and staff members and is indicative of progress toward the essential outcomes. In education portfolios are a relatively recent phenomenon and their full potential is only now being explored. As recently as the early '90s, according to Linda Polin (1991), the use of portfolios for the purposes of assessment was mostly talk; since then they have burst onto the scene in a wide range of roles. …

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