Preservice Teachers' Perceptions of Portfolios: Process versus Product

By Meyer, Debra K.; Tusin, Linda F. | Journal of Teacher Education, March 1999 | Go to article overview

Preservice Teachers' Perceptions of Portfolios: Process versus Product


Meyer, Debra K., Tusin, Linda F., Journal of Teacher Education


Portfolios are common instructional and evaluation tools, but educators share neither a common definition of portfolios nor a method for using them. We find it challenging to help preservice teachers understand the complexity and confusion surrounding the multiple definitions and uses of portfolios. In this study, we examined students' pedagogical beliefs and their definitions of and experiences with portfolios. We wanted to understand better how preservice teachers viewed portfolios. We examined whether preservice teachers' pedagogical beliefs related to their definitions and experiences with portfolios.

The use of professional portfolios to document professional development is common practice for many preservice teachers and for inservice educators (Adams, 1995; Barton & Collins, 1993; Bouas, Bush, & Fero, 1994; Krause, 1996; Ryan & Kuhs, 1993; Simmons, 1995; Tierney, 1993; Touzel, 1993; Vavrus & Collins, 1991). Some have promoted professional portfolios as a way to measure preservice teacher knowledge and growth, even for purposes of certification (California Commission of Teacher Credentialing, 1992; Dollase, 1996; Stahle & Mitchell, 1993; Wichita State University, 1993; Wolf, 1996). Preservice teachers are introduced to two distinct, but related, types of portfolios: student portfolios for assessment in classrooms and professional portfolios for evaluation of teachers.

A distinguishing characteristic of portfolios, which adds to their complexity, is whether they are used as process or product. At one end are educators viewing portfolios as evolving works and at the other those viewing them as showcases. In the middle are educators seeing value in both the process of creating a portfolio and the final product.

Preservice teachers must learn how to use portfolios for their professional development and in their classroom instruction. We hypothesized that their pedagogical beliefs and their methods course experiences and field experiences are important and related influences on how preservice teachers define and use portfolios.

Whether teachers view portfolios as product or process might be an important influence on how they conceptualize and use portfolios. We examined preservice teachers' pedagogical beliefs in terms of their achievement goals. An achievement goal perspective posits a potential conflict between two approaches to learning: goals set to enhance mastery or learning, a process orientation, and goals set to enhance outcomes, a performance orientation (Ames, 1992; see also Dweck, 1986; Nicholls, 1989). Students with mastery goals focus on learning new skills, understanding, and making progress. They are interested in improvement and report using strategies to learn from their mistakes. This goal orientation relates to the concept of a portfolio as work in progress. In contrast, performance-oriented students focus more on how outcomes reflect on their ability. They ask themselves if they are scoring better than others and concentrate more on the product than the process. This goal orientation relates to a portfolio as a showcase or final product. Some (Ames, 1992; Ames & Archer, 1988; Blumenfeld, 1992) have used such an achievement goal framework to describe classroom contexts and teachers' approaches to instruction. Little research has focused on teacher development of these goals and their relation to practice.

Understanding the personal foundation of preservice teachers, while not a new issue in teacher education (Combs, 1965; Lortie, 1975), has gained in importance as constructivism has emerged in teacher education (Weinstein, 1990). Teacher educators have become interested in preparing reflective teachers (Schon, 1983). Becoming a reflective practitioner builds upon the development of self-understanding; it involves both exposure to new information and experiences and the personal discovery of what they mean (Combs, 1982). If new teachers are to adopt a combination of product- and process-oriented methods, as student portfolios and professional portfolios demand, teacher educators must understand how pedagogical beliefs support or contradict these developing conceptualizations and experiences with portfolios. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Preservice Teachers' Perceptions of Portfolios: Process versus Product
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.