Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Model of Portfolio Differences

I spent last weekend in Boston with Evangeline Harris Stefanakis, where we set up plans to collaborate on several projects, including a Symposium entitled, "Researching Electronic Portfolios in Schools: The Role of Teacher Professional Development" that was just approved for the next American Educational Research Association (AERA) Conference (to be held in Chicago on April 9-13, 2007). We also wrote a paper responding to a recent news article about portfolios. Here is a brief excerpt from our paper:
The Nov 15, 2006 EDWEEK article headlines “Reacting to Reviews, States Cut Portfolio Assessments for ELL Students”. What a reactive mistake!!! It’s not about portfolios instead of state tests—it is about portfolios and state tests!!!
Dr. Stefanakis published the book, Multiple Intelligences and Portfolios, which contained a diagram which placed portfolios along a continuum of Learning and Accountability. We took that same diagram and added my chart on differentiating between portfolios used for learning and those used for accountability. I'm calling it the Stefanakis-Barrett Model of Portfolio Differences (between Learning and Accountability).

After discussing these differences, and the research behind the Assessment for Learning model, the article ended with the following:
We have an obligation to our ELL students to provide them with assessment strategies that will help them improve. If we don’t give all of our students the knowledge of how they can succeed, based on analysis of their own work that they can understand and use to improve their own learning, we are indeed failing them.

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