ERIC Number: ED390047
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Speaking of Portfolios: Contrasting Images.
Parker, Elaine F.
Since the first definitive references to portfolio evaluation in assessment literature, metaphors have been significant in shaping students' and teachers' understanding of the role of the portfolio in the writing classroom. Consider the range of metaphors employed in discussions about portfolios. Margie Krest, for instance, emphasizes the social and human-side of learning and the organic nature of process in her organic metaphor of the portfolio as a "living, breathing documentation" of how students interact with their work as they "struggle with ideas." She elaborates, "Their folders literally grow"; they are "living documents of change." Such humanistic and expressionistic metaphors of the 1960s and 1970s gave way in the 1980s to corporate management models of profitability. As accountability became the cry, the metaphor of a tool became operative. Educators spoke of "assessment tools valued for accuracy" and the "check on teaching deficits." The metaphor of a "vehicle" has also gained circulation in discussion of assessments. In discussion of portfolios, "vehicle" has taken on a range of meanings from "vehicle of pursuing student empowerment" to "vehicle for pursuing audits." Reviewing the literature suggests, regrettably, that there has been a general movement away from precious humanistic metaphors that emphasize process over product. Of these new metaphors, "showcase" is the most troublesome because of its emphasis on product. (Contains 55 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Historical Background
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (46th, Washington, DC, March 23-25, 1995).