ERIC Number: ED393109
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Portfolios: A Vehicle for Inquiry.
McMackin, Mary C.
By blending elements of inquiry with the components of portfolios, learning and thinking in teacher preparation courses can be extended and possible tensions between "covering content" and allowing "open-ended investigation" can be mitigated. Over the years, the author mused about how she might nudge graduate students in her education courses to learn more about learning and still "cover" the material. Portfolio assessment seemed to be one way to allow students to take more responsibility for their own learning. Students could set individual goals, select items (or artifacts) to include in the portfolio, and reflect on their growth. But something was still missing. The inquiry method seemed to offer the missing link. There are 5 major components of the inquiry-based portfolio approach: (1) setting of goals by students and instructor; (2) the selection of items to demonstrate that the goals have been met or seriously attempted; (3) reflections; (4) an evaluation of the portfolio by the students and the instructor; and (5) the establishment of future goals. Inquiry can take 3 forms: inductive, deductive, or transductive (creative thinking, comparing concepts in unique or artistic ways). By blending the elements of inquiry with the components of portfolios, it appears that the unique benefits of each process are complemented and strengthened. The psychological needs of adult learners to be self-directing are met, students are challenged to raise questions and seek answers, and substantive learning results. (Contains 17 references and 3 figures.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Reflective Writing