ERIC Number: ED419000
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Aug
Portfolios and Classroom Assessment: Some Claims and Questions.
Terwilliger, James S.
This paper traces the origins of the portfolio movement, examines the treatment of portfolios in texts and other writings on classroom assessment, and poses several questions about the use of portfolios in classrooms. Interest in portfolios as assessment devices first emerged in the literature in the field of composition and writing, but interest in portfolios evolved almost concurrently in other disciplines in the language arts. The emerging literature on portfolios has had little impact upon textbooks on classroom assessment. Several claims are made by proponents of portfolio assessment, but these cannot be accepted at face value. Portfolios, claimed to be more authentic than other forms of assessment, are not necessarily so. They may not capture intended outcomes in all fields as well as they work in language arts, and they may show a bias in favor of performance over more basic outcomes such as the acquisition of knowledge. Portfolios do not offer a more psychometrically sound basis for assessment than traditional forms of assessment. They may be based on a flawed concept of growth, and they may require an inordinate investment of time and effort on the part of teachers. Although portfolios may have value as instructional aids, it is not clear that they are useful assessment devices in all subject matter fields and at all grade levels. (Contains 22 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A