We’ve been reflecting on one of our two-day Institutes in Ajax, Ontario that was inspired by our latest publication, Collecting Evidence and Portfolios: Involving Students in Pedagogical Documentation.
The time was filled with discussions about:
- The context within which portfolios make sense,
- The five purposes for which teachers and students might create these portfolios,
- The processes involved, and
- Specific classroom examples.
One exchange in particular stayed with us. We’d like to share that with you here.
A system-level lead teacher was planning for the implementation of portfolios in Kindergarten through Grade 12 classrooms. We had just finished a group discussion about whether or not portfolios should be paper or digital. The instructional leader started the small-group conversation by reflecting: “I’ve just realized that paper or digital is not the first decision we have to make. We need to slow down and back it up a bit.”
Paper or digital portfolio for collecting evidence of learning? The format isn’t the first decision: understanding your purpose and audience is. Tweet this
His realization is one that many participants had over those two days.
Regardless of format or platform, the purpose and process of involving students in their own pedagogical documentation is what matters most. A portfolio is the residue of a deep process of learning… and that process is what requires thoughtful conversations and decision-making.
If you’d like to know more about portfolio creation and implementation, make sure to check out Collecting Evidence and Portfolios: Involving Students in Pedagogical Documentation.
Also, see the other books in the Knowing What Counts series:
- Setting and Using Criteria 2nd Edition
- Self-Assessment and Goal Setting 2nd Edition
- Conferencing and Reporting 2nd Edition
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