Development Of First-Year Students' Conceptions Of Essay Writing

Teachers and administrators need to educate parents about how portfolios work and what advantages they offer over traditional tests.Parents are generally more receptive if the traditional tests to which they are accustomed are not being eliminated.They can also be used to support cooperative teaming by offering an opportunity for students to share and comment on each other's work.

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Recent changes in education policy, which emphasize greater teacher involvement in designing curriculum and assessing students, have also been an impetus to increased portfolio use.

Portfolios are valued as an assessment tool because, as representations of classroom-based performance, they can be fully integrated into the curriculum.

While the primary purpose of portfolios for most teachers is to engage students, support good curricula and instruction, and improve student teaming, some portfolio programs are designed to serve other purposes as well.

For example, portfolios can be used to involve parents in their children's education programs and to report individual student progress.

Early in the school year, students are pressed to consider: What would I like to reread or share with my parents or a friend?

What makes a particular piece of writing, an approach to a mathematics problem, or a write-up of a science project a good product?

Also, older students often expand their portfolios beyond written material to include photographs or videos of peer review sessions, science experiments, performances, or exhibits.

Administrative contexts also influence the structure and use of portfolios.

Portfolios capitalize on students' natural tendency to save work and become an effective way to get them to take a second look and think about how they could improve future work.

As any teacher or student can confirm, this method is a clear departure from the old write, hand in, and forget mentality, where first drafts were considered final products. Although there is no single correct way to develop portfolio programs, in all of them students are expected to collect, select, and reflect.

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