The Use of Portfolios for Assessment in Teacher Education: A Perspective from Hong Kong

  • Published on

  • View

  • Download


<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [Texas A &amp; M International University]On: 03 October 2014, At: 02:40Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK</p><p>Asia Pacific Journal of EducationPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:</p><p>The Use of Portfolios for Assessment inTeacher Education: A Perspective fromHong KongValentina KlenowskiPublished online: 02 Aug 2006.</p><p>To cite this article: Valentina Klenowski (1998) The Use of Portfolios for Assessment in TeacherEducation: A Perspective from Hong Kong, Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 18:2, 74-86</p><p>To link to this article:</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (theContent) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor &amp; Francis,our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as tothe accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinionsand views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors,and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of the Contentshould not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sourcesof information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims,proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever orhowsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arisingout of the use of the Content.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Anysubstantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing,systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms &amp;Conditions of access and use can be found at</p><p></p></li><li><p>ASIA PACIFIC JOURNAL OF EDUCATION (1998, VOL. 18, NO. 2)</p><p>The Use of Portfolios for Assessmentin Teacher Education:</p><p>A Perspective from Hong Kong</p><p>Valentina Klenowski</p><p>Abstract</p><p>This pilot study examined the use of portfolios for assessment purposes in the context ofinitial teacher education. Specifically, the study set out to identify the impact of the useof portfolios on teaching and learning outcomes. Reported here are the findings, theconstraints and initial results, and learning outcomes for pre-service teachers and theirlecturers. The significant implications for teacher educators are that they need to con-tinue to develop and implement assessment for learning and devote more time and effortto this form of evaluation for formative purposes. Staff must understand that the imple-mentation of portfolio use requires corresponding changes to pedagogy and the curricu-lum. The use of portfolios for assessment purposes in teacher education can enhancereflective practice if teacher educators understand their role in developing a structuredenvironment where their students are given support and guidance to attain the skills ofcritical self-reflection and independence in their learning.</p><p>Descriptors: teacher education assessment, portfolio use, self-evaluation, reflective prac-tice, formative assessment.</p><p>Introduction ented Curriculum (TOC) at primary level(grades 1-3) in 1997 and the use of portfolios</p><p>The use of portfolios in student assessment is for assessment purposes in teacher education,a relatively new concept in teacher education The goals of the TOC with regard to assess-in Hong Kong. The introduction of portfolios ment involve the promotion of the followingand other performance-based assessments re- shifts: summative to formative and from norm-fleets increasing dissatisfaction with traditional referenced to criterion-referenced assessment,assessment methods. This shift, from a quan- In teacher education, the use of portfolios fortitative to a more qualitative approach to as- assessment purposes is currently being re-sessment, parallels reforms occurring interna- searched. At the Hong Kong Institute of Edu-tionally. cation, the change from a norm-referenced to</p><p>In Hong Kong, reforms to assessment prac- a criterion-referenced assessment policy oc-tice include the introduction of the Target Ori- curred in 1996. These new approaches help to</p><p>74</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Tex</p><p>as A</p><p> &amp; M</p><p> Int</p><p>erna</p><p>tiona</p><p>l Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity] </p><p>at 0</p><p>2:40</p><p> 03 </p><p>Oct</p><p>ober</p><p> 201</p><p>4 </p></li><li><p>ASIA PACIFIC JOURNAL OF EDUCATION (1998, VOL. 18, NO. 2)</p><p>shift the emphasis away from a system that ishighly selective to one that gives students moreinformation about their actual skills and com-petencies. The use of grade related descriptorsthat make explicit the criteria for each level ofperformance, are used to provide more in-formative feedback to the students.</p><p>Zollman &amp; Jones (1994) have indicated thateducators have been seeking better approachesbecause traditional assessments do not attendto process. In traditional tests, students com-pete against each other for success rather thanfor authentic achievement. Little wonder thenthat students rarely understand traditional as-sessments (Zollman &amp; Jones, 1994). Further-more, scores are often presented as "if theywere accurate and valid measures of teachingor learning. In reality, they are neither" (p. 4).</p><p>In Hong Kong, there has been an emphasison testing for selection (Biggs, 1996) and thenegative backwash effect on teaching andlearning has been profound (Morris, 1985).The Hong Kong Government has recognizedin policy statements the need to move fromsuch a highly selective system to one that ca-ters for all students. In the 1980s, for exam-ple, only 2.2% of the cohort were grantedplaces in local universities and the percentageis still limited to 18%. The Education and Man-power Branch (now Bureau) in 1993 stated thatthe fundamental aim of school education inHong Kong is to:</p><p>develop the potential of every child, so that ourstudents become independent minded and sociallyaware adults, equipped with knowledge, skills andattitudes which help them to lead a full life asindividuals</p><p>(Education and Manpower Branch, 1993, p. 8)</p><p>A portfolio is more than a collection of as-signments. The student should use the portfo-lio to document his / her achievements over anextended period of time and reflect careful,</p><p>critical self-evaluation which is conducted withpeers or the lecturer (Wolf, 1996; Klenowski,1996; Kaufman et al., 1996; Bosetti, 1996).</p><p>In teacher education programmes, pre-serv-ice teachers develop portfolios to demonstratetheir competencies and achievements. Theimpact on curriculum and pedagogy are suchthat assessment interactions between lecturerand pre-service teacher(s) are promoted aroundthe collection of work. This has been describedas the portfolio culture (Duschl &amp; Gitomer,1991). In teacher education, portfolios allowpre-service teachers to demonstrate their de-veloping teaching competencies by using evi-dence from their own teaching and learningpractices. Vavrus &amp; Collins (1991) highlightthe weaknesses of traditional assessment meth-ods in teacher education when they refer toShulman's (1987) criticism of conventionalpaper-and-multiple choice tests which meas-ure teaching competencies in "terms of discreteand general variables that lack curricularspecificity" and do not "accurately portray thecomplex interrelationship of content knowl-edge and pedagogical knowledge and skills andstudent diversity characteristic of teaching ina real classroom" (p. 14). Vavrus &amp; Collins(1991) also refer to Darling-Hammond's(1988) contention that "existing observationinstruments lack credibility with teachers be-cause of their insensitivity to contextual fac-tors" (p. 15). This is a further criticism of tra-ditional assessment practice in teacher educa-tion. Vavrus &amp; Collins (1991) note that a dan-ger of using observation instruments for meas-uring teachers' competencies is that they ap-peal to generic principles and lead to the falseconclusion that there is one right way to han-dle most, if not all teaching situations.</p><p>The Use of Portfolios for Assessment</p><p>There is widespread agreement internationallythat portfolios and other types of performance-</p><p>75</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Tex</p><p>as A</p><p> &amp; M</p><p> Int</p><p>erna</p><p>tiona</p><p>l Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity] </p><p>at 0</p><p>2:40</p><p> 03 </p><p>Oct</p><p>ober</p><p> 201</p><p>4 </p></li><li><p>ASIA PACIFIC JOURNAL OF EDUCATION (1998, VOL. 18, NO. 2)</p><p>based assessment are viable alternatives tostandardized tests (Wiggins, 1989; Zollman &amp;Jones, 1994; Wolf, 1991; Vavrus &amp; Collins,1991). There is also agreement that portfolioassessment is dynamic in "that the richest por-trayals of teacher (and student) performanceare based on multiple sources of evidencecollected overtime in authentic settings" (Wolf,1991, p. 130). This type of assessment is read-ily aligned with student-centred pedagogysince the student may assume greater respon-sibility for the learning and develop the abilityto become an independent, self-directed learner(Ford, 1994).</p><p>Enhancing Reflective Practice</p><p>Wolf (1991) refers to Shulman's observationthat portfolios "retain almost uniquely the po-tential for documenting the unfolding of bothteaching and learning over time and combin-ing that documentation with opportunities forteachers to engage in the analysis of what theyand their students have done" (p. 130). It is inthis way that portfolios constitute reflections.The careful self-evaluation and monitoring ofteaching and learning strategies by the pre-service teachers provides quality informationthat can be used to examine their growth andprogress.</p><p>In a study conducted by Bull et al. (1994)on the use of portfolios for assessment inteacher evaluation, it was found that "teachersfavoured the belief that portfolio assessmenthelps teachers to be more reflective" (p. 5). Inanother study conducted by Richert (1990) onthe effect of particular aids to reflection, teach-ers indicated that "the reflection that they feltwas most significant was that which occurredduring the time they were creating their port-folios. In selecting materials for inclusion, theythought about what they did in their teachingand how well they did it as well as what their</p><p>materials were like, and how effective thematerials were for their intended goals"(p. 524). </p><p>In developing reflective practice, the port-folio serves as an important assessment toolrequiring student teachers to select, explain andreflect on classroom artefacts and practices.The assessment is multifaceted.and portraysthe nature of teaching. Pre-service teachersmay select evidence such as evaluations oflessons taught during their teaching practiceexperience, to demonstrate attainment of com-petencies. It is from these evaluations, analy-ses and reflective statements that accompanysuch evidence, that insights into the thinkinginvolved in teaching are revealed.</p><p>Vavrus &amp; Collins (1991), in the Teacher As-sessment Project (TAP), found that teachersengaging in the process of portfolio develop-ment appeared to become more reflective abouttheir teaching practices "particularly in termsof critiquing the effectiveness of instructionalmethods in addressing individual students'needs" (p. 24). These researchers were inter-ested in developing "working models of teacherassessments capable of evaluating what teach-ers know" and their competencies in specifiedcurricular areas (Ibid, p. 17). They found thatwhen the contents of the portfolio were accom-panied by reflective explanations, the complex-ity of teaching appeared to be captured. Theyalso claimed that combinations of differenttypes of documents such as examples of stu-dent work, video tapes of teaching practice,lesson plans and teaching aids, helped to tracethe development of teaching from planningthrough to practice and evaluation.</p><p>The portfolio process may involve a follow-up interview and this appears to be helpful infacilitating students to develop the capacity toreflect. Professional practice requires thethoughtful evaluation of teaching. Studentteachers need to evaluate even what they dowell in order to improve future performance.</p><p>76</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Tex</p><p>as A</p><p> &amp; M</p><p> Int</p><p>erna</p><p>tiona</p><p>l Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity] </p><p>at 0</p><p>2:40</p><p> 03 </p><p>Oct</p><p>ober</p><p> 201</p><p>4 </p></li><li><p>ASIA PACIFIC JOURNAL OF EDUCATION (1998, VOL 18, NO. 2)</p><p>From the literature review of portfolio usefor assessment purposes in teacher education,it is clear that this type of assessment can en-hance reflective practice. It is also apparent thatfurther research is needed to promote under-standing about the processes involved.</p><p>The Study</p><p>A pilot study to examine whether there arepositive teaching and learning outcomes as aresult of the use of portfolios for assessmentpurposes was conducted at the Hong KongInstitute of Education (HKIEd). Eight stafffrom the Curriculum and Instruction Depart-ment (C&amp;I) implemented the use of portfoliosfor assessment with students enrolled in the 2-and 3-year Certificate in Education Coursesand with mature-aged students enrolled in theAdvanced Certificate in Education. This oc-curred in the first year of the course over twosemesters (14 weeks in each semester) fromSeptember 1995 to June 1996.</p><p>The specific aims of the pilot study were toinvestigate the impact of new forms of assess-ment such as the use of portfolios and self-evaluation on teaching and learning outcomes.The study aimed to identify, describe and es-tablish these learning outcomes for pre-serv-ice teachers and ultimately, their students.</p><p>To generate a greater understanding for pre-service teachers of new approaches to forma-tive assessment and their impact on curricu-lum and pedagogy, the pilot study focused onthe use of teaching portfolios and critical self-assessment connected with their classroomlearning experiences and teaching practice.Pre-service teachers were required to assesstheir teaching and learning experiences usingthe same criteria as their lecturers.</p><p>Qualitative Methodology</p><p>The use of qualitative methodology to studythese processes was chosen as this methodol-</p><p>ogy allows the detailed investigation of proc-esses through the use of interviews, directobservation and the examination of artefacts.Qualitative methodology also promotes a richerunderstanding of the values that underlie thenew approaches to assessment.</p><p>Both lecturers and students were interviewedto discover the values they attribute to the proc-ess and the outcomes. Through the adoptionof qualitative methods of observation, inter-view and analysis of portfolios, a more accu-rate portrayal of context or the factors thatpromote or inhibit the implementation of newassessment approaches was possible.</p><p>Relevant teaching sessions of volunteer stafffrom the Curriculum and Instruction (C&amp;I)Department of the Hong Kong Institute ofEducation were observed and video record...</p></li></ul>


View more >