Date of Award

2-12-2008

Degree Type

Closed Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Julie Dangel, Ph.D. - Chair

Abstract

Outcomes of Standards-based Portfolios for Elementary Teacher Candidates by Christie McIntyre Documentation of outcomes associated with teacher education portfolios and the quality of the reflections contained within the portfolios is sparse. This collective case study (Stake, 1995) of six teacher candidates enrolled in an elementary teacher education program at a large mid-western university explores the outcomes of developing a portfolio based on state standards. The first question of this study focuses on the outcomes of the portfolio process for the teacher candidate; the second question is an investigation of the critical events that facilitate the outcomes associated with the teacher portfolio. Zeichner and Wray’s (2001) critical dimensions of a portfolio process are used as a framework for understanding current research and the data from these portfolios. The third question addresses the nature and quality of reflections that accompany portfolios using Sparks-Langer, Simmons, Pasch, Colton, and Starko’s (1990) Framework for Pedagogical Thinking. In this qualitative study, Glasser and Strauss’(1967) constant comparative method is used to analyze data within and among the six cases. Data sources include electronic-portfolios, observations of portfolio seminars, and interviews with teacher candidates, cooperating teachers, and center coordinators. Credibility and dependability is based on prolonged engagement, triangulation, a comprehensive member check, and an auditor check. A “reflexive journal” (Lincoln & Guba, 1985, p. 327) is used to increase the overall trustworthiness. Historical theories of reflection by Dewey (1933) and Schön (1987) are considered during the final analysis. The study identifies four outcomes of this portfolio process for the teacher candidate: it increased their understanding of standards; supported the organization and articulation of their thoughts; encouraged them to reflect; and provided a snapshot of their professional growth. Three additional critical dimensions support the portfolio outcomes: the rationale guidelines, the assessment process, and the entire portfolio process.

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