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Third grade students' perceptions of portfolios

Thomas Michael Julius, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This study examined elementary students' perceptions of portfolios and identified instructional strategies that supported students' higher order thinking about portfolios. The participants were 22 students and their teachers from two third grade classrooms during the 1998–1999 school year. Data collection included: student and teacher interviews, classroom and parent/teacher conference observations, portfolio artifacts, teacher logs, and consultations with teachers. Student interviews were coded and scored according to each student's depth of insight. Data were analyzed using the constant comparison method for qualitative analysis. Student interviews were coded using The Ethnograph software program. Two themes were derived from the data: portfolios contribute to third grade students' ability to self-reflect and to the development of students' sense of ownership in the classroom. Results of this study indicated that students used portfolios to monitor their progress, students made judgments based on physical features, choice was a factor in the portfolio process and, instructional strategies supported higher order thinking.

Subject Area

Elementary education|Curricula|Teaching|Cognitive therapy

Recommended Citation

Julius, Thomas Michael, "Third grade students' perceptions of portfolios" (2000). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9988803.