Teacher and administrator perceptions concerning the use of teacher portfolios for professional development and evaluation

Loretta Stevenson Goff

Abstract

A burning issue facing our nation is how to strengthen the teaching force to meet the needs of today's students. To answer this question, many educators have begun to reexamine the effectiveness of current models of supervision and evaluation and have concluded that they are inadequate. They do not seem to promote professional growth. Teacher portfolios used for the purpose of professional development have been posed as a possible answer to this problem. The primary goal of this study was to assess the perceptions of teachers and administrators concerning the use of the professional development teacher portfolio as a tool to facilitate teacher growth specifically in the area of reflective practice. The focus of the study analyzed the portfolio process from the stakeholders' perceptions. The study examined the effect of professional development portfolios on teacher thinking and performance and reviewed factors related to developing the reflective practice of teachers. Further the study investigated the use of portfolios as a formative evaluation tool and described how one rural school district used teacher portfolios to approach the supervision and evaluation of its teachers. The literature review provided an examination of the professional development portfolio model used and various factors associated with teacher learning and problem-solving commensurate with today's needs. Further, the literature review provided an explanation of qualitative research methods selected for use in this study.