What was my "criteria" (to use a big education term) for selecting portfolio-worthy items? I've never formally written it down but I suspect most parents that save (or hoard) their children's work use similar items for consideration.
- Is the item significant? Does it show some insightful learning?
- Is the item unique? Does it show some creativity?
- Is the item meaningful? Does it show some effort?
Despite this, my children's portfolio binders are full. What's in them? Here's a sample:
I commented on the lack of school-related items in the kids' portfolio to my husband and he replied that things hadn't changed much in 150 years in education. This bothered me - that in spite of all the technology at our fingertips and all the resources available to us, our students aren't often asked to produce things that are worth keeping. This is not a criticism of my children's school or their teachers - not at all. However, I think that I need to make myself hyper-vigilant and ensure that the things my students do in school are "worth keeping". This notion should apply to both the final products students produce as well as the ideas that inhabit their minds. Are these artifacts / thoughts creative? Are they the result of effort? Are they evidence of true learning? If we can stay away from cookie-cutter projects that can be whipped together in a night by reluctant, procrastinating workers who only persevere to get a grade on the report card or a nagging teacher off their back and are immediately forgotten the minute they are handed in, then I think that 2012 will be a good year for education.