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Re:[teacherartexchange] On using portfolios

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From: Jerry Vilenski (jvilenski_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Aug 06 2005 - 17:20:24 PDT


At last, I am observing some voices of sanity emerging
on this listserve regarding portfolios. I'm sure
there are many teachers out there who firmly believe
in the value of portfolios, but there is an element of
practicality here--exactly how much time and effort
should you put into constructing, storing and
maintaining these folders, as opposed to teaching your
students something worth putting into the portfolios
in the first place? If the portfolio concept is
compromising your program, and kids by and large don't
keep their work, and their parents end up not knowing
what their students are doing in your classes, exactly
what is the point?
I teach over 800 students in a two week period. The
mere thought of maintaining a portfolio for each of
them is enough to curl my hair! Portfolios, in my
opinion, is a perfect example of a good concept gone
bad. What appears on the surface to be a great thing
for your students ends up falling short on many
levels.
I'm sure that somewhere out there in academia there is
someone teaching prospective art teachers the many
assets of DBAE and authentic assessment, of which
portfolios play an important role. On paper, many of
these theories look great, but when you are pushing a
cart down the hall to hold classes, or placed in a
high school class that isn't properly equipped with a
scant budget--well, you do the best you can with the
imagination and creativity you possess. I would much
rather be spending my time developing developmentally
correct art experiences that my students will not only
enjoy, but enthusiastically bring home to show the
parents.
Hope this helps, Jerry

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