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Re: Re:[teacherartexchange] On using portfolios


Date: Sat Aug 06 2005 - 18:22:52 PDT

I teach several different classes of art at our high school. One of the
important purposes of a portfolio for each student is to store work in
progress and handouts that are given for each assignment. Also, when we
present units on different artists, those notes are kept in the portfolio.
In addition, students will bring their own markers and those will be stored.
I have no room to store student work that is not completed and extra
markers/folders. Therefore, on the first day of each term, for each
student, a portfolio is made. Our department was given, several years ago,
a huge amount of medium-weight, silver board of some kind...flexible enough
to bend. So, we bend it in half, trim it down, and tape the two sides
shut, leaving the top open. The portfolios fit in the slotted portfolio bin
I have in my room. In between terms, the porfolios are trimmed of the last
student's name and we re-use them all over again. Knock on wood, we've never
had a portfolio stolen or supplies taken from any portfolio. This method
works well for our department.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jerry Vilenski" <>
To: "TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group"
Sent: Saturday, August 06, 2005 7:20 PM
Subject: Re:[teacherartexchange] On using portfolios

> 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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