Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


This study reviews the literature on portfolios by looking closely at the literature dealing with literacy portfolios in the primary classroom. The following questions were addressed: ( 1) why do we need portfolios; (2) what are the characteristics of portfolios; (3) what are some of the difficulties of portfolio assessment: and ( 4) what are the standards that a good portfolio should meet for use in a primary classroom? There is a move away from standardized testing and portfolios offer a promise of being a successful alternative form of assessment. Portfolios offer instructional guidance for student, teachers and parents. The portfolio encourages collaborative efforts between teacher and student. Students become more responsible for their own learning. The portfolio is a collection of student work reflecting growth in a variety of learning experiences. The assessments must be authentic, continuous, multidimensional, collaborative and reflect curricular goals. Difficulties include management, time, consistency, and support within the school and the school district. The literacy portfolio needs to contain a collection of items that show a student's efforts, growth, and achievement. The contents display a wide variety of literacy experiences and done over time. Portfolio assessment represents an attitude that allows teachers to focus on the child and develop a relationship with a child based on learning. The assessment system becomes a natural part of the daily classroom activities and is integrated into the curriculum. Portfolio assessment emphasizes product, process, content and effort.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction


Division of Early Childhood Education

First Advisor

Charles R. May

Second Advisor

Marvin Heller


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Date Original




File Format


Included in

Education Commons