The Use of Portfolios for In-Service Teacher Assessment: A Case Study of Foreign Language Middle-School Teachers in Texas


  • Zena Moore,

    1. University of Texas at Austin
    2. Associate Professor of Foreign Language Education at the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas. Nathan Bond (PhD, University of Texas at Austin) is Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.
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  • Nathan Bond

    1. Southwest Texas State University
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ABSTRACT: This qualitative case study chronicled the efforts of a group of foreign language middle school teachers as they developed professional portfolios. The study was exploratory in nature and sought to investigate what happens when teachers build a professional portfolio as an alternative to a state appraisal system. The study found that the portfolios contained very little evidence of language teaching. The teachers seemed to have had difficulty making distinctions between goal setting and instruction modifications. This confusion, together with a lack of peer collaboration, resulted in a poor selection of artifacts. For example, there was very little evidence of students' work and of professional activities. The artifacts focused more on satisfying recent state legislation emphasizing textbook completion and intervention methods. The findings point to the importance of administrative and collegial support for successful professional portfolio development.