Student Teacher Exit Portfolios: Is It an Appropriate Measure and a Unique Contribution Toward the Assessment of Highly Qualified Teacher Candidates?

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2004-04-26

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Title of Dissertation: STUDENT TEACHER EXIT PORTFOLIOS: IS IT AN APPROPRIATE MEASURE AND A UNIQUE CONTRIBUTION TOWARD THE ASSESSMENT OF HIGHLY QUALIFIED TEACHER CANDIDATES?

Leslie Ann Jackson Simpson, Doctor of Philosophy, 2004

Dissertation directed by: Dr. James Dudley Professor Emeritus, College of Education Department of Education Policy and Administration

The student teacher portfolio, at the forefront of teacher education assessment issues during the past decade, was the topic of this study. The teacher education community has moved beyond the initial concerns about defining a teacher portfolio, identifying appropriate contents of a teacher portfolio, and determining the place of portfolios in a program's assessment system. The teacher education community is now concerned about whether the student teacher exit portfolio is an appropriate measurement of all teacher candidates and contributes possibly unique information to the assessment of the competency of teacher candidates.

This study investigated the possible influence of the demographic factors of gender, age, and certification levels of the teacher candidates on the assessment outcomes of student teacher exit portfolios. It also compared the outcomes of traditionally accepted assessments (student teaching grade, Praxis I tests, Praxis II tests, and overall grade point average) with the outcomes of the exit portfolio assessment. This was an ex-post facto study, based upon existing data collected about each teacher candidate (n=76), with no treatment afforded the teacher candidates as part of the study.

Two conclusions were drawn from the findings of this study. First, the demographic factors of gender, age, and choice of certification level of the teacher candidates did not appear to influence the outcomes of the exit portfolio. The teacher candidates noted that they valued the portfolio process. Because of these two findings, the exit portfolio was deemed to be an appropriate assessment tool at this institution. Second, the exit portfolio results, compared with the four other assessments, did not indicate correlational statistics of a predictive quality. Therefore, the exit portfolio was considered to contribute information not offered by the other more traditional assessments of the competencies of teacher candidates.

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