Contemplating the potential of portfolios

Last week we began to look at our portfolio guidelines and agreements and it triggered recent memories of my own experience of helping students develop their portfolios in the classroom. As much as we are aware of the true value of growth portfolios it can at times, be a challenge to manage them and make the experience truly meaningful  (intrinsically motivating, autonomous and reflective) for all learners. However, a good thing is worth pursuing and personally speaking I like challenges in education that stretch your thinking. So inquiring a little further I came across a TEDx by Dr Helen Barrett and was inspired by her fundamental beliefs about learning and her approach to e-portfolios. Her presentation draws reference to the writings of Daniel Pink and his book “Drive.”

In connection to growth portfolios, what became clear for me is the need to consider within our process the dimensions that support personal mastery and, how within the scope of the IB learner profile we have a curricular framework to achieve this; encompassing and celebrating the diversity of all learners is an expectation. As you watch the video clip what connections do you make to the learner profile? What further questions does it raise for you about portfolios?

About Gareth Jacobson

Head of Primary / PYP Co-ordinator, International School Moshi, Tanzania
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1 Response to Contemplating the potential of portfolios

  1. whatedsaid says:

    Thanks for posting this, Gareth. We’e in the process of re-examining our portfolio guidelines too and considering how best to move forwards to ensure they are meaningful reflections of the process of learning. For non IB readers, here’s a link to the Learner Profile that Gareth is referring to.


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