Source: The Teacher Educator, Volume 43, Issue 1, January 2008, pages 46 - 58.
Teacher educators have found portfolios to be a valuable way to judge readiness for student-teaching and initial certification as well as an effective means of examining and validating teacher preparation programs. Tension exists between using the portfolio as a product for evaluation and maintaining its focus as a personal examination, synthesis, and reflection on becoming a teacher.
This qualitative action research study was designed to explore the effects of incorporating writing workshops built on Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) principles into the initial portfolio process required of students during their first semester in an undergraduate middle-grades teacher-education program.
Findings indicate that the students approached the portfolio requirement from a consumer perspective and that writing anxiety was a major obstacle. Implications of the study point to a need for student writing support for the portfolio and a need to view the portfolio construction process as a critical step in the transition from student to professional educator.