Giving Voice to Middle School Students Through Portfolio Assessment: a Journey to Mathematical Power

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Middle School Journal


Volume 29


Issue 1

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Part of a special section on active learning. A study investigated the effect of mathematics portfolios on middle school students. Participants were 21 female and 19 male eighth graders at a Chapter 1 middle school in Oregon. The results indicated that students were empowered to take control over their learning and assessment through the portfolios. It appeared important to students to include pieces in their portfolios that indicated skills in the content they had covered and in aspects of mathematics in which they had shown improvement. The portfolios gave students an opportunity to revisit their work and to view their assessment as more than a one-time event. Some students saw the portfolios as a means of creating equity in the classroom, and most students viewed the peer-review process involved in the portfolios as worthwhile. Many of the students saw the portfolios as a method of showing that the teacher cared for the students.

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