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Portfolios Making Learning Visible and Accessible

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Portfolios Making Learning Visible and Accessible

Child portfolios are a form of pedagogical documentation that includes learning samples like artwork, writings, educator observations, individual and group learning stories and photographs - a visual aid of children's learning and development. The following article provides information on the purpose of portfolios and how portfolios make learning visible. 

Purpose Of Portfolios

The primary purpose of portfolios is to offer a visual representation of the child’s learning process. To do this, keep in mind that each sample in the portfolio is selected with intention. So a completed jigsaw puzzle or an expressive artwork may be selected to depict small but significant moments of learner insight while photos of the child working in groups or a transcript of a pertinent question about earthworms while vermicomposting can track learning across concepts and over time. Then again the educator’s written observations provide valuable resources in understanding the development of the child’s abilities and skills such as communicating, problem-solving and emotional regulation.

How Portfolios Make Learning Visible

By making learning visible, portfolios also give children the opportunity to revisit their own learning journey. So an educator might ask a child, ‘What do you think of the berry jellies you made for Grandparents Day” or “Would you have done your project on beetles any differently”? Such exploration often helps a child shed new light on a past learning experience or encourage new connections between different concepts.

Portfolios also make learning visible and accessible to parents as well. As they go through their child’s work and art samples, they get to engage with their child’s learning journey. Best of all, families can make connections between learning that happens at home and at school besides coming up with their own suggestions for improvement.

As compared to wall displays of children’s artworks or photos, the portfolio is considered a less public form of pedagogical documentation. This addresses the concern of an individual child’s documentation being seen by other parents or parents feeling tempted to compare their own child’s work with those of other children.

Finally, portfolios provide a visual snapshot of their students’ learning over a period of time. Through assessment information collected over a month or school term, educators are able to monitor and reflect on a child’s development and interests. They are able to reflect on their own teaching practices, pedagogies and explore newer strategies. While digital and paper portfolios each have their own accessibility pros and cons, on the whole, this form of documentation makes for an invaluable learning resource, both for educators and children.

Further Reading

Portfolios In Childcare - The following article provides information on What Are Portfolios, What Do Portfolios Contain, Creating Portfolios and more. 

Portfolio Templates - A variety of Templates that can be added into a child's portfolio. 

Created On June 9, 2023 Last modified on Friday, June 9, 2023
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