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Portfolio assessment: does it really give the benefits that it purports to offer? Views of early childhood and first-grade teachers

Alacam, Nur
Olgan, Refika
Early childhood ( n = 10) and first-grade teachers' ( n = 10) views concerning portfolio usage were investigated in the current research. After collecting the data, six themes were constituted regarding the teachers' opinions about portfolio use concerning 'portfolio conception', 'advantages, disadvantages and challenges of portfolios', 'the content of early childhood portfolio', 'teacher's role in the portfolio process', 'sharing the portfolio with parents', and 'transfer of portfolios from early childhood to first grade'. The findings indicated that participants had similar ideas regarding the conception and content of portfolios. According to the teachers, as well as advantages, there are also disadvantages and challenges in the portfolio process. Moreover, most of the participants described similar roles for children, parents, and teachers in the portfolio process. Although the teachers stated that in principle they knew how to communicate with parents concerning the use of portfolios, most of them mentioned that they employed different ways of communicating in practice due to different reasons. Additionally, both groups of teachers confirmed that early childhood portfolios are not sent to the first-grade teachers, but both groups stated that this would be beneficial if it were to be possible.