Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

First Advisor

Fran Tangen


The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore, understand, and examine the use of portfolios in the classroom. The literature review includes the definition of a portfolio, the uses of a portfolio within a classroom, what guidelines are suggested for developing the portfolio, and how the student is involved with the portfolio growth. In this study, I observed and informally interviewed a kindergarten teacher and a third grade teacher about selecting materials, how often the materials are selected, what guidelines are followed in developing portfolios, and if the student and teacher interaction is enhanced. I found through the literature review and my observations in the school setting that the school's portfolio was a work sample and not a true portfolio. They were not true portfolios because the work samples did not contain the main characteristics of a portfolio like student self~reflection or assignment description. One of the reasons why this school's portfolio did not develop as a true portfolio was because the teachers were not given training on how to develop a portfolio. For portfolios to be successful, training in portfolio development is needed for educators.