Portfolio implementation at Turkish university preparatory schools, and teachers' perceptions of portfolios and problems experienced with portfolio use
Aydınlı, Julie Mathews
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This study seeks to investigate portfolio implementation at Turkish university preparatory schools and the reported aims of portfolio use as targeted by these schools. The study further examines teachers‟ perceptions of portfolio use, specifically, the problems they experience with portfolio use, possible sources of these problems and their suggestions on how portfolio use can be improved. The study was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, data on portfolio use and aims of its use were collected through a questionnaire administered at seven university preparatory schools. In the second phase, data on teachers‟ perceptions were gathered through a second questionnaire administered to 126 teachers at five of the seven preparatory schools. The results reached in the first phase of the study revealed that portfolios are mainly used for the writing component of the preparatory programs. The analyses of the data also revealed that certain key features of portfolios, such as student participation in the selection of portfolio content, self assessment, and student reflection, are not generally included in portfolios at preparatory programs. Regarding the aims of portfolio use targeted by schools, the results indicate that in order to achieve the intended aims, the missing key elements of portfolios should be included. The results reached in the second phase of the study indicate that teachers perceive portfolios as an appropriate tool for assessment purposes. When the results regarding teachers‟ experiences with portfolio use are examined, the outcomes indicate that the problems experienced with portfolio use are in large part felt to be related to students‟ attitudes towards portfolios, which are themselves caused by students‟ study habits and previous educational backgrounds. It was also revealed that problems related to portfolio entries and institutional practices create some challenges in portfolio implementation at schools.