Twice a year, our students present samples of their work and illustrations of their academic progress to a table of adults: teachers, parents, administrators, grandparents, and more. They report on their goals and objectives and reflect on themselves in terms of their multiple intelligence profiles. While it might sound intimidating, our students consistently report this as being among their most empowering educational experiences.
We teach our students about Dr. Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory, which argues that people have a variety of intelligence styles. They go through a series of surveys and self-assessments to answer the question: “how do I learn best?” In their first portfolio conference, they discuss these in depth. In their second conference, students demonstrate choices they’ve made throughout the year to accentuate their primary intelligences. Follow the link above for more information about Multiple Intelligences theory.
These portfolio conferences are authentic antidotes to testing-based assessment, and we believe they reflect more accurately the “real-world” demands of performance-based evaluation. We want our students to know that being able to present and discuss what they do can be their greatest asset in the long-term.