Why Are Teachers “Afraid” of Portfolios?

More and more information and stress can be seen on individualized student work and teaching methods. Teachers are now more than ever being asked to plan their lessons on an individual basis rather than a classroom basis.

One method that is often thrown out to teachers to help keep their lessons and grading individualized is through student portfolios. Many teachers squirm at the idea of keeping a portfolio for each of their students. They are often very reluctant to begin portfolios as compared to some other ideas that they hear about.

So why is it that teachers are often “scared” of the idea of student portfolios?

Many teachers feel that if they turn over the class to the students for portfolio work, they will lose all control. Some teachers feel the need to constantly be in the front of the class lecturing or directing a lesson. When keeping student portfolios, at some times students must work independently and on different levels. This gives the teacher the feeling of lack of control over the students.

Some teachers are simply just afraid of change. They fear trying something different, especially when it involves teaching in a different style. They feel that their way is working so why change.

Other teachers do not like the idea of portfolios because they lack confidence in their students’ abilities. They feel that their students are not capable of working on a portfolio. It is very surprising how many teachers underestimate the ability of the students in their classroom.

Some teachers would try a portfolio but they are uncertain on how to begin one. Because most teachers did not complete portfolios as students, they are unsure how to design a student portfolio. The lack of knowledge and information about portfolios keeps them from carrying them out with their students.

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