Understanding the portfolio in the secondary school classroom
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Four secondary school teachers were involved in this case study. Individual interviews, group reflective sessions, and participant portfolios were transcribed verbatim and analyzed. The use of the portfolio in the secondary school classroom was then discussed in relation to emergent themes. These themes included teacher attitude, portfolio structure, portfolio purpose, challenges, effect, and professional development. Teachers were able to individualize the portfolio structure to meet both program and students' needs. The portfolio structure enabled both teachers and students to assume control over the learning process. The portfolio informed teachers about their teaching. This, in tum, challenged them to reflect on their teaching practices and enabled them to redesign curriculum implementation. A collaborative professional development structure fostered a learning environment that enabled teachers to experience success, despite the challenges that they inevitably encountered. These findings were related to contemporary literature. Finally, implications for theory and practice related to portfolio use in the secondary school classroom and professional development for secondary school teachers were considered.