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Defining the Portfolio in an Australian Context

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Definitions of school portfolios are moderated by their purpose and this purpose is determined by both the system and the educational culture in which they operate. This article contextualises the Australian school portfolio: briefly examines the literature on the purpose of portfolios; and reports on two case studies of the one school conducted fifteen months apart to trace the evolution of portfolios. Discerning a trend towards perceiving the portfolio as a more versatile tool for capturing a ‘portrait of the learner’, by inclusion of a greater variety of ‘artefacts’ and more student engagement the author suggest an Australian definition for the school portfolio.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Technology Sydney

Publication date: 01 January 2002

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  • Educational Practice and Theory is a bi-annual, independent, refereed journal which, since its launch in 1978, has become an important independent forum for original ideas in education. It publishes innovative and original research in the area. Its focus is both applied and theoretical and it seeks articles from a diverse range of themes and countries.
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