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Secondary Schools

Scaffolding Reflection in Secondary Schools

According to Porter and Cleland (1995), in their classic book The Portfolio as a Learning Strategy, their work with high school students led to their belief:
... in the power of reflection that helped us move beyond seeing about portfolio as a mere alternative to traditional assessment to appreciating its value as a learning strategy.  In this capacity, portfolios become vehicles for reflection in which learners examine where they have been, where they are now, how they got there, and where they need to go next. (p.34)

This book provides practical evidence to support their findings about reflection, based on their experiences. Reflection allows learners to:
  • examine their learning process.
  • take responsibility for their own learning.
  • see "gaps" in their learning.
  • determine strategies that supported their learning.
  • celebrate risk taking and inquiry.
  • set goals for future experiences.
  • see changes and development over time.
There are a growing number of resources to support reflection in secondary schools. The most ambitious and comprehensive program was conducted in Europe to support a research project called More Self Esteem with my E-Portfolio (MOSEP), which addressed the growing problem of adolescents (aged 14 to 16) dropping out of the formal education system around Europe.
The focus of the project lies in the development of a study, identifying the needs of teachers, trainers and vocational counsellors, an online course for the support of teachers, trainers and vocational counsellors as well as accompanying materials for better understanding of e-portfolios as a method for self-organised and competence oriented learning.

MOSEP Training Module 2: Reflection on the learning processes
Edutopia Article: Creating a Culture of Student Reflection: Self-Assessment Yields Positive Results

Learning to Blog Using Paper - a 7th Grade Teacher's introduction to blogging (starting with a paper exercise) and using "sticky notes" as comments. Here are the instructions for students (provided in Scribd):
- Seventh Grade Blogging Rules
- The Art and Aspirations of a Commenter

Forms and Examples

Newport News Public Schools Reflection of Learning (PDF) - part of their Career Pathways Digital Portfolios:
  • Backward-Looking Questions
  • Inward-Looking Questions
  • Outward-Looking Questions
  • Forward-Looking Questions
Examples of reflection in blogs used to document English as a second-language at a high school in Spain:

Including a high school senior's Digital Media Portfolio created using VoiceThread developed as part of Global Kids, Inc.

Intermediate/Middle Level Strategies

High School Strategies from Mahoney, J. (2002). Power and portfolios: best practices for high school classrooms. Portsmouth: Heinemann

Portfolio Work Tag from Stefanakis, E. (2002). Multiple Intelligences and Portfolios. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann

Portfolio Reflection Sheet - Formative Student Reflections for Individual Tasks from Lincoln Middle School in Rhode Island
http://www.lincolnps.org/HighSchool/Documents/Individual%20Portfolio%20Reflection%20Sheet%20with%20example.doc

Reflection on Artifact, shared at workshop in New Hampshire

Reflection on Artifact

 



Updated on Nov 1, 2011 by Helen Barrett (Version 20)