Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Mathematics Education


Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math Education


College of Education


Sooy, John


Mathematical ability--Testing; Mathematics--Study and teaching (Secondary)--United States


Science and Mathematics Education


The purpose of this study is to provide a comprehensive description of portfolio assessment and analyze critically the use of portfolios for student assessment at the high school level with specific application to the mathematics content area.

A portfolio is a purposeful collection of student work that demonstrates their learning experiences, knowledge, applications and development over time. There are many variations of portfolio assessment depending upon the specific purpose of compiling the portfolio.

Portfolio assessment is a new trend in the area of student assessment that will address the need for an alternative to traditional pencil and paper testing procedures. The use of portfolios allows for the creativity of each individual student, maintains their diversity, allows them to take control of their learning and encourages students to become self-directed learners. Student narratives should also be included in each portfolio describing how they produced the contents and what they learned about themselves in the process.

New mathematics curriculum standards as established by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) cannot be assessed through traditional testing procedures. Experts conclude portfolios are a favorable method to assess these standards.