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"Consequences of self-assessment, such as reviewing and evaluating portfolios, are immediate, gratifying and beneficial for future learning and motivation."Paris, S.G., & Turner, J.T. (1994).

Situated motivation.
In P. Pintrich, C. Weinstein, & D. Brown (Eds.), Student motivation, cognition, and learning: Essays in honor of Wilbert J. McKeachie (pp.213-237). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlabaum Associates


"Reflection enhances student's motivation and ownership in their own learning in ways that are not provided in traditional acheivement testing."

Au, K.H., Scheu, J.A, Kawakami, A.J., & Herman, P.A (1990).
Assessment and accountability in a whole language curriculum.
The Reading Teacher, 43, 574-578.


First, reflective statements shed important light on the form and content of students' written work. Second, they help students become aware of their preferred approaches to writing, and enable them to take risks to try new and more productive strategies on a particular task. Third, when revising, students may examine their reflections on their earlier process of writing and consider alternative processes or approaches. Fourth, reflective writing produces an intimacy between students and teachers that enables teachers to respond to and encourage students' growth in writing skill, Lastly, the reflective statements give teachers insights into students' thinking and development not normally accessible otherwise.

Horning, Alice (1997) “Reflection and Revision: Intimacy in College Writing.”
Composition Chronicle: Newsletter for Writing Teachers 9.9 Jan. 1997: 4-7.


An Overview of Thinking Skills Supported Through the Portfolio Process

The reflective learner: the reflective assessment process

Thinking Skills:

  • becoming aware of thinking processes
  • identifying objects, people and places
  • describing similarities and differences
  • conceptualizing
  • acknowledging challenges
  • observing
  • recording observations, ideas and thoughts
  • increasing knowledge
  • categorizing information
  • trial and error behavior
  • establishing cause and effect
  • matching
  • recalling events
  • comparing / contrasting
  • analyzing / synthesizing
  • comprehending
  • retelling
  • sequencing / ordering
  • evaluating
  • developing strategies
  • brainstorming ideas
  • solving practical issues
  • making connections between ideas
  • planning
  • decision-making
  • constructing arguments
  • problem solving
  • developing hypotheses
  • following instructions step-by-step

Sue Martin, (2000).
Portfolios: Philosophy, Problems and Practice

Self reflection: What can we expect from children?

  • self-reflection depends upon meta-cognition which is a characteristic of a developmental stage
  • 'constructivism' views self-reflection as reinforcing learning
  • self-reflection encourages new level of consciousness of action
  • self-reflection has potential for encouraging emotional control
  • self-reflection allows children to think through the stages of how they went through the learning process
  • planing is assisted through self-reflection
  • self-reflection improves with practice
  • helps to ask children a series of questions to aid self-reflection
  • with time and practice children will improve their self-reflective thinking
  • self-reflection involves finding meaning in what happened
  • written, drawn, and oral reflections may differ
  • the importance of telling one's story in self-reflected narrative supports the child's sense of self and importance of self
  • self-reflection requires sequential thinking
  • self-reflection required re-creation of experience
  • self-reflection requires memory of:
    • feelings
    • thoughts

Sue Martin, (2000).
Portfolios: Philosophy, Problems and Practice