Teacher Learning of Portfolio Assessment Practices: Testimonies of Two Writing Teachers

Ricky C K LAM*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Teacher learning is a slippery, complex, and multileveled concept. Scholars argue that how the concept can be theoretically and epistemologically defined remains inconclusive. Some studies support the benefits of initial teacher education training in writing assessment, whereas others advocate teacher-initiated and collaborative school-based projects. Despite empirical evidence, we have little knowledge of how individual EFL writing teachers learn and develop new classroom assessment practices such as portfolio assessment of writing. Drawing upon teacher interviews, classroom observations and narrative frames, the study investigated two teachers' perspectives of how teacher learning had an impact on the trial of portfolio assessment and what school-related contextual factors influenced the teachers' experiences when attempting a portfolio approach. Findings reveal that if the teachers failed to encounter and resolve issues arising from the tryout, they were less likely to successfully master the underlying rationale and skills of a tried and tested assessment practice. Three school-related contextual factors appeared to facilitate and inhibit the implementation of portfolio assessment. They included the teacher evaluation system, school cultures, and opportunities for collaboration. The chapter ends with pedagogical implications, discussing which form of teacher learning is most appropriate for promulgating wider application of portfolio assessment in the Hong Kong context.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTeacher Learning with Classroom Assessment
    Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives from Asia Pacific
    EditorsHeng Jiang, Mary F. Hill
    PublisherSpringer Singapore
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Electronic)9789811090530
    ISBN (Print)9789811090523, 9789811343063
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2018

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Social Sciences(all)

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Assessment innovation
    • Portfolio assessment
    • Teacher education programmes
    • Teacher learning


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