Date of Award

12-2014

Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education

Department

Education, Montessori

First Advisor

Nicole Wilcox

Department/School

Montessori Elementary Education

Abstract

Self-Assessed Portfolios for Student Engagement in Learning Abstract The purpose of the research was to find whether the creation of self-assessed student work portfolios would be effective in engaging students in learning opportunities and lead to self-regulated behaviors. The research project was conducted in an upper elementary classroom. The class consists of twenty-three grade four to grade six Montessori students in a private school. Ten students have had a Montessori education starting in preschool, eight students started in grade three, two were held back a year, two students started in grade four, and two students started in grade six. Fifty-two percent of the class has a form of learning difference; prominently dyslexia. Three students are on the Autism spectrum. The sources of data used in this research included observation forms, self-assessment forms, journal prompts, teacher reflection journal, and student-teacher interviews. The results indicated an increase in engagement in learning and self-regulated behaviors. This was equally evident in the students with different learning needs. Implications are that empowering students with self-assessment and choices of work improves work habits and leads to better quality of learning outcomes and engagement. Students improved the most when they combined their self-assessment with peer feedback and were given direct responsibility for the creation of their own portfolio.