Portfolio Guidelines for Master's Students

The purpose of a portfolio is to encourage you to organize a collection of work and thinking as you engage in the master's program in science and mathematics education. The portfolio will satisfy the comprehensive examination requirement for your degree. Your portfolio should be clearly organized and provide evidence that you have met the three program outcomes stated below. Upon successful completion of the qualifying exam, you should submit your program of study to your graduate committee. Your complete portfolio should be submitted to the chair of your committee at least eight weeks before graduation. The chair of the committee will see to it that all other members of your committee have enough time to evaluate your portfolio. The evaluation of the portfolio by the members of the committee will be sent to the chair of the committee. The student will be informed about the evaluations of his or her portfolio as soon as available. Finally, the chair of the committee will submit a summary of the evaluations to the Graduate School.

Program Outcomes

Master's degree students should demonstrate

  • Development of firm, graduate-level background knowledge in your emphasis area
  • The ability to integrate content knowledge into curricular, instructional, and assessment strategies for students at different educational levels
  • The ability to formulate, implement, and sustain changes in science and mathematics education at a school level

The portfolio must include, but is not limited to, the following items to serve as evidence that you have met these three goals.

Introductory Material

  • A two-page summary of the contents of the portfolio that highlights evidence that you have met programs goals
  • A list (including course numbers and titles) of all graduate courses taken as part of the degree
  • A statement of between 3 and 5 pages explaining how your experiences in each course helped or did not help you to achieve the three program goals
  • Preceding each artifact included in the portfolio, include a one-page caption with a brief explanation of how each work serves as evidence that relates to achieving one or more of the program goals

Evidence for Content Mastery

  • A copy of your results on a nationally standardized content examination in your area of specialization
  • At least two papers that you have written that are at least 3 pages in length in which you discuss topics in your area of specialization with references
  • A concept map from your area of specialization that contains between 20 and 50 concept labels and their appropriate relations
  • At least two other pieces of work you have produced that serve as evidence of your mastery of the content in your area of specialization

Evidence of Integration of Content with Instruction

  • A statement of your teaching philosophy, one page minimum, before you start the master's program. (This statement will be required for admission to the master's program and will be incorporated in Center for Science and Mathematics Educations files.) The statement should address issues of content, instruction, and assessment of learning. After completion of at least 21 graduate hours, prepare a second statement of your teaching philosophy accompanied by an analysis, one page minimum, in which you compare your initial and current philosophies of teaching in the areas of content, instruction, and assessment of learning
  • A sample unit plan with a minimum of five lessons fully developed that integrates a new content area into an existing high school science course. Specify how the content is different and how it will contribute to the course goals. Include a sample assessment-of-learning module for the unit that would measure student learning of the material. It should contain a paper and pencil test as well as performance-based task(s). Scoring or rubrics should be included
  • At least two other pieces of work you have produced that serve as evidence of your mastery of the ability to integrate content in your area of specialization into existing high school curricula

Evidence of Integration of Classroom Innovations Into School-Level Changes

  • Develop a set of materials to be used in a school district staff development workshop that would focus on using new instructional and assessment techniques for the teaching of science or computer science. You should specify the goals for the workshop, how it will be implemented, how it will be evaluated, and how follow-up will be provided. If possible, present the workshop in your school district. The completed evaluation forms from a workshop you present and a summary of the results can be used as one piece of work to satisfy requirement #3 below
  • Develop a set of materials (letter to parents, PTA program, packets of material, etc.) to be used by administrators and teachers to educate parents about using new instructional and assessment techniques
  • At least two other pieces of work that you have produced that serve as evidence of you mastery of the ability to formulate, develop, and sustain instructional reform at a school level. If a workshop is presented, the evaluation of that workshop (as described in #1 above) can be considered as one piece of this evidence