Themed Project Portfolios
Pathways uses Themed Project Portfolios (“Portfolios”) to accomplish the following educational goals:
1.To deepen our students’ critical thinking skills by having them comprehend and analyze one theme from the perspectives of many different intellectual disciplines.
2.To develop our students’ project planning and execution skills by having them do a series of projects using the same rubric and using their evaluations from one project to set focus areas for the next.
3.To develop our students’ technology skills by having them use a variety of technological tools in a set of projects and create an online e-portfolio through Weebly.
4.To develop our students’ creativity by giving them a substantial role in conceiving ideas for their own projects.
5.To build character among our students by having them reflect on their own personal development in the Five Key Areas: (1) critical thinking; (2) planning and collaboration; (3) product;(4) reflection and revision; and (5) growth.
In addition to the many other projects that Pathways students normally do, each student will complete 5-7 Themed Projects -- one project in each of their seven different classes. Each Themed Project will include a written reflection completed at the conclusion of the project and each reflection must include a rough draft with teacher comments and a final draft that has been revised according to those comments. The Themed Projects will be spread out over the year, from September through April, according to subject area.
Advisory teachers will serve as their advisory students’ Portfolio Instructors. Part of Advisory will be dedicated to the Themed Project Portfolio process. Students will individually meet with their advisor once at the beginning of the year to:
(1) review the portfolio process
(2) reflect on what areas of strength and weakness they think they have related to this process
(3) set some focus areas for personal development for this year in the portfolio process.
Advisors will continue to meet with students throughout the year to check in on portfolio progress, conduct a mid-year review, and then a final evaluation at the end of the year.
In May of each year students will accumulate their Themed Project reflections and some evidence of each project into a single e-Portfolio with a written introduction and a year-end reflection. This reflection will address their thoughts about the theme and their growth in the Five Key Areas, especially the ones they chose to focus on, by referring to at least three of their Themed Projects. During the month of May every student will present their portfolio to an evaluator who will ask questions and then give feedback. Evaluators will include teachers, other faculty and community members, including IAB, and Presentation Day will be a major school event. After getting feedback from their evaluators students will finalize their portfolios and present them to their portfolio instructor for a final grade and feedback. The completion of a Portfolio each year will be a graduation requirement.