The following portfolio design promotes and structures the self-reflection, analysis, and communication skills of dance students. Students can use portfolios to demonstrate the response/evaluation strand in all four levels of the Dance TEKS. However, the Level IV expectations are most closely aligned with portfolio development. Level IV students are expected to “evaluate personal work and the work of others, using a valid rationale and demonstrating sensitivity toward others” (§117.59(c)(5A)). There are many more student expectations in the Dance TEKS that can be demonstrated with portfolios. Teachers should use the TEKS to help students plan portfolio entries.
Each of the following entries consists of two types of evidence:
- narratives, or reflections, in which students
relate personal dance experiences and strengthen their critical
- artifacts that support the assertions made in
journals/reflections. Artifacts are actual student work samples, such
as videotapes and program notes.
Entry 1: Context of Learning.
A set of questions guides students to introduce themselves and to discuss their backgrounds and interests in dance. Questions address student goals in dance for the school year.
Entry 2: Performance #1.
Documentation of a performance follows student learning from the beginning stages of learning a new dance to its public performance. A written journal and videotapes document the learning process. Students investigate the historical and cultural contexts of the dance and explore its influence on contemporary choreography and dance education. The entry culminates in a student assessment of the performance based on predetermined criteria.
Entry 3: Study Trip Review.
Over the course of the school year, students attend several professional performances. Each student chooses one performance to research its history, culture, and previous interpretations. The student examines how the dance evolved from its origins to its contemporary rendering and writes a review of the current performance in light of research findings.
Entry 4: Performance #2.
A second performance in the portfolio demonstrates what students have learned about choreography and performance. Students work in small groups to select music, design costumes, choreograph, and perform an original dance. Dance journals document each student’s role in the group, individual reflections on the group process, and rationales for group decisions. Videotapes provide evidence of the dance’s development and final presentation. The group also writes program notes to introduce their work. Students evaluate the process of creating the dance and its final production based on predetermined criteria.
Entry 5: Growth in Dance.
Students respond to a set of questions about their experiences in dance over the school year. They analyze their personal progress and how their goals have changed. Questions prompt dancers to address the relevance of specific techniques to the presentation of particular dances.
Entry 6: Future Goals.
Students articulate possible directions they might explore in dance and in other relevant areas. This may form the basis of their goals for the following year.
Dance teachers should develop timelines to establish the due dates for each entry and for the complete portfolios. Students receive feedback on submissions and may revise entries based on feedback. Teachers may invite other dance teachers, college-level dancers, and dance professionals to review portfolios. Reviewers should receive training on the criteria for each portfolio.