Master’s portfolio

For her master’s degree in education, Newoldschoolteacher had to create a portfolio with a “cohesive theme” that “illustrates our journey” through the year.

I’m thinking “Frustration,” “Disappointment,” or “Seething fury.”

The portfolio is a compilation of class assignments with a peppy theme.

For example, one person did a wedding theme, with her assignments grouped under subthemes like “dating,” “proposing,” “wedding planning,” etc. Another one from a past year was about an ordinary boy transforming into a popular superhero. One girl in my class did something akin to “Riding the equity bus to the state capitol.” (Equity is a really big word these days. I don’t know what happened to “equality,” but it’s out.)

Newoldschoolteacher translates the language of ed school:

“The portfolio should be integrative, synthetic, and evaluative.
Translation: The portfolio should be big word to make me look smart, big word to confirm smartness, big word to blow their minds with the smartness.

“The portfolio is not a scrapbook, although it may resemble one, but a new creation which assimilates the diverse aspects of the candidate’s experiences during the master’s program.”

Translation: The portfolio is a scrapbook. Get over it.

Student teaching reflective papers: “What are the norms, practices, rituals, customs, values, power structures, group affiliations, and status systems that define and shape your classroom setting?

Well, let’s see. We usually start off by sacrificing a goat on the altar of Mammon, cuz he’s our favorite god. Then Raquita, who is the Queen Bee of the Nest, leads us through a little blood-letting and some chanting while Michael, affiliated with the school’s most elite acapella group, tends the burning incense. Everyone gives a tithe to me, the Dragon Mother, and after that we start the Do Now.

Sounds integrative, synthetic and evaluative to me.

About Joanne


  1. Could it be that this cut-and-paste kindergarten stuff turns off a lot of our kids from real education? I don’t know how I could have made it through today’s middle schools without going berserk.

    Of course, it has now infiltrated into graduate schools and not only in the colleges of education.

  2. I never could stand such assignments. If you want to know what I’ve learned, either give me a test or have me write an essay.

    Then again, someone would actually have to grade those on *content*.

  3. Walter E. Wallis says:

    JJ, you should know by now that when you print a parody about education you need to clearly identify it as such.

  4. Twill00 says:

    Pardon me for even asking, but isn’t it terribly redundant to say something is “integrative and synthetic and evaluative”? That’s kind of like saying “powder blue” and “light blue” and “sky blue”.

  5. The very first rule of evaluating a teacher is whether she can say something complicated in plain English. These Ed. professors have flunked. They can’t even say “scrapbook” in plain English.