The purpose of the portfolio
The purpose of the portfolio is to provide students with opportunities to be rewarded for mathematics carried out under ordinary conditions, that is, without the time limitations and pressure associated with written examinations. Consequently, the emphasis should be on good mathematical writing and
thoughtful reflection. The portfolio is also intended to provide students with opportunities to increase their understanding of mathematical concepts and processes. It is hoped that, by doing portfolio work, students benefit from
these mathematical activities and find them both stimulating and rewarding.
The specific purposes of portfolio work are to:
- develop students’ personal insight into the nature of mathematics and to develop their ability to ask their own questions about mathematics.
- provide opportunities for students to complete extended pieces of mathematical work without the time constraints of an examination.
- enable students to develop individual skills and techniques, and to allow them to experience the satisfaction of applying mathematical processes on their own.
- provide students with the opportunity to experience for themselves the beauty, power and usefulness of mathematics.
- provide students with the opportunity to discover, use and appreciate the power of a calculator or computer as a tool for doing mathematics.
- enable students to develop the qualities of patience and persistence, and to reflect on the significance of the results they obtain.
- provide opportunities for students to show, with confidence, what they know and what they can do.