The Story of Evolution and the Evolution of Stories (Spring 2004):
Instructions for Preparing your Final Portfolio

Your final portfolio is due by Friday, May 7 (for seniors) and by Friday, May 14 (for all others). In the portfolio, we ask you to collect and reflect on all the work you have done for this course. This portfolio project invites you to chronicle what has happened in your evolution both as a speaker and a writer during the fourteen weeks we've been thinking together, and to contribute to our evaluation of your work. So--

* Gather together everything you’ve written for this class: copies of what you’ve posted in each week's on-line forum, all your papers, and all the responses you've received from us. Arrange the material in a folder, chronologically, back to front, with Paper #4 on top. (Paper #4 is "10-12 pp. in which you make use of the biological, philosophical and literary stories of the course to create a new, interesting, useful story of your own." Remember that we also require this paper, like the first three, to be posted on the course website.)

* You are welcome to revise any one of the papers. Be willing, in this process, to engage in major re-thinkings of what you have done already (although you may also find it satisfying to edit merely for stylistics and technicalities—and so are also welcome to submit a clean and corrected copy. Just remember to include the earlier version).

* Review all you’ve gathered together in the portfolio; ruminate for a while on what you’re seeing as you do so. Then write a short (2 pp.) essay tracing where you were when we began this process, where you are now, and what’s been happening in between. Be specific and descriptive, but also evaluative: How much effort have you put into each of these drafts and their revisions? What can you say about the quality of the final products?

* Review as well your participation in our group work. How frequently have you come to class? How present-and-contributing have you been in our discussions, both large and small, in-person and on-line? What role have you assumed in our group dynamics? (Have you organized our thinking? Played devil's advocate? Been inclusive--or clarifying--or withdrawn? These possibilities are drawn from a book called Freire for the Classroom: A Sourcebook for Liberatory Teaching, which calls attention to the roles people play in groups.)

In our responses to your portfolio, we’ll be giving you a grade not just for the quality of your written work, but also for class participation and process. Your self-evaluation will assist us with our own.

We very much look forward to seeing what you come up with, as well as what you have to say about it.

In gratitude for the pleasure we have found in the hard work, good play and great company we have found with one another.

Anne and Paul