Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Earl Cheek, Jr


In this period of controversy and uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of our public schools, educators face many problems in teaching today's children. One specific area of concern relates to assessment. An increasing number of teachers have turned to the use of portfolios to document the literacy growth of their students. If teachers are to use portfolio assessment to measure student achievement accurately, effective staff training is necessary. The purpose of this study was to observe six teachers, in grades one and three, as they implemented portfolio assessment with the assistance of two peer coaches. This study describes the peer coaching experience, evaluates its impact, and makes recommendations for implementing portfolio assessment using the scaffolding tool of peer coaching. This study focused on aspects of peer coaching as it related to the implementation of portfolio assessment. These included the characteristics and conditions that were conducive to being an effective coach, and the impact a peer coach has on the implementation of portfolio assessment at the first and third grade levels. The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) was used to determine each teachers' use of portfolio assessment and her concerns during implementation. By examining these aspects of peer coaching, this study contributed to the body of research related to peer coaching, provided additional information on these aspects of peer coaching which worked best in implementing portfolio assessment, and reinforced the findings of others studying the implementation of innovative instructional methods.