Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Mary Woods Scherr, PhD, Co-Chair; Diane M. Yerkes, EdD, Co-Chair; Margaret R. Basom, PhD, Member


adult learning, developmental supervision, Leadership studies, professional development, project portfolios, qualitative, self-esteem, teachers


Facilitating the personal and professional growth of teachers is a very effective way to positively impact students' self-esteem, skills development, and behavior. Certain professional development strategies, for example, developmental supervision, enable teachers to plan for their own growth. Developmental supervision is a nonevaluative approach to providing feedback that meets individual needs of teachers. The process utilizes research in the areas of professional development, teacher supervision, and adult learning. Portfolio projects could be a component of developmental supervision. However, there is minimal empirical research to support the use of portfolio projects in nonevaluative supervision. The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe the experiences of elementary teachers in a Canadian school district who completed a portfolio project as part of a developmental supervision process. Research questions guided data collection about the journeys each teacher experienced. Teachers revealed insights about the portfolio project process, their personal and professional growth, and how the meaning of the experience contributed to their development. The interview data and the portfolio projects document teacher growth through reflection on practice. An analysis of interview data and portfolio projects revealed three themes: continuous learning, enhancement of esteem, and a new sense of personal and professional meaning. This study documented that a nonevaluative supervision approach contributed to the personal and professional growth of teachers. Teachers revealed that the process of portfolio project development left lasting legacies, which included personal and professional affirmation, fulfillment, worthiness and competency, as well as the joy of learning. The study concludes with strategies for supporting portfolio project development for teachers, principals, and district administrators.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access