Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies

Major Advisor

Richard Osguthorpe


Jennifer L. Snow


Keith Thiede


This inquiry seeks to identify the beliefs of college students prior to their entry into a teacher education program (pre-program students), teacher educators, practicing P-12 teachers, and practicing P-12 administrators (teacher education professionals) related to the construct “dispositions” in teacher education. Grounded in a social constructivist understanding of teaching and learning, this primarily phenomenological study utilizes the analysis of survey data to uncover and explore multiple perspectives on beliefs about dispositions in teacher education in an effort to identify implications for teacher education research and practice.

Findings suggest that pre-program students and teacher education professionals believe that dispositions are an important part of quality teaching. Although their definitions and understandings about what this construct, dispositions, refers to, participants list a host of dispositions that they believe teachers ought to have. Teacher education professionals also believe that candidate dispositions can and should be explicitly developed and assessed in teacher education, but there is a fair amount of discomfort surrounding assessment.

Implications for teacher education relate to the importance of student beliefs in developing dispositions, the connection between dispositions, knowledge, and skills, the importance of the connection between coursework and fieldwork in the development of dispositions, the development of teacher education professionals’ capacity to attend to dispositions, and an approach to dispositions development that embraces the myriad dispositions listed by participants in this inquiry.

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