Capstone/Dissertation Title

Developing Teacher Dispositions: A Shared Journey and an Individual Adventure

Term

Spring 2-18-2015

Capstone

Dissertation

Degree Name

EdD

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Walter Enloe

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Karen Moroz

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Rafael Cervantes

Abstract

For decades teacher effectiveness has been determined based on the behaviors they demonstrate in a classroom setting. Teaching is a performance-based profession which means teachers are active participants in a classroom, demonstrating their content and pedagogical knowledge through performance. What does this mean for one teacher preparation program and their practices and efforts to prepare future teachers? State mandates are in place to be used as a guide by professional organizations, state agencies, and teacher preparation institutions as a basis for licensing and preparing beginning teachers. The standards are further explicated in terms of teacher knowledge, dispositions, and performances that all beginning teachers should have regardless of their specialty area. While the development of content and pedagogical knowledge in one teacher preparation program has been the focus, a spotlight has been recently placed on dispositions and how teacher candidates are being prepared in this area. Further rationale for the study was determined after a common theme emerged in one teacher preparation program that needed further investigation. Using grounded theory as my research design and methodology, these behaviors and actions, defined as teacher dispositions, were described by teacher candidates and faculty members resulting in a deeper understanding of how teacher candidates develop effective dispositions in one teacher preparation program. Data was collected through in-depth interviews, a faculty forum, observations, and written artifacts which provided information that uncovered themes and patterns in how teacher candidates develop teacher dispositions. Three themes emerged from the study that supported the theory that teacher dispositions can be developed included; 1) using a common language to define and describe dispositions, 2) faculty influences, practices and actions, and 3) experience and practice teaching in the field. Having a deeper understanding of how effective teacher dispositions are developed informed disposition policies and practices in one teacher preparation program resulting in teacher candidates who are better poised to be effective future K-12 teachers.

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