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Dispositions for Teachers

Approved April 16, 2003

Revised and Adopted August 19, 2003

Dispositions – Dispositions are patterns of behaviors and actions that occur frequently and in the absence of coercion, and constitute “habits of mind and heart.” They are intentional and directed toward particular people and situations in order to achieve goals. Some dispositions are desirable and others are undesirable. Curiosity, for example, is desirable and is exhibited by typically and frequently exploring, examining, and asking questions about the environment. Complaining or whining would be an undesirable disposition if it were exhibited frequently. Teacher Education must model and support the development of desirable dispositions and provide opportunities to weaken or eliminate undesirable dispositions. Dispositions that apply the knowledge and skills of teaching and learning are critical to becoming an effective candidate.


Communities of Practice Investigating Learning and Teaching


Undergraduate Teacher Education Dispositions – A Statement of Professionalism

Professional educators must recognize and describe their own dispositions and plan and implement developmental changes.

1. Subject Matter –

Principle #1: The candidate understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for the students.

The candidate is curious about and has enthusiasm for the discipline(s) s/he teaches and sees connections to everyday life.

The candidate, through engagement in professional discourse and seeking to keep abreast of new ideas related to subject matter and children’s learning, appreciates multiple perspectives about how knowledge is developed.

2. Student Learning –

Principle #2: The candidate understands how children learn and develop, and can provide learning opportunities that support their intellectual, social and personal development.

The candidate shows respect for and seeks information about the diverse talents, interests, and needs of all learners by having high expectations for all students.

The candidate understands his/her own learning styles and recognizes learning of students through the use of information about developmental theories and individual variations.

3. Diverse Learners –

Principle #3: The candidate understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.

The candidate accepts, respects, and celebrates the diverse talents, needs, backgrounds, and potentials of all people.

The candidate is approachable and interacts positively and fairly with individuals and groups of the community.

4. Instructional Strategies –

Principle #4: The candidate understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students’ development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills.

The candidate promotes the learning process and respects the development of students’ creativity, critical thinking, and performance capabilities.

The candidate approaches independent problem-solving strategies with a focus on what is appropriate for those involved and adapts instruction accordingly.

5. Learning Environments –

Principle #5: The candidate uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

The candidate is committed to and takes responsibility for a safe, positive, and democratic climate in the classroom.

The candidate is committed to the continuous development of individual students through promoting collaboration, initiative, and interdependence by establishing and maintaining effective communities of practice.

6. Communication –

Principle #6: The candidate uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.

The candidate values the many ways in which people seek to communicate and encourages appropriate modes of communication (e.g. oral, written, electronic, body language, and humor) that is clear, tactful, and respectful.

The candidate recognizes and uses the power of language for fostering individual expression, identity development, and the cultural dimensions of communication.

7. Planning Instruction –

Principle #7: The candidate plans instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals.

The candidate values planning that is a collegial process open to adjustment and revision based on learner needs, human development stages, diversity of the learner, and changing circumstances.

The candidate investigates reliable resources and plans based upon learning goals (short- and long-term) and standards, incorporating a variety of curriculum models, resources, and approaches.

8. Assessment –

Principle #8: The candidate understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the learner.

The candidate values ongoing assessment and recognizes that many different assessment strategies, accurately and systematically used, are necessary for monitoring and promoting student learning.

The candidate is committed to using formal and informal assessments to identify student strengths and promote student growth rather than to deny students access to learning opportunities.

9. Reflection and Professional Development –

Principle #9: The candidate is a reflective candidate who continually evaluates the effects of his/her choices and actions on other (students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community) and who actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally.

The candidate uses inquiry, feedback, and assessment to reflect and take responsibility for making learning an on-going process.

The candidate is committed to seeking out, developing, and continually refining practices that address the individual needs of the students, as well as his/her own professional responsibility and engagement in self-directed learning; seeking support from colleagues, children/adolescents, parents/families, peers, and other adults.

10. Collaboration, Ethics, and Relationships –

Principle #10: The candidate fosters relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support students’ learning and well-being.

The candidate effectively consults and works with colleagues, supervisors, children/adolescents, parents/families, and other adults to improve the quality of education and the well-being of learners (cognitively, emotionally, socially and physically).

The candidate demonstrates leadership in working with other professionals to improve the learning environments and experiences for students in fair and equitable ways.

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