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Measuring Teacher Dispositions Systematically Using INTASC Principles
Unformatted Document Text:  AACTE 2006 Paper Proposal Measuring Teacher Dispositions Systematically Using INTASC Principles Section I: Content A: Statement of the Issue NCATE (2002) requires the measurement of dispositions as part of its accreditation requirements for teacher education programs. The first standard, entitled, “Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions,” requires that: “Candidates preparing to work in schools as teachers or other professional school personnel know and demonstrate the content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Assessments indicate that candidates meet professional, state, and institutional standards.” Fortunately, guidance is provided to the community by the common set of national standards developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers and promulgated by the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) in the form of ten principles. Each of the principles includes indicators written at the knowledge, skill, and dispositional levels, forming constructs that colleges are required to measure. When we begin to conceptualize the INTASC Principles as symbiotic in nature, the need for measuring dispositions becomes clearer. If a teacher learns what elements comprise a good lesson plan and then demonstrates on multiple occasions that he/she has the appropriate level of skill to produce (and hopefully deliver) effective lesson plans, we are often lulled into believing that our job is done. They have the knowledge and can apply it, but what happens if they do not think it is important. No pre-graduation faculty assessment of “proficient in planning” will ever compensate for the damage that can be done by the teacher who thinks lesson planning is a boring waste of time. That teacher will just stand up and deliver. And that is why dispositions are, in the long run, more important than knowledge and skills. The INTASC Principles lay the foundation upon which we can build solid assessment devices for measuring teacher dispositions. Just like assessing knowledge and skills, we gain confidence that we have measured well when we progress through a series of well designed, progressive measures. At present, we know of no institutions that have built a progression of measures such as those to be presented in this paper. We are working with four other institutions in three other states on these measures, and our results were presented at AACTE in 2005 in a symposium with those institutions. These instruments are described briefly in the paragraphs which follow. Scales that can be machine scored are at the lowest level of inference. In a Thurstone agreement scale, the respondents have a 50% chance of guessing correctly or faking. Scales help us to make a first cut at sorting those with dispositions appropriate to teaching and those who are clueless! Here is an example. The teacher candidate is asked to agree or disagree with this statement: “I believe good teachers learn about the students’ background ane community so they can understand students’ motivations.” (INTASC Principle #3). Questionnaires and interviews are a little more difficult to score and a little more difficult to fake, so they provide the next level of useful assessment of dispositions. With questionnaires and interviews, we can develop rubrics and anticipate likely responses. Here is an example of a question to which the teacher can respond as an indicator of whether or not s/he keeps abreast of new ideas and understandings in the field. “How have you kept abreast of current developments in your field? For example, did you attend any workshops, subscribe to any journals, read or buy a new book? If so, describe in one to two sentences something you learned and the source.” (INTASC Principle #1) At the next level of inference are focus groups and observations. These are more complex to analyse than simple questionnaires, often because there is interaction among the group members and conflicting evidence. Faking becomes extremely difficult at this point. An example follows of questions children could answer to show that the teacher is committed to the use of democratic values

Authors: Lang, W. Steve. and Wilkerson, Judy.
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AACTE 2006 Paper Proposal
Measuring Teacher Dispositions Systematically Using INTASC Principles
Section I: Content
A: Statement of the Issue
NCATE (2002) requires the measurement of dispositions as part of its accreditation requirements for
teacher education programs. The first standard, entitled, “Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and
Dispositions,” requires that: “Candidates preparing to work in schools as teachers or other
professional school personnel know and demonstrate the content, pedagogical, and professional
knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Assessments indicate that
candidates meet professional, state, and institutional standards.”
Fortunately, guidance is provided to the community by the common set of national standards
developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers and promulgated by the Interstate New
Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) in the form of ten principles. Each of the
principles includes indicators written at the knowledge, skill, and dispositional levels, forming
constructs that colleges are required to measure.
When we begin to conceptualize the INTASC Principles as symbiotic in nature, the need for
measuring dispositions becomes clearer. If a teacher learns what elements comprise a good lesson
plan and then demonstrates on multiple occasions that he/she has the appropriate level of skill to
produce (and hopefully deliver) effective lesson plans, we are often lulled into believing that our job
is done. They have the knowledge and can apply it, but what happens if they do not think it is
important. No pre-graduation faculty assessment of “proficient in planning” will ever compensate for
the damage that can be done by the teacher who thinks lesson planning is a boring waste of time.
That teacher will just stand up and deliver. And that is why dispositions are, in the long run, more
important than knowledge and skills. The INTASC Principles lay the foundation upon which we can
build solid assessment devices for measuring teacher dispositions.
Just like assessing knowledge and skills, we gain confidence that we have measured well
when we progress through a series of well designed, progressive measures. At present, we know of
no institutions that have built a progression of measures such as those to be presented in this paper.
We are working with four other institutions in three other states on these measures, and our results
were presented at AACTE in 2005 in a symposium with those institutions. These instruments are
described briefly in the paragraphs which follow.
Scales that can be machine scored are at the lowest level of inference. In a Thurstone agreement
scale, the respondents have a 50% chance of guessing correctly or faking. Scales help us to make a
first cut at sorting those with dispositions appropriate to teaching and those who are clueless! Here is
an example. The teacher candidate is asked to agree or disagree with this statement: “I believe good
teachers learn about the students’ background ane community so they can understand students’
motivations.”
(INTASC Principle #3).
Questionnaires and interviews are a little more difficult to score and a little more difficult to fake, so
they provide the next level of useful assessment of dispositions. With questionnaires and interviews,
we can develop rubrics and anticipate likely responses. Here is an example of a question to which the
teacher can respond as an indicator of whether or not s/he keeps abreast of new ideas and
understandings in the field. “How have you kept abreast of current developments in your field? For
example, did you attend any workshops, subscribe to any journals, read or buy a new book? If so,
describe in one to two sentences something you learned and the source.”
(INTASC Principle #1)
At the next level of inference are focus groups and observations. These are more complex to
analyse than simple questionnaires, often because there is interaction among the group members and
conflicting evidence. Faking becomes extremely difficult at this point. An example follows of
questions children could answer to show that the teacher is committed to the use of democratic values


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