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Reconsidering Disposition Assessment in Teacher Education: Moving Beyond
Unformatted Document Text:  Reconsidering Teacher Disposition Reconsidering Disposition Assessment in Teacher Education: Moving Beyond Section I: Content A. Statement of the issue Today’s teacher education programs strive to equip future teachers with the high quality knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to teach their students. The assessment of dispositions has thus been essential in developing a baseline for the design of an educational program to cultivate those qualities. However, the current disposition assessment approach with its character-related emphasis in many institutions has not yet been an important consideration factor in curriculum design, planning, and assessment, and is frequently used as a sorting-out device to identify those who appear to be inadequately disposed. This paper suggests shifting the focus from character-related dispositions to competence-related dispositions for the future and proposes a model for a desirable competence-related disposition, technology disposition. A conceptual framework for technology disposition for the purpose of assessment and cultivation is provided incorporating the philosophical views and psychological theories on dispositions, and attention is given to operationalizing and clarifying the mixed use of number of psychological constructs and concepts by sharing the analyses and the results of the study. B. Literature review Across the fields of education, psychology, and philosophy, scholars view dispositions generally in any of three ways: 1) as personal characteristics or dimensions of personality such as attitudes, values, inclinations, wills, and habits of mind ( Costa & Kallick, 2000; Giancario & Facione, 2001; Simpson, Koballa, Oliver, & Crawley, III, 1994; Wenzlaff ,1998); 2) as patterns of behavior ( Beyer; 1987; Buss & Craik, 1983; Ennis, 1996; Raths, 2001; Ritchhart, 2001; Salomon, 1994; and Siegel, 1999); and 3) as a cultivatable human quality (Carr & Claxton, 2002; Dewey, 1916, 1922; English & English, 1958; Judge & Bretz, 1993; Katz & Raths, 1985, 1986; Royalty, 1995; Tishman, Perkins, & Jay, 1995; Wakefield, 1993). In summarizing, dispositions of a teacher are viewed as the trend of that teacher’s actions (not her or his emotional state), designate actions and characterize their frequency, and can be acquired and cultivated through educational experience. The ambiguous nature of dispositions and which dispositions should be most valued appear to have compelled many teacher educators to focus largely on character-related disposition, including work ethics and morality, rather than on competence-related disposition (Author, 2004). At the same time, the challenging task of operationalizing and conceptualizing the corresponding concepts appear to have made teacher educators frequently use the “check-list” approach for dispositional indicators to sort out candidates who were not qualified from those who were qualified (Author, 2004; 2005). A few common examples of character-related disposition indicators include “value collaborative work” and “respect for cultural diversity and individual difference.” It would be challenging to operationalize each concept—level of valuing, characteristics of collaborative work, nature of cultural diversity, and scope of individual difference —in order to appropriately assess it. Because the main purpose of this study was to propose a framework for disposition assessment and to initiate discussions among teacher educators, three criteria were applied in selecting the disposition to study: (a) disposition that is significant and relevant in future educational context; (b) disposition that is competence-related; (c) disposition that can be manifested in observable behavior. Based on the criteria, technology disposition seemed the most conceptually and theoretically appropriate for this quantitative study. C. Contribution 1

Authors: Jung, Eunjoo.
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Reconsidering Teacher Disposition
Reconsidering Disposition Assessment in Teacher Education: Moving Beyond
Section I: Content
A. Statement of the issue
Today’s teacher education programs strive to equip future teachers with the high quality
knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to teach their students. The assessment of
dispositions has thus been essential in developing a baseline for the design of an educational
program to cultivate those qualities. However, the current disposition assessment approach with
its character-related emphasis in many institutions has not yet been an important consideration
factor in curriculum design, planning, and assessment, and is frequently used as a sorting-out
device to identify those who appear to be inadequately disposed. This paper suggests shifting
the focus from character-related dispositions to competence-related dispositions for the future
and proposes a model for a desirable competence-related disposition, technology disposition.
A conceptual framework for technology disposition for the purpose of assessment and cultivation
is provided incorporating the philosophical views and psychological theories on dispositions, and
attention is given to operationalizing and clarifying the mixed use of number of psychological
constructs and concepts by sharing the analyses and the results of the study.
B. Literature review
Across the fields of education, psychology, and philosophy, scholars view dispositions generally
in any of three ways: 1) as personal characteristics or dimensions of personality such as
attitudes, values, inclinations, wills, and habits of mind ( Costa & Kallick, 2000; Giancario &
Facione, 2001; Simpson, Koballa, Oliver, & Crawley, III, 1994; Wenzlaff ,1998); 2) as patterns of
behavior
( Beyer; 1987; Buss & Craik, 1983; Ennis, 1996; Raths, 2001; Ritchhart, 2001; Salomon,
1994; and Siegel, 1999); and 3) as a cultivatable human quality (Carr & Claxton, 2002; Dewey,
1916, 1922; English & English, 1958; Judge & Bretz, 1993; Katz & Raths, 1985, 1986; Royalty,
1995; Tishman, Perkins, & Jay, 1995; Wakefield, 1993). In summarizing, dispositions of a teacher
are viewed as the trend of that teacher’s actions (not her or his emotional state), designate
actions and characterize their frequency, and can be acquired and cultivated through educational
experience.
The ambiguous nature of dispositions and which dispositions should be most valued appear to
have compelled many teacher educators to focus largely on character-related disposition,
including work ethics and morality, rather than on competence-related disposition (Author, 2004).
At the same time, the challenging task of operationalizing and conceptualizing the corresponding
concepts appear to have made teacher educators frequently use the “check-list” approach for
dispositional indicators to sort out candidates who were not qualified from those who were
qualified (Author, 2004; 2005). A few common examples of character-related disposition
indicators include “value collaborative work” and “respect for cultural diversity and individual
difference.” It would be challenging to operationalize each concept—level of valuing,
characteristics of collaborative work, nature of cultural diversity, and scope of individual difference
—in order to appropriately assess it.
Because the main purpose of this study was to propose a framework for disposition assessment
and to initiate discussions among teacher educators, three criteria were applied in selecting the
disposition to study: (a) disposition that is significant and relevant in future educational context;
(b) disposition that is competence-related; (c) disposition that can be manifested in observable
behavior. Based on the criteria, technology disposition seemed the most conceptually and
theoretically appropriate for this quantitative study.
C. Contribution
1


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