Defining dispositions: Wading through murky waters

Deborah Lynn Schussler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Efforts to professionalize teaching have coincided with a shift in teacher education programs. Recent requirements of accrediting bodies have resulted in initiatives to assess dispositions in addition to knowledge and skills. However, for such assessment to maintain construct validity, it is imperative first to develop some common understandings about the nature of dispositions and then to explore how teacher education should be addressing them. This paper explores dispositions from both a conceptual and a practical perspective. Dispositions are described as a point of convergence, representing a filter through which thinking and behaviors related to teaching are framed, and a point of inception, from which knowledge and behaviors emanate. This dispositional filter encompasses the teacher s awareness, inclination, and ability to reflect. Teacher education programs can foster dispositions by helping teacher candidates engage in self‐exploration of their personal theories and identify their own values and assumptions related to teaching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-268
Number of pages18
JournalTeacher Educator
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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