Understanding Teacher Candidate Dispositions: Reflecting to Build Self-Awareness

Deborah L. Schussler, Lisa M. Stooksberry, Lynne A. Bercaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Dispositions have become an important part of the conversation about effective teaching. The purpose of this article is to analyze the disposition domains teacher candidates draw from as they think about their early teaching experiences. A framework of three disposition domains-intellectual, cultural, and moral-was used as a heuristic to analyze 35 teacher candidates' journals. The candidates reflected on a range of topics, yet few possessed the self-knowledge to identify their assumptions and evaluate how these assumptions influenced their teaching decisions. Candidates with the greatest capacity to unpack their assumptions and who therefore possessed the greatest awareness of their dispositions demonstrated (a) a propensity for questioning the how and why of their thinking and actions, (b) a balance between focusing on students and the self, and (c) an adoption of multiple perspectives. These baseline data provide essential information for teacher educators working to develop candidates' dispositions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-363
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Teacher Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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