1g. Professional Dispositions
[Note: Indicate where the responses refer to initial teacher preparation, advanced preparation of teachers, or other school professionals, noting differences when appropriate.]
1g1. What dispositions are candidates expected to demonstrate by completion of programs?
During the 2005-06 year a College Dispositions Committee was created to examine the nature of and expectations for dispositions in the College. On August 30, 2006 the unit voted to accept the 2000 NCATE definition of dispositions as being the “values commitments, and professional ethics that influence behaviors toward students, families, colleagues, and communities, and affect students’ learning, motivation, and development as well as the educator’s own professional growth.” In addition to the definition, the unit also approved the following seven dispositions:
- Values evidence-based, student(client)- focused practice
- Values professional collaboration and consultation
- Practices effective self-management
- Interacts at a professional level
- Demonstrates commitment to learning as a lifelong pursuit
- Respects the legal and ethical norms of the profession
- Demonstrates equitable treatment and respect for all individuals.
For a summary report of the work of the Dispositions Committee (including indicators developed for each disposition) please refer to the report submitted to CoPRA on November 7, 2007 entitled “Introduction to Education & Teaching/O&P Dispositions Inventory and Initial Programs Dispositions Inventory.”
1g2. What data from key assessments indicate that candidates demonstrate appropriate professional dispositions?
During 2006-07 the Initial Programs Dispositions Inventory (IPDI) was created by Dean Barnett based on the accepted dispositions benchmarks. In spring, 2007 the IPDI survey was administered as a pilot survey during the final required clinical practice experience. The survey was completed by candidates as a self-assessment, their cooperating teacher, and their university supervisor.
Results of this pilot indicated that Disposition 3 (practices effective self-management) and Disposition 7 (demonstrates equitable treatment and respect for all individuals) were rated highest by all surveyed. Using the unit’s four point rating scale (1=Minimal/Unacceptable to 4 = Advanced), candidates are expected to demonstrate each of the seven dispositions at a rating of at least 2.0. Disposition 1 (values evidence-based, student/client-focused practice) was rated lowest. The second lowest rating overall was Disposition 2 (values professional collaboration and consultation). In addition, a modified version of the IDPI, assessing only Dispositions 2, 3 and 7 was administered for pre-candidates in the Foundations Block. This instrument was completed only by cooperating teachers. This survey showed fairly consistent ratings among all three standards. CoPRA examined results of these surveys. It was decided that another survey should be undertaken during the fall, 2007 semester to increase sample size and look for consistency. Additional information and analysis on survey results are found in “Introduction to Education & Teaching/O&P Dispositions Inventory and Initial Programs Dispositions Inventory.” Student teacher exit surveys from 2003 to 2007 (n=177) also provide information about professional dispositions. Average ratings on the question “I believe I have attained an appropriate level of proficiency to be expected of a beginning teacher in terms of professional dispositions, including ethical practice” are 4.47 out of 5 possible points. In addition, the 2006 Alumni survey asked whether respondents felt they had been well prepared to promote social justice in the classroom. Of those who responded (n=430) the mean rating for this question was 3.69 out of 5. (Please see support data for question 1g2).
1g3. In what ways do candidates demonstrate that they are developing professional dispositions related to fairness and the belief that all students can learn?
Disposition 7 (demonstrates equitable treatment and respect for all individuals) specifically targets preservice teacher mastery of fairness and belief that all students can learn. The mean rating for this disposition on the spring 2007 regular and modified IPDI ranged from a 3.54 to a 3.66 for all surveyed. This indicates solid consensus that our students believe in fairness and that all students can learn. As stated in 1.d.1, student teacher exit surveys from 2003 to 2007 (n=177) also suggest that candidates are well prepared to assess and analyze student learning and create positive learning environments. Average ratings on the question “I believe I have attained an appropriate level of proficiency to be expected of a beginning teacher in terms of adapting instruction to meet the diverse needs of pupils, including those with disabilities and exceptionalities are 4.23 out of 5 possible points. Exit surveys also indicate an average score of 4.51 out of 5 possible points on the question “I believe I have attained an appropriate level of proficiency to be expected of a beginning teacher in terms of creating a positive learning environment.” Please refer to previously mentioned support data regarding dispositions.
1g4. What do follow-up surveys of graduates and employers indicate about graduates’ demonstration of dispositions? (A table summarizing the results related to student learning could be attached here.).
Professional dispositions are included throughout the Wisconsin Teacher Standards. The 2006 alumni survey specifically asked 4 additional questions linked to dispositionality:
- Question 29 – How well prepared were you to promote social justice in your classroom?
- Question 30 – How well prepared were you to promote awareness of environmental choices and decisions?
- Question 31 – How well prepared were you to participate in interdisciplinary teaching and planning?
- Question 32 – How well prepared were you to resolve interpersonal conflicts?
The overall response for each of these questions is between a 3 and a 4 – somewhere above the middle between “not at all” and “very well.” None of the responses shows any significant high or low result.
Additionally, WTS 10 is considered to be specifically related to professional dispositions. Four questions were asked related to this standard.
- Q25: How well prepared were you to connect with school colleagues and community agencies to support your students?
- Q26: How well prepared were you to work with parents and families?
- Q27: How well prepared were you to understand the politics of education and work within its limits?
- Q28: How well prepared were you to live out ethical beliefs and values in the teaching profession?
When graphed, the greatest area of weakness in standard 10 is working with the politics of education. This has been discussed at the CoPRA and CEAAS meetings and throughout all departments in the unit. While no specific actions have been taken, it is assumed that it will be an integral part of the next program revision to begin during the summer of 2009. Please refer to the 2006 Alumni Survey Report for additional analysis.
1. What does your unit do particularly well related to Standard 1
The unit has clearly defined professional dispositions for all initial licensure programs. These are fully integrated into all areas of the assessment plan. Students have multiple methods courses specific to each discipline. At least nine credits of math are required for elementary education students. The passing of the PPST exam is required prior to admission to professional education and the PRAXIS II exam is required prior to enrollment in student teaching. These scores are analyzed and results linked to programmatic changes throughout the unit. To assist students who do not pass the PPST, we have developed (and continue to refine) extensive tutoring programs – particularly in the Special Education department. Our University Assessment Center has acquired new technology to assist students in preparing for content examinations. All of our syllabi list standards (WMAS and/or WTS) link course projects directly to standards making it easier for students to see the linkages between what they do and the standards that undergird professional practice. For some programs, unit artifacts link student learning to preservice practice and are evaluated through the portfolio process. Students regularly participate in parent/teacher conferences. Advanced programs complete SPA accreditation and state licensure requirements (portfolio process being key). Many programs require content examination as part of the application and interview process (as in Counselor Education). Survey information is regularly compiled that examines student success related to field experience.
2. What research related to Standard 1 is being conducted by the unit?
Please refer to faculty research document in support data.