10 SES 12 F, Special Call: Mapping Teacher Education across Europe and Beyond
Despite the ongoing heated debates on dispositions in teacher education most educational institutions continue to put teachers’ dispositions among its priorities for teacher achievement. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) have given great significance to teachers’ dispositions and have defined dispositions as “the values, commitment, and professional ethics that influence behaviors towards students, families, colleagues, and communities that affect student learning, motivation, and development as well as the educator’s own professional growth” (2013). Likewise, the Council of European Union for Teacher Education has put dispositions among its priorities for assessing teacher achievement (Caena, 2011). Complicating the matters, a myriad of terms have been used interchangeably with dispositions. The authors of this paper have identified the issues related to the definition of dispositions in teacher education and constructed a conceptual framework to elevate the understanding and use of dispositions in teacher education.
So far, many scholars (Costa & Kallick, 2014; Dottin, 2009; Dottin & Sockett, 2006; Nelsen, 2015; Richhart, 2001; Thornton, 2006) have turned to Dewey’s definition of disposition. Dewey (1922) refers to disposition as the underlying motivator and organizer for intelligent behavior. He uses the words disposition and habit interchangeably only except when habit is used in its ordinary sense: a mindless automatic repetitive set of actions. Building on Dewey’s discussions on disposition and habit, some scholars (Costa & Kallick, 2014; Dottin, 2009; Katz, 1993; Thornton, 2006) have identifies dispositions as “habits of mind” that include cognitive and affective attributes.
The authors of this paper have also turned to Dewey’s discussions on disposition and constructed a conceptual framework to elevate the understanding of dispositions in teacher education. The conceptual framework was constructed based on Costa and Kallick’s model of dispositions as habits of mind (2014). According their model, there are sixteen dispositions [habits of mind are used interchangeably] of effective thinkers:
- Applying Past Knowledge to Novel Situations
- Creating, Imagining, and Innovating
- Finding Humor
- Gathering Data through All Senses
- Listening with Understanding and Empathy
- Managing Impulsivity
- Metacognition (Thinking about Thinking)
- Questioning and Problem Posing
- Remaining Open to Continuous Learning
- Responding with Wonderment and Awe
- Striving for Accuracy
- Taking Responsible Risks
- Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision
- Thinking Flexibly
- Thinking Interdependently
The suggested list of dispositions includes both mindful and thoughtful dispositions focusing on cognitive and affective attributes. The authors of this paper have categorized the sixteen dispositions as mindful and thoughtful based on the findings of research from research in established educational theories. The outcome of the qualitative content analysis the authors have clustered thoughtful dispositions (dispositions that are directly related to learning) around Constructivism, Incremental Learning Theory, Self-Regulated Learning Theory and mindful dispositions (dispositions that are supportive of learning) around Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness Theory. While defining the categories the authors have used intelligent behaviors, defined as Costa & Kallick’s model, as the common denominator between each disposition and educational theory.
As the outcome of extensive qualitative content analysis and member check of the developed conceptual framework, the authors came up with a framework that clearly identifies each disposition and related education theory. The authors offer the conceptual framework to be used in teacher education programs to help pre-service teachers nurture effective teaching dispositions. The authors believe that this framework will help teacher education programs move forward in understanding and applying dispositions in teacher education as it offers clearly defines intelligent behaviors that can be developed by using findings from established theories.
A directed approach was used to guide the content analysis process (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005). This approach, also called deductive category assignment (Marrying, 2014), entails identifying categories prior to the analysis and using predetermined codes or key concepts to assign the reviewed text to the categories. For the current analysis, the categories used were educational theories and the codes were the intelligent behaviors associated with Habits of Mind. Through review of the literature and consulting with experts in the field of education, within the study’s examining committee, the researcher chose the following theories as categories: Constructivism, Incremental Theory, Self-Regulated Learning Theory, Mindfulness, and Emotional Intelligence. The next step was to get a better understanding of the codes that researcher planned to use to relate Habits of Mind to educational theories. The researcher unpacked the intelligent behaviors associated with Costa and Kallick’s model (2000, pp. 22-35) and used them as a common denominator to cluster the educational theories and construct a conceptual framework. A common denominator is defined as “something (such as a feature or quality) that is shared by all members of a group or things” and “a common trait or theme” (Merriam-Webster). These common denominators served as codes to help researcher identify consistencies between sixteen Habits of Mind and educational theories (Patton, 2002). As consistencies emerged, the intelligent behaviors that were previously clustered under certain Habits of Mind by Costa and Kallick (2000, pp. 22-35) were re-grouped under associated theories. In order to deal with possible researcher’s bias the consulted with an expert educational psychologist knowledgeable with these theories to confirm the associations. The researcher conducted a blind coding process with an expert educational psychologist. The researcher used findings from content analysis to decide which theories were more thoughtful (directly related to learning) and which more mindful (supportive of learning). The analysis resulted in grouping Constructivism, Incremental Theory, Self-Regulated Learning Theory together as theories directly related to learning, and identifying Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence as theories that are supportive of learning processes. After forming these two groups, content analysis was used to deduct which intelligent behaviors and associated Habits of Mind were directly related to learning (thoughtfulness) and which were supportive of learning (mindfulness).
The teacher educators can use the conceptual framework that consist of intelligent behaviors, which are associated with sixteen Habits of Mind, as cues to understand how and why their students respond the way they do to different situations and settings. After using approaches such as interviews, long-term observation, deliberation, and inquiry into the underlying motivators for pre-service teachers’ actions, the behaviors can be linked to one of the clusters of habits (dispositions) identified in the conceptual framework. Since the clusters are related to established theories, teacher educators can use the findings from empirical research associated with those theories to guide professional development of teaching dispositions. For example, research that supports Constructivism can be used to develop the Habit of Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations. Likewise, research that supports Incremental Theory can be used to develop the Habit of Remaining Open to Continuous Learning. In another case, the teacher educator might need to develop students’ Habit of Thinking about Thinking (Metacognition). Another situation might occur when a methods teacher notices that a candidate overreacts to challenges and conflicts. The teacher educator might also be concerned that the student makes quick judgments and is not reflective. This instructor could research into Mindfulness Theory to identify strategies to develop mindful behaviors associated with the Habit of Managing Impulsivity. A similar situation can be when a teacher educator might be concerned that students are not sensitive to the needs of others. Then, the educator could research into Emotional Intelligence theory to help students develop the Habit of Thinking Interdependently. Each of the sixteen Habits proposed by Costa and Kallick could be addressed in this fashion and teacher educators can benefit from using the conceptual framework to better understand their students’ dispositions and help them develop effective teaching dispositions.
Altan, S., Jennie, F. L., & Dottin, E. (2017). Using Habits of Mind, intelligent behaviors and educational theories to create a conceptual framework for developing effective teaching dispositions, Journal of Teacher Education. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0022487117736024 Altan, S. & Lane, J. F. (2018). Teachers’ narratives: A source for exploring the influences of teachers’ significant life experiences on their dispositions and teaching practices, Teaching and Teacher Education, 74, 238-248. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2018.05.012 Caena, F. (2011). Literature review: Quality in teachers’ continuing professional development. European Commission Thematic Working Group ‘Professional Development of Teachers’ Brussels: European Commission. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/repository/education/policy/strategic-framework/doc/teacher-development_en.pdf Common denominator. (n.d.). In Merriam Webster Online. Retrieved June 14, 2016, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/common%20denominator Costa, A. L., & Kallick, B. (2000). Discovering and exploring habits of mind. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Costa, A. L., & Kallick, B. (2014). Dispositions: Reframing teaching and learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Dewey, J. (1922). Human nature and conduct: An introduction to social psychology. New York: Henry Holt & Company. Dottin, E. S., & Sockett, H. (2006). A Deweyan approach to the development of moral dispositions in professional teacher education communities. In H. Sockett (Ed.), Teacher dispositions: Building a teacher education framework of moral standards (pp. 27-47). New York: AACTE Publications. Dottin, E. (2009). Professional judgment and dispositions in teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25, 83-88. Hsieh, H. F., & Shannon, S.E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277-1288. Katz, L. G. (1993). Dispositions: definitions and implications for early childhood practice. ERIC clearing house on elementary and early childhood education. Marrying, P. (2014). Qualitative content analysis: Theoretical foundations, basic procedures and software solution. Social Science Open Access Repository. Retrieved from http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-395173 Nelsen, P. J. (2015). Intelligent dispositions Dewey, habits and inquiry in teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 66(1), 86-97. Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks. CA: Sage Publcations. Ritchhart, R. (2001). From IQ to IC: A dispositional view of intelligence. Roeper Review, 23(3), 143-150. Thornton, H. (2006). Dispositions in action: Do dispositions make a difference in practice? Teacher Education Quarterly, 33(2), 53-68.
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