Blogs > Cliopatria > The Dispositions Crisis

Dec 12, 2005 6:57 pm

The Dispositions Crisis

Just out from the Chronicle is the first comprehensive article on the misuse of"dispositions" in teacher-training programs. (The concept has been used to screen out ideologically unacceptable prospective public school teachers on the basis of their bad"dispositions.") Two important revelations, both from NCATE president Arthur Wise. First, Wise concedes that in 2002, the organization made"a very big change" in its accreditation standards, which included the following language:

Unit assessments must also reflect the dispositions identified in its conceptual framework and in professional and state standards. Often team reports do not indicate any connection between dispositions specified in the conceptual framework and dispositions that are assessed. For example, if the unit has described its vision for teacher preparation as ‘Teachers as agents of change’ and has indicated that a commitment to social justice is one disposition it expects of teachers who can become agents of change, then it is expected that unit assessments include some measure of a candidate’s commitment to social justice.

Second, reporter Robin Wilson revealed that last month, NCATE"sent a bulletin to the 614 programs it accredits, saying that education schools should not evaluate students' attitudes, but rather assess their dispositions based on 'observable behavior in the classroom.' It also said it does 'not expect or require institutions to attend to any particular political or social ideologies.'"

The question now: will NCATE enforce this new guideline?

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More Comments:

Ralph E. Luker - 12/12/2005

Hell, Adam, I've got a bad disposition. Maybe that's why I got screened out!

Adam Kotsko - 12/12/2005

The bastards! They won't!

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