College of Education and Allied Professions

Policies and Procedures for Assessing Teacher Candidate Dispositions

Admission

Upon acceptance to an initial teacher licensure program at WCU, each student will sign a contract that explicitly states the teacher candidate dispositions policy. He/she will be notified that they will be held accountable to these expected dispositions while enrolled in any initial licensure program at WCU. Even as we are holding the students accountable to these dispositions, we will also integrate these into our teaching across the time a student spends enrolled in a program. While there is a minimum level of expectations in terms of dispositions, we will strive to enhance a students’ knowledge of these dispositions and acquired, related behaviors. This growth model is reflected in our evaluation rubric.

At this same time, each student will complete the M5-120 Personality Inventory to provide the college with data on their innate traits. They will also complete the Educators Beliefs about Diversity Survey at this time.

Assessment

Students will be assessed on the dispositions at three points during their time in a program. The initial assessment will occur during EDCI 201, or equivalent introductory course. The second assessment will occur during a content/methods course within the junior year. The final assessment will take place during the senior year within internship, or an equivalent course. Instructors of designated courses will be notified to complete the assessments on each student. These assessments will be electronic and kept in the students’ electronic file. [The possibility of using TaskStream or another electronic management system is being explored. More details will be added to this assessment process as information becomes available.]

Deficiency

At any point, a student may be found deficient in upholding one (or more) of the college dispositions, which will lead to the completion of a dispositional deficiency form. A professor, administrator, or cooperating teacher working with the student can identify a deficiency. Several deficiencies may emerge that need to be addressed within one deficiency form.

Three levels of deficiencies are presented below. Program directors work in conjunction with faculty, administrators, and other school personnel to decide when to move a student up to another level of deficiency. For example, if a student has several “minor” deficiencies in one semester, the program director may decide that these remain at a level one. On the other hand, there may be situations where a behavior (or set of behaviors) is extreme and needs to move to a level 2. This would result in an immediate action plan.

Procedures for Dispositional Contracts, Evaluations, and Deficiencies

Level 1

The faculty member or administrator talks with the student about the issue and then completes a deficiency form, identifying the area(s) of deficiency. In the case of a cooperating teacher, he/she works in conjunction with the university supervisor or designated faculty member to complete the form. The student is required to attend a conference (either via telephone, web-conferencing software, or face-to-face) with involved faculty/teachers/administrators. At this point, the student will be presented with the completed form. The student will sign the deficiency form, acknowledging understanding, but not necessarily agreement with the deficiency(ies). Each participant in the conference will also sign the form. Within three days of the conference, the deficiency form will be documented in a confidential electronic file. The program director will be notified of the process.

Level 2

The steps in Level 1 are repeated, however the program director will now attend the meeting. The program director has the discretion to invite faculty, administrators, or cooperating teachers involved in current or prior dispositional instances. During this meeting, an action plan will be developed, along with a timeline for completion. This action plan will focus on improving the specific dispositions in question. The student will sign the action plan to show agreement. Notes from this meeting along with the action plan will be kept in the students’ electronic file, kept by a lead faculty member or program director, along with the deficiency form for this particular instance. If a student fails to complete the action plan successfully, he/she is at risk for moving to Level 3 (see below).

Level 3

At this point, the student has a conference with the program director, department head, and the director of teacher education. Any involved faculty or cooperating teachers may also be present at this meeting, at the discretion of the required members of the meeting. The files containing the dispositional information from the prior three levels will be discussed, along with the student’s overall progress. At this meeting, the student will be provided with information that he/she may be removed from the program. The student will be given time to make a case for why he/she should remain in the program. The student will have 10 days to respond, in writing, to any request for removal. The student’s written response will be reviewed by the department head and dean (or designee). A final recommendation will be made in writing to the student. All notes from this meeting and corresponding letters will be kept in a confidential file.

 

Disposition

Rating

Below Standard

 

At Standard

 

Above Standard

Disposition Indicator

1

2

3

4

5

1. Projects a positive demeanor

· Demonstrates a low level of enthusiasm and generally negative attitude

· Expresses pessimism most of the time

· Uses negative language often

· Is often disagreeable with others

· Is frequently unpleasant and unfriendly

· Demonstrates enthusiasm and a generally positive attitude

· Expresses optimism most of the time

· Uses positive language often

· Is agreeable with others more often than not

· Is pleasant and friendly more often than not

· Consistently demonstrates a high level of enthusiasm and positive attitude

· Consistently expresses optimism

· Consistently uses positive language

· Is consistently agreeable with others

· Is consistently pleasant and friendly with others

2. Behaves responsibly

· Is unaware of their professional standards / policies and sometimes disregards them

· Thinks regulations were made for others and may disregard them

· Wants exceptions to be made which allow them to avoid established standards / policies

· Does not hold oneself accountable for own actions

· Serves as a poor role model for others

· Knows of their professional standards / policies and usually follows them without reminders

· Knows the purpose of regulations and respects their intent

· Accepts reminders for breaches of standards / policies and does not attempt to circumvent them

· Holds oneself accountable for own actions

· Serves as a good role model for others

· Describe their professional standards / policies and consistently follows them

· Understands the purpose of regulations and respects their intent.

· Accepts responsibility for personally following standards / policies

· Holds oneself accountable for own actions

· Serves as an exemplary role model for others

3. Exhibits trustworthiness

· Shows pattern of dishonest or deceitful behavior.

· Is frequently unreliable / not dependable

· Not to be counted on to keep their word or follow through on commitments

· Fails to keep personal and professional confidences

· Is truthful and honest in dealing with others.

· Is reliable / dependable most of the time

· Can be counted on to keep their word and follow through on commitments

· Uses discretion in keeping personal or professional confidences

· Is truthful and honest in dealing with others

· Is highly reliable / dependable

· Keeps their word, meets commitments and supports others in doing so

· Always dependable in keeping personal and professional confidences.

4. Builds positive interpersonal relationships

· Behaves inappropriately in relationships

· Is uninviting and unapproachable

· Disrespects and discourages sharing of the feelings, opinions, knowledge and abilities of others

· Acts out of self interest in most situations

· Is uncaring, neglectful and / or cool toward others

· Discourages others by emphasizing their limitations

· Maintains appropriate relationships

· Is inviting and approachable

· Demonstrates respect for the feelings, opinions, knowledge and abilities of others

· Acts in the interests of others

· Is caring, nurturing, and warm with others

· Encourages others by recognizing their successes

· Builds strong relationships

· Is highly inviting and approachable

· Encourages others to share individual feelings, opinions, knowledge and abilities

· Acts in the best interests of others in most cases

· Cares, nurtures and understands others deeply

· Empowers others by supporting their efforts

5. Demonstrates cultural responsiveness

· Is viewed as socially unjust and irresponsible

· Rejects those who are different in ability, race, gender, or ethnicity

· Displays intolerant, disrespectful, and unresponsive behavior toward the ideas and views of others.

· Interacts in an impolite or disrespectful manner with those perceived as different from self.

· Does not demonstrate an attitude that all students can learn

· Does not accept responsibility for own actions and for helping students learn.

· Allows personal bias to impact interactions and instruction

· Ethnocentric, considers only personal perspective

· Teaches using one method regardless of individual student needs

· Is viewed as socially just

· Accepts others who are different in ability, race, gender, or ethnicity.

· Displays respectful and responsive behavior toward the ideas and views of others.

· Interacts with others in a polite and professional manner with those perceived as different from self.

· Demonstrates an attitude that all students can learn

· Accepts responsibility for helping all students learn.

· Takes care to avoid allowing personal bias to impact interactions and instruction

· Demonstrates commitment to learning more about diversity and teaching rom multiple perspectives

· Adapts their teaching for the benefit of students with special needs.

· Is viewed as socially just and responsible

· Listens carefully to others and respects the views of those perceived as different from self.

· Willingly works with others from different ability, race, gender, or ethnic groups.

· Welcomes feedback and interaction with others.

· Shares strong beliefs that all students can learn

· Accepts responsibility for helping all students learn and actively seeks self-improvement.

· Reflects often on personal actions and biases that may influence choices.

· Consistently demonstrates a commitment to understanding diversity and teaches from multiple perspectives

· Differentiates to support the diverse needs of all learners in the classroom

6. Is an engaged learner

· Does not contribute or is inappropriately engaged with students and colleagues

· Is inattentive during professional activities in and out of school

· Rarely participates in class discussions or volunteers for tasks

· Contributes little to group processes and discussions

· Avoids additional responsibilities or learning opportunities

· Doesn’t identify personal strengths and limitations

· Contributes and is appropriately engaged with students and colleagues

· Is highly attentive during professional activities in and out of school

· Responds appropriately when called on

· Makes contributions to group processes and discussions

· Takes on additional responsibilities

· Identifies personal strengths and limitations

· Contributes often and is highly engaged as a leader with students and colleagues

· Actively participates in professional activities in and out of school

· Eager to participate in discussions, volunteers to answer questions

· Makes strong contributions to group processes and discussions

· Actively seeks multiple new growth opportunities

· Identifies personal strengths and limitations and uses them to best professional advantage.

7. Demonstrates Emotional and Social Self Control

· Displays inappropriate affect and emotions

· Emotions are not under control

· Blames others or outside circumstances for loss of emotional control.

· May lose temper and show outbursts of anger

· Passive, dependent on others for direction regarding learning and teaching

· Relies heavily on external motivation and direction of learning tasks

· Displays appropriate affect and emotions

· Maintains basic control of emotions.

· Is responsible for emotions and behaviors.

· May show emotional reaction, but does not lose temper or control.

· Demonstrates self-initiative and independence in learning and teaching

· Is internally motivated and directs learning sufficiently

· Displays steady emotional temperament.

· Demonstrates strong control of emotions

· Holds oneself accountable for emotions and behaviors.

· Displays a sense of humor and / or willingness to get along with others

· Is creative, resourceful and self-directed in learning and teaching

· Is highly self-motivated and self-directed

8. Collaborates effectively

· Does not relate well with others.

· Does not collaborate or consult with others.

· Shows little regard for people and their ideas.

· Does not accept suggestions and constructive feedback of others.

· Does not share information or ideas.

· Is disrespectful of peers and others.

· Impedes group goals

· Resists change and finds it difficult to move in new directions

· Relates adequately with others.

· Collaborates and consults with others.

· Accepts ideas of others.

· Accepts suggestions and constructive feedback of others.

· Shares information and ideas.

· Is able to listen to the perspectives of others.

· Facilitates group goals

· Adapts to change and develops appropriate alternate plans when necessary

· Willingly works with others to improve the overall environment

· Actively seeks out and incorporates ideas of others.

· Regularly shares information and ideas.

· Actively seeks suggestions and constructive feedback.

· Is receptive to viewpoints of others and their suggestions.

· Directs the achievement of group goals

· Embraces change as an opportunity for growth

9. Uses effective communication

· Hesitates to express self and/or expresses self in confusing ways

· Does not express thoughts ideas clearly.

· May use slang, profanity, inappropriate vocabulary or offensive language.

· May display distracting language habits.

· Fails to use active listening in conversation

· Uses incorrect grammar in oral and/or written communications

· Expresses self regularly

· Generally uses language to articulate thoughts and ideas accurately

· Communication is non-offensive and appropriate

· Can convey ideas accurately

· Uses active listening in conversation

· Usually uses correct grammar in oral and written communication

· Consistently expresses self very well

· Uses language or other modalities to articulate thoughts and ideas very clearly and effectively

· Communication is free of offensive or inappropriate language.

· Consistently uses active listening to acknowledge message of the speaker

· Uses correct grammar in oral and written communication.

10. Engages in appropriate decision-making

· Uses poor judgment and makes inappropriate decisions without consideration of consequences

· Does not engage in critical thinking.

· Does not demonstrate ability to learn through self-reflection.

· Does not evaluate the effects of actions on others

· Struggles to solve problems

· Uses sound judgment and thoughtful decision making with consideration of the consequences

· Demonstrates ability to think critically.

· Demonstrates ability to learn through self-reflection

· Evaluates the effect of actions on others

· Solves problems in constructive ways

· Uses sound judgment and thoughtful decision making with consideration of the consequences

· Regularly practices critical thinking.

· Regularly engages in learning through self-reflection.

· Anticipates the effect of possible actions on others

· Solves problems in positive and effective ways

               

Rubric adapted from University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse, Elon University, Radford University, University of Tennessee, NC Wesleyan, NC Professional Teaching Standards and NCATE


Predispositions and Dispositions

The College of Education and Allied Professions has adopted a 2-level model of dispositions seen as important in the preparation of professional educators. The foundational level we are labeling as predispositions. These are core personality traits that serve as the building blocks for derived and higher-order individual characteristics. The theoretical framework we are using is the Five Factor Model of Personality (McCrae, 2011), which posits that there are five broad, overarching personality factors that account for most of the variation in human individual differences. These are: Extraversion (versus introversion; Agreeableness (versus disagreeableness); Conscientiousness (versus undisciplined); Neuroticism (versus emotionally stable); and Open to Experience (versus close-minded and conventional). These core traits are theoretically seen as innate; while they vary in modifiability, there are limits set by genetic reaction ranges. Thus, while our Dispositional Framework focuses on the 10 identified surface level, or derived, characteristics, we are mindful that students enter the program with core traits already in place. Our model includes the measurement at the gateway of these core personality traits, followed by subsequent assessment of the 10 acquired dispositions that we strive to nurture and enhance through the professional education program. 

Predispositions Dispositions

Linkages

The figure above indicates hypothesized associations between the “Big 5”personality traits and the 10 Dispositions identified by the CEAP framework. In some cases empirical linkages already exist, and in other cases we expect to establish regression formulas that allow the Big 5 to predict outcome dispositions. For example, while Building Positive Relationships clearly reflects the Extraversion dimension of personality, it is likely that Agreeableness also contributes. Because dispositions such as Building Positive Relationships and Collaborating Effectively have been identified as key, it is reasonable to assume that the teacher education candidate may enter the gateway with innate personality characteristics that predispose them relevantly with regard to these outcome dispositions. That is, our curriculum and co-curricular experiences can likely help a student develop collaboration and relationship-building skills, assuming threshold levels of Extraversion and Agreeableness. If they are innately too low on either or both of these core traits, we may not be able to help them achieve acceptable dispositions. The same argument can be made with regard to Conscientiousness and the development of professional behaviors such as responsible behavior, trustworthiness and dependability, and good judgment. The entering student likely needs a threshold level of basic Conscientiousness if we are to achieve acceptable levels of these important dispositions throughout the training and education of the student.

This 2-level dispositional model is essentially a structure to support ongoing research and program development. We measure all students on the Big 5 at program entry, and then use the 10 dispositions for all subsequent measurements. As our database grows, we will be able to see empirically how basic traits relate to outcome dispositions and, in time, we can then move to a more effective job at the point of admissions. We may also be able to modify the teacher education program to more effectively help students to reach desired levels of dispositions.

McCrae, R. R. (2011). Personality theories for the 21 st century. Teaching of Psychology38 (3), 209-214.

Five-Factor Model of Personality

   

Lo

Hi

Extraversion

Reserved,sober, aloof, retiring

Sociable, active, talkative, optimistic

 

E1: Friendliness

Formal, reserved, distant

Like people, close attachments

 

E2: Gregariousness

Loners

Enjoy company of others

 

E3: Assertiveness

Keep in background

Dominant, forceful, ascendant

 

E4: Activity Level

Leisurely, relaxed in tempo

Rapid tempo, vigorous, busy

 

E5: Excitement-seekiing

Low need for thrills

Crave excitement and stimulation

 

E6: Cheerfulness

Less exuberant

Cheerful and optimistic

       

Agreeableness

Cynical, rude, uncooperative

Trusting, helpful, good-natured

 

A1: Trust

Skeptical, suspicious

Believe others are honest

 

A2: Morality

Willing to manipulate, lie

Frank, sincere, genuine

 

A3: Altruism

Self-centered

Generous, concerned for others

 

A4: Cooperation

Aggressive, competitive

Defers to others, cooperates

 

A5: Modesty

Arrogant, conceited

Humble, self-effacing

 

A6: Sympathy

Hard-hearted, realistic

Tender-minded

       

Conscientiousness

Careless, lazy, unreliable

Organized, reliable, hard-workiing

 

C1: Self-efficacy

Low opinion of abilities, inept

Feel well prepared, competent

 

C2: Orderliness

Disorgankized

Neat, tidy, organized

 

C3: Dutifulness

Casual conscience and morallity

Strictly ethical and principled

 

C4: Achievement-striving

Lackadaisacal, not driven

High aspirations and drive

 

C5: Self-discipline

Tend to procrastinate, quitters

Self-motivated to get job done

 

C6: Cautiousness

Hasty, snap decisions

Cautious and deliberate

       

Neuroticism

Calm, relaxed, unemotional

Worrying, nervous, emotional

 

N1: Anxiety

Calm, relaxed

Fearful, apprehensive, worrying

 

N2: Anger

Easygoing, slow to anger

Ready to experience anger

 

N3: Depression

Rarely experience depression

Prone to guilt, sadness, dejection

 

N4: Self-consciousness

Undisturbed by awkward situations

Sensitive to ridicule

 

N5: Impulsiveness

High tolerance for frustration

Desires are irresistable

 

N6: Vulnerability

Good coping

Unable to cope with stress

       

Openness to Experience

Conventional, unartistic

Curious, broad interests

 

O1: Imagination

Prosaic, keep mind on task at hand

Vivid imagination, active fantasy life

 

O2: Artistic Interests

Uninterested in art and beauty

Deep appreciation for art, poetry

 

O3: Emotionality

Blunted affect, low value for feelings

Experience deep, intense feelings

 

O4: Adventurousness

Prefer routine

Prefer novelty and variety

 

O5: Intellect

Narrow focus, low curiosity

Enjoy philosophical arguments…

 

O6: Liberalism

Accept authority, tradition, conservative

Ready to re-examine values

Professional Dispositions

- College of Education and Allied Professions

Western Carolina University 

The following dispositions are expected of all developing professionals in the College of Education and Allied Professions.

1. Students will project a positive demeanor.

- Agreeable, friendly, cheerful, optimistic, enthusiastic
- Uses positive language

2. Students will behave responsibly.

- Serves as a positive role-model
-
Accountable, prepared
- Timely, punctual, poised, presentable

3. Students will exhibit trustworthiness.

- Honest, sincere
- Dependable, reliable, predictable, consistent
- Confidential, ethical, of strong integrity

4. Students will build positive interpersonal relationships.

-
Approachable, inviting
- Caring, understanding, compassionate, warm affectionate, thoughtful
- Empowering, supportive, encouraging, nurturing, helpful, generous, altruistic
- Protective

5. Students will demonstrate cultural responsiveness.

-
Socially just, socially responsible, fair, equitable
- Open, accepting, unprejudiced, unbiased, sensitive to others
- Embraces diversity, appreciates differences, inclusive, advocates, globally aware

6. Students will be engaged learners.

-
Attentive, contributes, shows initiative, productive, participatory
- Creative, imaginative, willing to take risks, original

7. Students will demonstrate emotional and social self-control.

-
Self-directing, self-managing, self-evaluating, self-motivated
- Independent

8. Students will collaborate effectively.

-
Creates positive work conditions, builds social harmony, teams, builds rapport, democratic
- Collegial, considerate, cooperative, flexible, adaptable, receptive to feedback, willing to compromise

9. Students will use effective communication.

-
Perceptive listener, articulates clearly, takes turn

10. Students will engage in appropriate decision-making.

- Uses sound judgment / reasoning, seeks and applies wisdom, uses critical thinking, , effective problem solver, effective decision maker
- Is reflective, is questioning, considers consequences, prudent

Professional Dispositions

College of Education and Allied Professions

Western Carolina University

The following dispositions are expected of all developing professionals in the College of Education and Allied Professions.

1. Students will project a positive demeanor.

2. Students will behave responsibly.

3. Students will exhibit trustworthiness.

4. Students will build positive interpersonal relationships.

5. Students will demonstrate cultural responsiveness.

6. Students will be engaged learners.

7. Students will demonstrate emotional and social self-control.

8. Students will collaborate effectively.

9. Students will use effective communication.

10. Students will engage in appropriate decision-making.

Students who apply to or admitted to a professional development program in the College of Education and Allied Professions at WCU are expected to be informed about the above required dispositions and to display behavior demonstrating appropriate dispositions across all settings associated with their university program and field based requirements.

Should a concern regarding one or more disposition be raised by a university or field setting official, a disposition rating form will be completed to document concerns, shared with the student, and filed in the student’s electronic file. An action plan for remediation may be developed and similarly filed. Repeated documentation of dispositional concerns can result in refusal of admission to or removal from one’s program.

I understand that if I fail to adequately and consistently demonstrate these professional dispositions, my admission to a professional program in the College of Education and Allied Professions at WCU will be denied and / or revoked.

 

Printed Name ______________________________ ID# ________________

 

Signature ______________________________ Date ________________

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