Dispositions for Educators

A student teaching candidate can have excellent content knowledge, but if he/she does not display positive dispositions for successful teaching and learning, the candidate will not be successful in the profession of teaching.

Dispositions are the attitudes, perceptions or beliefs that form the basis for behavior. Many dispositional concerns can be remediated by documenting and discussing the behavior with the student.

For this purpose, make use of the Eastern Illinois University Teacher Education Disposition Referral/Documentation Form. This form can be quickly filled out online and printed off for conference with the student. The original is sent to the associate dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies, while a copy is sent to department chair of the student's chosen major.

If the behavior is not satisfactorily addressed, or is of a severity that further action is necessary, the dispositional referral procedure may be implemented. Some actions, such as academic dishonesty or legal concerns, should be referred directly to the Office of Student Standards.

Disposition Framework

The disposition framework for Eastern Illinois University encompasses five dispositional areas:

Interaction With Students (IWS)
Interaction with students encompasses those behaviors that evidence the candidate’s regard for the learners. These include acts of fairness, respectful tone of voice, positive use of humor, and interest in students as individuals. In addition, candidates should evidence a supportive and encouraging atmosphere for learning through their interactions with students.
Professional Ethics and Practices (PEP)
Professional ethics and practices are often the most easily observed of the dis-positional behaviors. Respect for the professional environment is evidenced through acceptable dress and grooming, and timeliness, not only in arrival and departure, but in completion of tasks. Appropriate use of language, academic integrity and honesty, and the ability to keep professional confidences are in this dis positional category.
Effective Communication (EC)
Easily identified as a skill domain, effective communication within a dis-positional framework refers to one’s regard for honest, fair, and accurate communication. Effective communication encompasses the belief that teachers must model effective communication for their students. Honorable and non-judgmental professional discourse, especially in relation to the candidate’s progress, is essential for growth. Effective communication considers the audience as well as the message.
Planning and Teaching for Student Learning (PTSL)
Planning and teaching for student learning in the dis-positional arena refers to the beliefs about student learning, the ability of all students to learn, and how these are evidenced in the acts of planning and teaching. Positive dispositions in this area are reflected in rich and varied teaching approaches.
Sensitivity to Diversity and Equity (SDE)
Sensitivity to diversity and equity goes beyond the acknowledgment or awareness of differences in the classroom or community. A positive disposition in this area may be evidenced by seeking out alternative materials, careful use of appropriate language and naming, equal disbursement of resources, a sense of fairness, and a lack of ethnocentric or gender-specific generalizations.