Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Name

Curriculum and Instruction

Department or School/College

School of Education

Committee Chair

Matthew Schertz

Commitee Members

Lisa Blank, Bridget Clarke, Scott Hohnstein, Jean Luckowski


dispositions, moral education, teacher preparation, teacher training


University of Montana


The Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) (formerly NCATE) have stated that teacher preparation programs must enact formal processes for monitoring and assessing the essential knowledge, skills, and forty-three critical dispositions of teacher candidates. While the monitoring and assessment of knowledge and skills appears to be well understood and confidently applied, dispositions do not. This study evaluated the claim that the monitoring and assessment of dispositions are confounded by: (1) ambiguous language and a lack of explicit definition of `dispositions', and (2) that moral knowing cannot predict moral action. Ten nationally recognized teacher-preparation programs were selected from the U.S. News and World Report lists of top twenty-five institutions. A case study policy analysis was conducted through the use of applying five guiding research questions to the published institutional literature and procedures related to candidate dispositions. The research questions were: (1) How many of the forty-three InTASC dispositions were stated by each institution? (2) Does the institutional documentation define or attempt to define dispositions? (3) Do the documents attempt to make explicit what is being assessed? (4) Are the tools/mechanisms of assessment stated? (5) Do the assessment procedures endorse moral action, moral knowing, or some combination of the two? Contrary to expectations, none of the teacher preparation programs stated the forty-three InTASC dispositions verbatim. Rather, the selected programs each identified their own unique desirable candidate dispositions in their own expectational language. In some programs this language was vague and deferred to broad institutional philosophies and missions while the language of other programs was explicit, itemized, and hopefully observable. Common to the majority of programs was the use of varied qualitative and quantitative assessment measures, carried out by both student and teacher educator, at checkpoints along the preparation program. The results of this study suggest that while critical dispositions still possess ambiguous language and a confounding lack of predictability, schools of education have engaged their obligation to monitor and assess the moral/ethical composition of their candidates with confidence. Further, they have done so by tailoring their own dispositions to articulate with their broad, yet unique institutional philosophies and missions. It is suggested that efforts must be made by teacher educators to continuously evaluate program expectations and the assessment tools used to evaluate candidate dispositions.



© Copyright 2013 William Alexander Kinderwater