The trouble with dispositions: a critical examination of personal beliefs, professional commitments and actual conduct in teacher education

Ethics and Education 6 (1):41 - 52 (2011)
Abstract
In this article, I argue that the concept of disposition is often unclear in teacher education programs, sometimes referring to general personal values and beliefs, and sometimes referring to professional commitments and actions. As a result, it is unclear whether teacher education programs should focus on selecting the right kind of person, or on educating the student for a profession. I suggest that a clearer distinction should be made between predispositions (value commitments that a person may or may not act upon) and professional dispositions (characteristics attributed to a person based on actually observed actions), and that teacher education programs should focus their attention on the latter, not the former. The question is not whether student-teachers have the ?right? personal beliefs but whether, if the dispositions required by the profession are at odds with their personal beliefs, the former will override the latter
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