Professional Dispositions Policy
The TWU Educator Preparation Program (EPP) focuses on preparing educators who respect differences, celebrate diversity, and demonstrate the requisite skills, knowledge, and dispositions expected of a professional in fostering student-centered learning environments.
Dispositions are a vital component of teacher preparation. According to the InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards and Learning Progressions for Teachers (2013), they are defined as the “professional attitudes, values, and beliefs demonstrated through both verbal and non-verbal behaviors as educators interact with students, families, colleagues, and communities. These positive behaviors support student learning and development.” (p.6) Prospective educators at Texas Woman’s University are expected to develop and practice these attitudes, values, and beliefs throughout their preparation as professional educators.
Upon applying to the EPP, candidates will receive a copy of the dispositions for educators established by TWU’s Council for Educator Preparation. An explanation of these dispositions can be located on the College of Professional Education (COPE) and Department of Teacher Education websites, in Curriculum & Instruction (i.e., EDUC) course syllabi, in the EPP Student Handbooks and in the Clinical Student Teacher Handbook.
As part of the EPP application process, each candidate will submit a signed commitment contract acknowledging awareness and understanding of the dispositions. Over the course of their preparation program, candidates will be evaluated to ensure they are upholding the standards in the dispositions policy. This policy will apply only to those candidates seeking educator certification through TWU.
Professional Dispositions for Teaching
- Adherence to established program, department, college, university, and public school policies
- Competence and professionalism in all oral, written and electronic interactions
- The ability to solicit, accept, and learn from feedback
- The ability to collaborate productively, respectfully, and effectively with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds
- Responsibility for their own learning and that of their students
- Professional appearance at all times
- Professional demeanor (e.g., remain poised and confident; communicate calmly and respectfully)
- Professional relationships with students and all stakeholders in and out of the classroom
Procedures for Assessing Dispositions
Professional Dispositions are evaluated on an ongoing basis by TWU faculty and staff members. An educator candidate’s professional dispositions may be assessed in TWU courses related to educator preparation coursework, during any clinical field experience, and in other instructional settings associated with educator preparation. When any dispositional concerns arise, the faculty or staff member completes a Professional Disposition Protocol Form (PDPF) according to the procedures outlined below. On the PDPF, each of the eight dispositional criteria is evaluated using a four-point rubric (i.e., unacceptable, below standard, meets standard, exceeds standard). Depending on the nature of the dispositional concern, a range of options, including removal from the educator preparation program (EPP), may be considered. The instructor, staff member, or field supervisor identifying a deficiency or behavior inconsistent with established dispositions for teaching will follow these procedures:
- To address an unacceptable disposition, the faculty member will submit a PDPF using this process. If the candidate is in a clinical student teaching or internship course, the Director of the Office of Educator Preparation Services (OEPS) will receive the PDPF and request other faculty members (i.e., candidate’s advisor, other instructors who currently have the candidate in class) to assess the severity of the situation. If necessary, the OEPS Director may convene the Professional Disposition Review Committee (PDRC). The Associate Dean for the College of Professional Education (COPE) will communicate the Committee’s decision to the candidate’s faculty advisor if the faculty advisor is not present at the PDRC meeting.
- Within ten (10) days after the PDPF is filed, the PDRC will develop a Professional Disposition Improvement Plan (PDIP) to identify strategies for improving the candidate’s disposition(s). The plan will include clear expectations and a timeline. If the candidate agrees with the report, meets the outcomes in the PDIP, and secures approval from his or her faculty advisor, he or she may proceed in the program.
- If the candidate does not agree with the PDIP, he or she may file an appeal with the EPP within ten (10) class days after the PDPF is filed. The candidate will have the opportunity to explain his or her position and provide additional relevant information. Additional faculty, staff, or school personnel may be asked to provide information related to the observed behavior. Based on the appeal, the Associate Dean for the COPE will either support or reverse the written decision.
- If a satisfactory resolution still is not reached, candidates may appeal to the Dean of the COPE.
Note: If a candidate exhibits a dangerous, criminal, or severely inappropriate behavior, the PDIF will be waived, and the candidate (after the appropriate due process) may be dismissed from the program. Documentation of all meeting content, including any written agreements or action plans, will be placed in the candidate’s file. Each attendee may request a copy if needed.
Page last updated 2:19 PM, August 6, 2019