Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Chronicle covers dispositions 

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a longish piece (temp, or here if you're a subscriber) on the use of "dispositions theory" in teacher education. Here are the opening paragraphs; you are encouraged to read the whole thing.

Partway through her teacher-training program, Karen K. Siegfried started pulling her red compact car to the far end of the campus parking lot. She didn't want her professors at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks to see her bumper stickers: One proclaims her opposition to abortion, and the other is emblazoned with the name of one of Alaska's Republican senators.

"It worried me what they could do based on my politics," says Ms. Siegfried, who had already clashed with education professors over her views on affirmative action and gun control. When Ms. Siegfried disagreed with one professor's contention that video games make children violent, she says, the professor told her: "We don't need that kind of attitude."

Although she earned a 3.75 grade-point average in the one-year program, Ms. Siegfried says her professors told her last spring that she lacked the "professional disposition" necessary to be a good teacher. She was inflexible, they said, and wasn't open to new ideas or responsive to other cultures. Ms. Siegfried left the teacher-training program, she says, before her professors could show her the door.

Although in teacher ed around here a 3.75 is barely above average, it might be a good bit higher at UAF. h/t: reader jw.

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