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  1. Challenges of Integrating Dispositions into the Curriculum Teresa Freking (tafreking@eiu.edu) & Dawn Paulson (dmpaulson@eiu.edu) Eastern Illinois University November 2007 Sixth Annual Symposium on Educator Dispositions

  2. Session Goals • This session focuses on the challenges of integrating dispositions into all levels of teacher education. • We invite you to share your own challenges and ideas during the session.

  3. Introduction • Primary focus tends to be on assessing dispositions, yet incorporating dispositions into the curriculum is equally important. • Our session focuses on current efforts to integrate dispositions into a fairly large teacher education program (3000+)

  4. Current State of Dispositions at EIU • Our goal is to have all faculty, students and partners speak the same language of dispositions. • Our challenge is how to integrate dispositions into all programs in a sequential manner at all levels.

  5. Brief History • Two years ago there were no clearly articulated dispositions in our programs • Assessments included dispositional items, but were not identified as such • A Dispositions Committee was formed in 2005 • Piloted integration of dispositions into two introductory level courses • Created dispositional framework of College identifying five major dispositional areas

  6. EIU’s Dispositional Areas • Interaction with Students (IWS) • Professional Ethics and Practices (PEP) • Effective Communication (EC) • Planning and Teaching for Student Learning (PTSL) • Sensitivity to Diversity and Equity (SDE)

  7. Curriculum Considerations • Three general certification areas: Elementary Special Ed Secondary Ed • Four sequential tiers: • 1 2 3 4 • Introductory Pre-Methods/ Specific Methods Student Teaching • Course Gen Methods

  8. Introductory Course • Six introductory courses (offered in six different departments in three different colleges) • Dispositions curriculum has been piloted in two of the six courses in the past two years

  9. Curriculum Focusof Introductory Course • Introduction to dispositions in general • Introduction to our College dispositions framework • Introduction to dispositional expectations regarding professional practices and interactions with students • Identification of effective teacher dispositions • Identification/analysis of dispositions in others • Explanation of how dispositions will be assessed in teacher candidates • Self-evaluation of own dispositions

  10. Assignmentsin Introductory Course • Favorite Teacher Letter • Human Relations Incident Essay • Human Relations Incident Analyses • Teacher Panel Dispositions Identification • Field Experience Performance (PEP & IWS) • Field Experience Analysis (of effective dispositions) • Capstone self-evaluation paper

  11. Pre-Methods/General Methods Courses • Includes various courses before the major specialty methods course(s) • Curriculum piloted in three courses up to this point

  12. Curriculum Focusof Pre-Methods/General Methods Courses • Review of dispositions • Review of dispositional expectations regarding professional ethics and practices and interactions with students • Address dispositions related to effective communication • Introduction to dispositions regarding planning and teaching for student learning and sensitivity to diversity and equity

  13. Assignmentsin Pre-Methods/General Methods Courses • Podcast response: Professional Practices (PEP)* • Podcast response: Communicating with Colleagues (EC)* • Written Report: Communicating with Families (EC)* • Letter to Family Members (EC)* • Class Newsletter or Website (EC)* • Lesson Plan (using variety of teaching strategies) (PTSL) • Video Response: Learning Disabilities (SDE) • Lesson Plan & Assessment Adaptations (SDE) • Portfolio Identification and Reflection on Dispositions (All) * See handout entitled Effective Communication for a module that addresses these assignments.

  14. Effective Communication Example • Created a module designed to teach the knowledge, skills and dispositions of effective communication (see attached handout) - Assignment 1- Knowledge - Assignments 2 and 3 – Dispositions (Podcast) - Assignments 4 and 5 – Skills

  15. Report Excerpt #1 • The first parent that I interviewed told me about a teacher that would give study guides to her son and she would personally help him complete the study guide. He would know all of the material and was prepared for the tests, but the tests did not coincide with the study guides. When the student came home with a failing grade, his mom called the teacher to ask what the problem was.

  16. Continued The teacher said “My classes are like gardens, most of my students are weeds and occasionally I get a flower.” This teacher obviously had the disposition that not all of his students were capable of learning. It is important for teachers to want ALL of their students to learn and not just a select few so called “flowers”.

  17. Report Excerpt #2 • The second parent I talked to was Kelly Jones. One of the main teacher dispositions she mentioned was the need for a teacher to believe that students need more than just book work to learn, that they are whole and complex persons. She said, “When a teacher would take the time to actually talk to Mike about what was going on for him outside of class, that’s when I knew that they were concerned about him as a whole person, not just a brain to fill with facts.”

  18. Report Excerpt #3 • Guardians and teachers need to work together as a unit, using communication and a plan to put the interests of the student in the forefront. If a teacher has the dispositions that all students should be educated, diversified instruction is the key and love of their career is a must, then putting the student’s interests into the heart of their instruction should be no problem at all. These dispositions are the center of the key relationships between student, guardian and teacher.

  19. Conclusion • Integrating dispositions throughout all areas of our College has been one of our biggest challenges to date. • Sequencing dispositions to build on previous learning have been another issue we have faced.