Professional Dispositions Policy
The TWU Educator Preparation Program (EPP) focuses on preparing educators who respect difference, 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 National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), 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.” Prospective teachers at Texas Woman’s University are expected to develop and practice these attitudes, values, and beliefs throughout their preparation as professional educators.
Upon making application to the EPP, students will be provided a copy of the dispositions for teaching established by TWU’s Professional Education Council. An explanation of these dispositions also will be included on the College of Professional Education (COPE) and Department of Teacher Education websites, in Curriculum & Instruction course syllabi, in the EPP Student Handbook and in the Clinical Student Teacher Handbook.
Along with the EPP application, each student will submit a signed commitment contract acknowledging his/her awareness and understanding of the dispositions. Over the course of their preparation program, students will be evaluated to ensure they are upholding the standards spelled out in the dispositions for teaching policy. This policy will apply only to those students seeking teacher certification through TWU.
Professional Dispositions for Teaching
- Exhibits sound and professional judgment by following established university or public school policies when interacting with peers, students, parents, or members of the community.
- Maintains confidentiality of student records, correspondence, and conversations.
- Uses emotional and social self-control and self-determination in personal interactions.
- Demonstrates professional appearance and uses appropriate hygiene.
- Maintains and uses a professional teacher-student and teacher-parent relationship.
- Demonstrates positive attitudes toward the profession, students, parents, other educators, and support personnel.
- Demonstrates ethical behavior as defined by the profession and Texas rules and regulations (Code of Ethics and Standard Practices for Texas Educators).
- Exhibits a code of conduct that includes honesty, cooperation and integrity related to tests, assignments, interactions with TWU professors and personnel (TWU Student Code of Conduct).
- Exhibits a collaborative approach applied to seeking solutions to problems with peers, students, faculty, parents, and administration.
- Demonstrates the ability to work with diverse individuals.
- Exhibits qualities of lifelong learning through engagement in completion of course requirements, continuous professional development, and is academically prepared. Lifelong learning is a term that applies to continuing one’s education through university or community-based programs.
- Exhibits competence and professionalism in oral, written, and electronic communications.
Procedures for Assessing Dispositions
Professional Dispositions are evaluated on an ongoing basis by TWU faculty members. An educator candidate’s professional dispositions may be assessed in TWU courses related to teacher education, during any clinical field experience, and in other instructional settings associated with educator preparation. When any dispositional concerns arise, the faculty member completes a Professional Disposition Protocol Form (PDPF) according to the procedures outlined below. On the PDPF, each of the 12 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 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 form. The Director of the Office of Student Support Services (OSSS) or the Director of the Professional Development Center, if the student is in a clinical student teaching or internship course, 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 candidate in question to gauge the severity of the situation. If necessary, the OSSS 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.