Student Dispositions and Commitments to Teaching
This site is for faculty concerning the student disposition projects initially introduced in CI 295.
CI 295 Paper Assignments
CI 295 intends to offer a variety of experiences (readings, discussions, field trips, tutoring, activities, assignments, etc.) that will inform (a) your decision to enter the profession (and to “declare” education as your “major”) and (b) what you believe about teaching, schooling, learning, and more.
Throughout the semester, we will be providing you with opportunities (in the form of 3 papers as well as in class activities and discussions) that will serve as “check-ins”—opportunities for you to take stock of what you’ve seen, heard, and engaged in and then to “report.” We understand these “check-ins” to be always reflective (you will always offer reflections on experiences, either present or past), sometimes summative (sometimes we’ll ask that you summarize your thoughts, reflections—following a specific experience—while making connections among experiences), and finally declarative (at the end of the semester, your third and final paper will include your declaration of what you’ve learned and what you believe about teaching.
In Paper #1, please address the following questions:
(1) Who are you as a learner?
Please address HOW you learn (the conditions necessary for your learning, ex. the need for a patient “teacher,” quiet, etc.) and what qualities describe you as a learner (ex. persistent, eager, etc.).
(2) How is your description of yourself as a learner related to who you believe you might become as a teacher?
Said differently, if you believe that you require opportunities to experiment, to try and fail, etc. in order to learn, then you may believe that as a teacher you will create learning environments where children/young people can engage in “hands-on” learning or cooperative learning, etc. Alternatively, you may describe yourself as a learner who is easily frustrated. You might then believe that learning requires frustration and as a teacher you’d build into your teaching opportunities for children/young people to become frustrated. [You might actually find NO relationship between yourself as a learner and who you believe you might become as a teacher. Though this scenario is difficult to believe, simply offer an explanation to justify your thinking.
The length of the paper should be 2-3 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font, 1in margin. PLEASE PRINT ON BOTH SIDES OF THE PAPER. Please submit a paper copy of your Paper #1 in class during Week #2.
Point value = 10 pts.
At this point in the semester, you’ve nearly completed your “introductory field experiences” having taken 2 all-day field trips to schools as well as nearly completing a 2-hour, weekly tutoring/volunteer experience intended to provide you with a consistent opportunity to “learn about learning and learners.”
Believing that these course-related experiences (in addition to prior experiences to be sure) are informing your beliefs about learning, learners, the profession of education, schools, teachers and teaching, etc., you’re now in a position to analyze actual “belief statements” that exist within the profession. These belief statements (also known as a “code of ethics” or “disposition statement” or a “code of conduct”) are declarations (by institutions such as a school or by a profession) that explicitly or implicitly express what is most valued and what is held as the standards of excellence.
In your packet of readings, you will find 4 examples of these “belief statements” selected by our College of Education faculty for your consideration. In preparation for our Week #12 (Unlearning Lesson #7) class meeting, please read all 4 of these statements. You will be asked to work individually and in small groups during class to analyze these statements—comparing and contrasting, identifying contradictions, discerning overarching commitments, etc.
Following our class activity, your task in Paper #2 is to address the following:
(1) What are the principles (or beliefs or values or dispositions, etc.) to which YOU—as a teacher—will commit yourself and your teaching?
An example of one principle might be “I will commit myself to the promotion of inquiry, to asking questions, to supporting children/young people in their quest for understanding.” You would then elaborate on what such a principle would “look like”—when practiced—in an actual classroom.
(2) What evidence (from the entire range of your life/student experiences) can you site in support of your commitment to these principles?
Using the example provided in (1), you might provide evidence in the form of a story about the positive effects you’ve experienced in your own educational path when allowed to raise questions and to seek understanding. You would provide a description of how this experience has informed your commitment to this principle as one (among others) of your highest “standards” of teaching excellence.
The length of the paper should be 2-3 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font, 1 in. margin. Please submit to ANGEL dropbox NO LATER THAN Sunday, April 12 at 12 midnight.
Point value = 10 pts.
On several occasions you have been asked to “check-in” with yourself, to occasionally share your revelations with others (your peers and your instructor), and to complete these “check-ins” in a variety of ways (papers, in-class discussions, etc.). Paper #3 is your final opportunity to “check-in.” Yet, this grande finale will be something more—a summary of what you have learned and what you have come to believe about teaching, learning, education, learners over the course of the last 15 weeks.
In preparation for Paper #3, please re-read ALL of your “tutoring reflections” and ALL OTHER MATERIALS generated during CI 295 (journal entries, field tasks, in-class writings, etc.). These written reflections and responses provide you a “looking glass”—a way to “see” who you are and who you are becoming on your path to becoming a professional educator. Look carefully. Open yourself to learning something you didn’t already know. Expect to be surprised. Then, summarize what you’ve discovered.
In Paper #3, please address the following questions:
(1) What have you learned about learning, teaching, learners, education, etc. this semester? Be sure to explain WHAT you’ve learned, HOW you have come to this learning, and the MEANING or SIGNIFICANCE of this learning to you.
For example, you might say that you have learned that teaching—if it is to be “authentic”—requires honesty. You might continue with an explanation that authentic teaching requires that the teacher be honest with herself about what outcomes she’s truly achieved, with her students in that they will ultimately not learn from someone whom they deem as dishonest, and with colleagues/parents/administrators IF all intend to work together for the benefit of children/young people. Next, explain HOW you have come to this “learning”—by observing an interaction between a teacher and young boy during a field trip to an elementary school (you may wish to provide more details about the interaction). Finally, you would explain why honesty has become significant to you as you contemplate your own future within the profession.
Please include a minimum of 3 examples of your learning.
(2) What does your response to (1) say about who you are now and who you are becoming as a teacher? In other words, this second question is asking that you reflect upon your reflections.
The responses you provide in (1) will inevitably reveal much about you. For instance, they might reveal that you have found your calling, the path most true to who you are because you find the practice of reflection so easy. In contrast, your responses may reveal that education is not the path meant for you to walk in that you “see” that others’ learning is not as important to you as it must be in order to be a successful educator. Lots of discoveries are likely to emerge—without “forcing” them or without saying something that isn’t your deepest truth at this moment.
The length of the paper should be 3-4 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font, 1in margin. PLEASE PRINT ON BOTH SIDES OF THE PAPER. Please submit a paper copy of your Paper #3 in class during our final class meeting. Each instructor will provide you with details about how your paper, once read and scored, will become available to you for return.
Point value = 15 pts.
Professional Disposition Statements
Pennsylvania Code of Conduct for Educators
The Professional Standards and Practices Commission is committed to providing leadership for improving the quality of education in this Commonwealth by establishing high standards for preparation, certification, practice and ethical conduct in the teaching profession.
(a) Professional conduct defines interactions between the individual educator and students, the employing agencies and other professionals. Generally, the responsibility for professional conduct rests with the individual professional educator. However, in this Commonwealth, a Code of Professional Practice and Conduct (Code) for certificated educators is required by statute and violation of specified sections of the Code may constitute a basis for public or private reprimand. Violations of the Code may also be used as supporting evidence, though may not constitute an independent basis, for the suspension or revocation of a certificate. The Professional Standards and Practices Commission (PSPC) was charged by the act of December 12, 1973 (P. L. 397, No. 141) (24 P. S. § § 12-1251—12-1268), known as the Teacher Certification Law, with adopting a Code by July 1, 1991. See 24 P. S. § 12-1255(a)(10).
(b) This chapter makes explicit the values of the education profession. When individuals become educators in this Commonwealth, they make a moral commitment to uphold these values.
(a) Professional educators in this Commonwealth believe that the quality of their services directly influences the Nation and its citizens. Professional educators recognize their obligation to provide services and to conduct themselves in a manner which places the highest esteem on human rights and dignity. Professional educators seek to ensure that every student receives the highest quality of service and that every professional maintains a high level of competence from entry through ongoing professional development. Professional educators are responsible for the development of sound educational policy and obligated to implement that policy and its programs to the public.
(b) Professional educators recognize their primary responsibility to the student and the development of the student’s potential. Central to that development is the professional educator’s valuing the worth and dignity of every person, student and colleague alike; the pursuit of truth; devotion to excellence; acquisition of knowledge; and democratic principles. To those ends, the educator engages in continuing professional development and keeps current with research and technology. Educators encourage and support the use of resources that best serve the interests and needs of students. Within the context of professional excellence, the educator and student together explore the challenge and the dignity of the human experience.
(a) Professional practices are behaviors and attitudes that are based on a set of values that the professional education community believes and accepts. These values are evidenced by the professional educator’s conduct toward students and colleagues, and the educator’s employer and community. When teacher candidates become professional educators in this Commonwealth, they are expected to abide by this section. (b) Professional educators are expected to abide by the following:
- Professional educators shall abide by the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. § § 1-101—27-2702), other school laws of the Commonwealth, sections 1201(a)(1), (2) and (4) and (b)(1), (2) and (4) of the Public Employe Relations Act (43 P. S. § § 1101.1201(a)(1), (2) and (4) and (b)(1), (2) and (4)) and this chapter.
- Professional educators shall be prepared, and legally certified, in their areas of assignment. Educators may not be assigned or willingly accept assignments they are not certified to fulfill. Educators may be assigned to or accept assignments outside their certification area on a temporary, short-term, emergency basis. Examples: a teacher certified in English filling in a class period for a physical education teacher who has that day become ill; a substitute teacher certified in elementary education employed as a librarian for several days until the district can locate and employ a permanent substitute teacher certified in library science.
- Professional educators shall maintain high levels of competence throughout their careers.
- Professional educators shall exhibit consistent and equitable treatment of students, fellow educators and parents. They shall respect the civil rights of all and not discriminate on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, culture, religion, sex or sexual orientation, marital status, age, political beliefs, socioeconomic status, disabling condition or vocational interest. This list of bases or discrimination is not all-inclusive.
- Professional educators shall accept the value of diversity in educational practice. Diversity requires educators to have a range of methodologies and to request the necessary tools for effective teaching and learning.
- Professional educators shall impart to their students principles of good citizenship and societal responsibility.
- Professional educators shall exhibit acceptable and professional language and communication skills. Their verbal and written communications with parents, students and staff shall reflect sensitivity to the fundamental human rights of dignity, privacy and respect.
- Professional educators shall be open-minded, knowledgeable and use appropriate judgment and communication skills when responding to an issue within the educational environment.
- Professional educators shall keep in confidence information obtained in confidence in the course of professional service unless required to be disclosed by law or by clear and compelling professional necessity as determined by the professional educator.
- Professional educators shall exert reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions which interfere with learning or are harmful to the student’s health and safety.
Individual professional conduct reflects upon the practices, values, integrity and reputation of the profession. Violation of § § 235.6—235.11 may constitute an independent basis for private or public reprimand, and may be used as supporting evidence in cases of certification suspension and revocation.
(a) The professional educator may not engage in conduct prohibited by the act of December 12, 1973 (P. L. 397, No. 141) (24 P. S. § § 12-1251—12-1268), known as the Teacher Certification Law.
(b) The professional educator may not engage in conduct prohibited by:
- The Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. § § 1-101—27-2702) and other laws relating to the schools or the education of children.
- The applicable laws of the Commonwealth establishing ethics of public officials and public employes, including the act of October 4, 1978 (P. L. 883, No. 170) (65 P. S. § § 401—413), known as the Public Official and Employee Ethics Law.
(c) Violation of subsection (b) shall have been found to exist by an agency of proper jurisdiction to be considered an independent basis for discipline.
The professional educator may not:
- Accept employment, when not properly certificated, in a position for which certification is required.
- Assist entry into or continuance in the education profession of an unqualified person.
- Employ, or recommend for employment, a person who is not certificated appropriately for the position.
The professional educator may not:
- Discriminate on the basis of race, National or ethnic origin, culture, religion, sex or sexual orientation, marital status,
- age, political beliefs, socioeconomic status; disabling condition or vocational interest against a student or fellow professional. This list of bases of discrimination is not all-inclusive. This discrimination shall be found to exist by an agency of proper jurisdiction to be considered an independent basis for discipline.
- Interfere with a student’s or colleague’s exercise of political and civil rights and responsibilities.
The professional educator may not:
- Accept gratuities, gifts or favors that might impair or appear to impair professional judgment.
- Exploit a professional relationship for personal gain or advantage.
The professional educator may not:
- Knowingly and intentionally distort or misrepresent evaluations of students.
- Knowingly and intentionally misrepresent subject matter or curriculum.
- Sexually harass or engage in sexual relationships with students.
- Knowingly and intentionally withhold evidence from the proper authorities about violations of the legal obligations as defined within this section.
The professional educator may not:
- Knowingly and intentionally deny or impede a colleague in the exercise or enjoyment of a professional right or privilege in being an educator.
- Knowingly and intentionally distort evaluations of colleagues.
- Sexually harass a fellow employee.
- Use coercive means or promise special treatment to influence professional decisions of colleagues.
- Threaten, coerce or discriminate against a colleague who in good faith reports or discloses to a governing agency actual or suspected violations of law, agency regulations or standards.
The Code of Professional Practice and Conduct for Educators can be found at 22 Pa. Code §§235.1 - 235.11.
All questions should be directed to the Professional Standards and Practices Commission at (717) 787-6576.
National Education Association Code of Ethics of the Education Profession
The educator, believing in the worth and dignity of each human being, recognizes the supreme importance of the pursuit of truth, devotion to excellence, and the nurture of the democratic principles. Essential to these goals is the protection of freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal educational opportunity for all. The educator accepts the responsibility to adhere to the highest ethical standards.
The educator recognizes the magnitude of the responsibility inherent in the teaching process. The desire for the respect and confidence of one's colleagues, of students, of parents, and of the members of the community provides the incentive to attain and maintain the highest possible degree of ethical conduct. The Code of Ethics of the Education Profession indicates the aspiration of all educators and provides standards by which to judge conduct.
The remedies specified by the NEA and/or its affiliates for the violation of any provision of this Code shall be exclusive and no such provision shall be enforceable in any form other than the one specifically designated by the NEA or its affiliates.
The educator strives to help each student realize his or her potential as a worthy and effective member of society. The educator therefore works to stimulate the spirit of inquiry, the acquisition of knowledge and understanding, and the thoughtful formulation of worthy goals.
In fulfillment of the obligation to the student, the educator--
1. Shall not unreasonably restrain the student from independent action in the pursuit of learning.
2. Shall not unreasonably deny the student's access to varying points of view.
3. Shall not deliberately suppress or distort subject matter relevant to the student's progress.
4. Shall make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions harmful to learning or to health and safety.
5. Shall not intentionally expose the student to embarrassment or disparagement.
6. Shall not on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, marital status, political or religious beliefs, family, social or cultural background, or sexual orientation, unfairly--
a. Exclude any student from participation in any program
b. Deny benefits to any student
c. Grant any advantage to any student
7. Shall not use professional relationships with students for private advantage.
8. Shall not disclose information about students obtained in the course of professional service unless disclosure serves a compelling professional purpose or is required by law.
The education profession is vested by the public with a trust and responsibility requiring the highest ideals of professional service.
In the belief that the quality of the services of the education profession directly influences the nation and its citizens, the educator shall exert every effort to raise professional standards, to promote a climate that encourages the exercise of professional judgment, to achieve conditions that attract persons worthy of the trust to careers in education, and to assist in preventing the practice of the profession by unqualified persons.
In fulfillment of the obligation to the profession, the educator—
- Shall not in an application for a professional position deliberately make a false statement or fail to disclose a material fact related to competency and qualifications.
- Shall not misrepresent his/her professional qualifications.
- Shall not assist any entry into the profession of a person known to be unqualified in respect to character, education, or other relevant attribute.
- Shall not knowingly make a false statement concerning the qualifications of a candidate for a professional position.
- Shall not assist a noneducator in the unauthorized practice of teaching.
- 6. Shall not disclose information about colleagues obtained in the course of professional service unless disclosure serves a compelling professional purpose or is required by law.
- Shall not knowingly make false or malicious statements about a colleague.
- Shall not accept any gratuity, gift, or favor that might impair or appear to influence professional decisions or action.
North Carolina State University - Teacher Candidate Dispositions Awareness
- Actively seeks resources to expand his/her content and pedagogical knowledge
- Engages in continuous learning through participation in professional development opportunities
- Strives for quality work that is accurate, thoughtful, and technically correct
- Commits to teaching all students
- Maintains confidentiality
- Interacts appropriately with students and their families, peers, faculty, administrators, and external audiences
- Exhibits professional demeanor (timeliness, attendance, attire, attitudes) in university and school settings
- Adheres to federal and state school law, district, and building policies
- Uses district approved discipline methods for all students
- Collaborates productively with peers and faculty and assumes responsibility in those activities
- Accepts and uses constructive feedback to make modification
- Uses self-evaluation to improve performance
- Seeks feedback from peers and faculty to improve performance
- Respects students, peers, and faculty members as individuals and as members of identified groups
- Commits to diverse and inclusive learning environments
- Promotes the success of all students
- Incorporates researched-based instructional practice into classroom practice
- Considers critical questions regarding teaching and learning before, during and after lesson and unit implementation
- Uses knowledge to advocate for students and work with their families
Form can be accessed here. Used with permission