Relationship between preservice teachers' dispositions and teaching performance



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Good teaching is said to be one of the most important factors in student achievement, but the specific characteristics that make up effective teaching are difficult to measure and remain a matter of debate. The construct of teacher dispositions has been suggested to influence a teacher’s effectiveness. Some researchers and policy influencers believe that a teacher may have the necessary knowledge and skills to demonstrate effective, quality teaching, but unless they have certain dispositions, they may not activate or utilize the necessary knowledge and skills to teach effectively. Even though teacher education programs are currently required by accrediting bodies to assess teacher candidates’ dispositions, there is still a need within the literature for evidence to determine a relationship between teachers’ dispositions and their teaching quality and performance. Upon examination of the literature, while there was a large amount of information written about dispositions in the educational literature, research examining relationships between teacher dispositions and teaching performance was lacking. The purpose of this study was to add to the research base related to teaching dispositions and examine relationships between the preservice teacher dispositions and their teaching performance.
Stepwise multiple regression was conducted to evaluate whether preservice teacher dispositions would be found to be significantly correlated to their teaching performance. Results from this study indicate that within the sample, there are small but significant relationships among the dispositions of preservice teachers and their teaching performance. Three out of ten disposition indicators (Fallibility, Explains Teacher Success, Values Student Learning), as measured by the Star Teacher PreScreener (Haberman 1993, 1995), were significantly correlated with preservice teachers’ student-teaching performance scores, as measured using the Big 6 TAP Indicators Rubric. Bivariate correlation coefficients range from .127 to .191. In general these results suggest that the more preservice teachers possess dispositions related to these variables, the higher is their observed student-teaching performance, or competency, as judged by university site coordinators. Due to the correlational nature of this study the results should be viewed with caution; however, the findings provide some support to the idea that teacher dispositions are related to teacher effectiveness. Implications to the field of teacher education are discussed.



Teacher Dispositions, Correlation Design, Preservice Teachers, Student Teaching, Teacher Education, Teaching Competency