ERIC Number: EJ1048266
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
Intelligent Dispositions: Dewey, Habits and Inquiry in Teacher Education
Nelsen, Peter J.
Journal of Teacher Education, v66 n1 p86-97 Jan-Feb 2015
Despite much debate in the literature, accrediting agencies continue to require that teacher education programs demonstrate that candidates possess requisite sets of dispositions deemed necessary for licensure. At least three unresolved and important questions remain unanswered that directly affect programs' abilities to do so: Are dispositions immutable aspects of character or are they learned through experience and as such, are they subject to revision through education? How does the larger context of a program affect the development of dispositions? What is the link between observable actions and dispositions? While seemingly disparate questions, this article argues that John Dewey's discussion of habits offers a theoretical framework that points to answers that respond to mandates and also open avenues for complex educational engagement. To make the case, the article presents a theoretical response to questions about dispositions grounded in Dewey's conception of habits and then uses that conception to address each of the three proceeding questions in turn. The article's central argument is that teacher educators should conceptualize dispositions as being comprised of clusters of habits. Habits describe our "predispositions to draw upon modes of response to situations and problems that arise within specific contexts." Furthermore, the article concludes that regardless of the type of disposition involved, teacher education programs must create contexts that encourage the development of "intelligent habits" to inform "intelligent dispositions."
Descriptors: Teacher Education Programs, Teacher Characteristics, Teacher Competencies, Teacher Certification, Role of Education, Educational Philosophy, Teacher Educators, Personality Traits
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A