Student Professional Disposition - FAQ

Read more about the USF College of Educations Ethics and Conduct.

What are professional dispositions?

Professional dispositions are defined as the values, commitments, and professional ethics that influence behaviors toward students, families, colleagues, and communities and affect student learning, motivation, and development as well as the educator's own professional growth. Dispositions are guided by beliefs and attitudes related to values such as caring, fairness, honesty, responsibility, and social justice. For example, they might include a belief that all students can, learn a vision of high and challenging standards, or make a commitment to a safe and supportive learning environment (NCATE, 2002).

Visit the Florida Department of Education's website for more information about the Code of Ethics & Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida.

Why are dispositions important?

Research shows that the attributes of the classroom teacher significantly affect how well students learn. "Recently it has become clear that the quality of the education our children receive depends directly upon the quality of the teachers in our schools. Parents, teachers, educators, and researchers agree that effective teaching happens when the teachers thoroughly know their subjects, have significant teaching skills and possess dispositions that foster growth and learning in students" (Wasicsko, 2002).

The National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) has mandated that NCATE accredited colleges of education must assess teacher candidates' professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn.

Why do professional dispositions need to be assessed and when will it happen?

The College of Education is responsible for preparing candidates who have the required knowledge, skills, and dispositions to become effective teachers. Therefore, your initial licensure program will prepare you to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions expected of beginning teachers. Faculty and school personnel will evaluate you at various points in the program and provide you with feedback about your progress.

All students in educator preparation programs will sign an agreement outlining the expected dispositions. Signing this agreement will indicate that you understand the importance of acting professionally at all times, as you are a role model to your students.

Throughout your program, your disposition will be assessed by instructors, faculty members, university supervisors, and collaborating teachers. If at any time it is noticed that you are exhibiting problematic behavior, you may be asked to attend a Professional Standards Committee meeting to address that behavior.