Disposing of teachers' beliefs

K.C. Johnson of Brooklyn College, writing on a National Association of Scholars forum, points out teachers’ colleges are authorized to evaluate prospective teachers on their “knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn” by the National Council for Accreditation in Teacher Education (NCATE).

In its 2000 statement of standards, NCATE defined dispositions as “the values, commitments, and professional ethics that influence behaviors towards students, families, colleagues, and communities and affect student learning, motivation, and development as well as the educator’s own professional growth.” By 2002, the national accrediting agency was also mentioning a new definition: requiring would-be teachers to hold a prescribed set of beliefs on issues that the education school or department deems important — such as a commitment to diversity or social justice.

“For example,” the accrediting agency’s 2002 assessment document noted, if an education department has “indicated that a commitment to social justice is one disposition it expects of teachers who can become agents of change, then it is expected that unit assessments include some measure of a candidate’s commitment to social justice.”

To repeat: the national accrediting agency for education schools and departments has said that it’s acceptable for prospective public school teachers to be evaluated on the basis of their political beliefs.

That explains why Le Moyne College’s dean of education felt justified in dismissing a master’s student who supports corporal punishment, citing a “mismatch between your personal beliefs regarding teaching and learning and the Le Moyne College program goals.”

Via Instructivist.

Quincy is asking, What is a teacher?

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