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Measuring Teacher Dispositions: Standards-Based or Morality-Based?


by Judy R. Wilkerson — April 20, 2006

Colleges of education nationally are attempting to sort out the requirements for measuring teacher dispositions to meet NCATE accreditation requirements, which are ambiguous and confusing. There is little recognition of the fact that Bloom and Krathwohl long ago defined the cognitive and affective domains as being different; yet, most attempts to measure dispositions do so informally as part of the overall assessment of cognitive knowledge and skills, often hoping that dispositional deficits will “leak out.” This commentary reacts to a recent court decision in New York that points toward the potentially disastrous effects of failing to attend to proper affective assessment in terms of an institution’s ability to counsel out teacher candidates who may harm children—literally. In this court decision, a student was reinstated in a college of education after expressing his belief in corporal punishment. Appropriate affective assessment techniques, as documented in the literature, and the need for validity and reliability are discussed.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: April 20, 2006
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12493, Date Accessed: 9/2/2014 12:45:32 PM

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About the Author
  • Judy Wilkerson
    University of South Florida St. Petersburg
    E-mail Author
    JUDY R. WILKERSON is an Assistant Professor of Educational Measurement and Research at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Her primary research interests are in the area of measurement and evaluation, including the standards-based assessment of teacher skills and dispositions. Along with her colleague, William Steve Lang, she has developed two five-step models for designing these assessments, with one in press and one under review by Corwin Press.
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