The Dispositions in Action of Lateral Entry and Traditionally Certified Elementary Teachers in North Carolina.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
R. Lane Wesson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Barbara Levin

Abstract: This case study examined the dispositions in action of alternatively certified (lateral entry) and traditionally certified elementary teachers in North Carolina and how those dispositions manifest in the classroom as revealed through teacher and administrator interviews, teacher card sorts, analysis of student products, and prolonged classroom observations. Dispositional manifestation was measured using the Dispositions in Action Instrument (Thornton, 2006) which addressed three domains of teaching: classroom management, instruction, and assessment. Research questions focused on the dispositions that both alternatively certified and traditionally certified teachers' possess, how those dispositions manifest themselves in the classroom, and the factors that seem to mediate the development of those dispositions. Lateral entry and traditionally licensed elementary teachers in North Carolina did display different dispositions in terms of classroom management, instruction, and assessment. In regard to management, lateral entry teachers showed a greater amount of empathy towards their students while traditionally licensed teachers focused primarily on established procedures and routines. However, both were effective classroom managers. In terms of instruction, lateral entry teachers displayed a technical disposition in action focusing on worksheets and textbooks. On the other hand, the traditionally licensed teachers displayed more responsive dispositions in action where differentiation and integration were evident in the teaching. However, one lateral entry teacher with a year of experience substitute teaching displayed dispositions in action similar to the traditionally licensed teachers and one traditionally licensed teacher who obtained her degree over twenty years ago did display technical dispositions in action. Student assessment was a common weakness for both groups of teachers. The factors that seemed to mediate the development of dispositions in action of the participants were the presence of a strong instructional leader, experience within an educational setting, ILT meetings, and a profound sense of empathy among those participants who had their own children.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
Dispositions, lateral entry, traditionally certified, elementary teachers
Elementary school teachers--Attitudes
Elementary school teachers--Certification--North Carolina
Classroom management

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