In addition to assuring that graduates of initial and advanced certification programs have demonstrated sufficient knowledge and skills for their level of preparation, faculty within the professional education unit expect graduates to display dispositions that are important for professional practice and development. The unit has identified and adopted a common set of dispositions that apply to candidates across program areas and across levels of certification. Desired dispositions fall into the following categories:
Legal and Ethical Conduct: Behaves in a manner consistent with standards of legal and ethical conduct (e.g., professional conduct with students, parents, colleagues, professors, etc; academic conduct consistent with UAB code, protecting privacy and confidentiality)
Professional Conduct: Recognizes and fulfills professional responsibilities and habits of conduct (e.g., dress, language, preparedness, attendance, punctuality, composure, honesty).
Sensitivity to Diversity: Is sensitive to community and cultural norms and is responsive to and respectful of individual and cultural differences and experiences. Demonstrates the belief that all students can learn and a commitment to supporting the growth of all learners.
Safety and Well-being: Demonstrates concern for, and protection of, the safety and the well-being of self, students, parents, and colleagues.
Acceptance of Feedback: Is open and responsive to feedback from others.
Commitment to Effective Communication: Demonstrates thoughtful, effective verbal and non-verbal communication and listening.
Commitment to Collaboration: Demonstrates a willingness to collaborate with parents and others to improve student learning and development.
Commitment to Improving Teaching or Professional Practice: Demonstrates a commitment to continual improvement through reflection, inquiry, modifying instruction, and remaining current in knowledge and professional practice.
Commitment to the Profession: Demonstrates a positive attitude and commitment to the profession.This list of categories of dispositions and examples of behaviors that are evidence of deficiencies within each category are provided to all candidates. While candidates in some programs are evaluated on the presence of these dispositions prior to admission and again during the internship or student teaching experience, the primary mechanism for evaluating dispositions is the “Disposition Assessment Form” which is completed whenever there is an incident of deficiency within one or more dispositional categories. Faculty, staff, cooperating teachers, and supervisors are provided with these forms and encouraged to complete them on a candidate when appropriate. If a form must be completed, the candidate is asked to sign and receives a copy of the form. Details about the dispositional assessment system are provided elsewhere.