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Connecting the dots: exploring dispositions in teacher education

Nhlanhla Mpofu
Maitumeleng Nthontho


The purpose of this study is to explore the dispositions that pre-service teachers require in order to be effective practitioners. Pre-service teachers study a curriculum that equips them with the content, as well as the pedagogical, psychological and philosophical knowledge, that are foundational to their tasks as both professional and subject specialists. However, in order to be responsive to the human quality of teaching, pre-service teachers also require certain dispositions that enable them to build and develop learners. There is thus a need to understand the dispositions that pre-service teachers require in order to be effective practitioners. This study is underpinned by Dewey's constructivist developmental learning theory and also Bandura's social learning theory. The critical question we endeavoured to answer in this study was: What teaching dispositions do pre-service teachers require to be effective practitioners? In order to answer the research question, five journal articles were selected using the following criteria: focus on defining teaching dispositions and listing and explaining teaching dispositions. The study adopted a qualitative approach positioned in the interpretivist paradigm. Inductive thematic analysis was employed to analyse the findings from the five selected journal articles. The findings revealed that pre-service teachers require self-related, learner-related and profession-related dispositions to be effective practitioners. Thus, based on the study's results, we recommend that teacher preparation programmes deliberately include dispositional qualities in their curriculum.

Keywords: teaching dispositions; pre-service teachers; South African teacher curriculum; teacher knowledge; teacher preparation programmes

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9231