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Document Type

Article in Response to Controversy

Abstract

In 2002 the term “dispositions” entered the vocabulary of teacher education with a vengeance when the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) added the concept to its inventory of required standards Teacher education programs across the country developed lists of professional dispositions that their graduates should attain based on NCATE provided guidelines. Caring, fairness, honesty, responsibility, and social justice were values included in NCATE suggestions; these values were emphasized and, subsequently, assessed in teacher education programs. Students who were found lacking in these traits were counseled out of education programs or given unsatisfactory grades, at least at some institutions. A few of the affected students objected to their treatment, and local administrators heard their complaints. Controversy at the local level quickly accelerated to national stories as conservative-leaning newspapers like the New York Post, and conservative commentators like George Will, brought to the attention of the American public what they viewed as the latest round in American culture wars.

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