Teaching as a Moral Practice

Teaching as a Moral Practice Defining, Developing, and Assessing Professional Dispositions in Teacher Education

Edited by Peter C. Murrell Jr., Mary E. Diez, Sharon Feiman-Nemser, and Deborah L. Schussler
paper, 240 Pages
Pub. Date: December 2010
ISBN-13: 978-1-934742-78-5
Price: $32.00

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Sometimes understood as habits of mind, “dispositions” represents a new concept in teacher education. Conversations about professional dispositions in teaching often touch on issues such as attitudes, values, moral commitment, and social justice.


Teaching as a Moral Practice provides a coherent and articulate framework for navigating the contested terrain of dispositions for teaching. The series of case examples offers a valuable resource for teacher educators concerned with preparing teachers to act morally and ethically as professionals. — David Carroll, associate professor, Woodring College of Education, Western Washington University

Developed theoretically, framed around policy considerations, and couched in practice, this book argues for teacher-preparation programs that conceptualize, develop, and assess dispositions to richly inform the ethical and moral practices of future teachers. The editors do not shy away from asking hard questions or from highlighting the challenges faced in bringing dispositions fully into the ‘knowledge and skills’ conversation. — Lisa M. Stooksberry, director of certification standards, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

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About the Editors

Mary E. Diez, PhD, a founding member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s Task Force on Teacher Education as a Moral Community, Diez now serves as chair of the group. She is professor of education and dean of graduate studies at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A 1995 winner of the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education, Diez has served as president of AACTE, on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and on both the Board of Examiners and the Unit Accreditation Board of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. She currently cochairs the Standards Revision Committee for the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium. Diez’s writing focuses on standards and assessment in both teacher education and K–12 school reform. She coedited the book Dispositions in Teacher Education with James Raths. With colleagues at Alverno, she edited Changing the Practice of Teacher Education: Standards and Assessment as a Lever for Change, which reported on a number of institutions engaged in the process of reconceptualizing their teacher education programs.

Sharon Feiman-Nemser, EdD, is the Mandel Professor of Jewish Education at Brandeis University and director of the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education. Before coming to Brandeis in 2001, she served on the faculties of the University of Chicago and Michigan State University, where she directed innovative teacher education programs. A scholar of teacher education and learning to teach, she has written extensively about mentoring, new teacher induction, teacher centers, and the curriculum and pedagogy of teacher education. She recently coedited the third edition of the Handbook of Research on Teacher Education and also a book with colleagues at Michigan State, Transforming Teacher Education.

Peter C. Murrell Jr., Phd, is currently the founding dean of the School of Education and professor of educational psychology at Loyola University in Maryland, where he recently inaugurated the Center for Innovation in Urban Education. Murrell’s research focuses upon the relationships between social identity and academic performance and scholastic achievement, and investigates the development of academic identity and racial/cultural identity in the varied social contexts in urban schools and communities. He has authored numerous articles and book chapters on building culturally centered learning communities for teachers and students. His books include The Community Teacher, African Centered Pedagogy, and Like Stone Soup. His most recent book addresses the dynamic of identity, learning, and teaching: Race, Culture and Schooling. He is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education TEAMC (Teacher Education as a Moral Community).

Deborah L. Schussler, EdD, is a former high school English teacher and currently an associate professor in the Department of Education and Human Services at Villanova University. She teaches in the graduate and undergraduate teacher certification programs. Deborah’s research interests include exploring how prospective teachers acquire the necessary dispositions to meet the needs of all learners. Specifically, Deborah has examined the epistemological nature of dispositions and how teacher education fosters awareness of dispositions to enhance prospective teachers’ knowledge, skills, and moral sensibilities. Deborah also explores how schools function as learning communities to meet the social and moral development of learners. Recent articles appear in Teachers College Record, Theory into Practice, Action in Teacher Education, Teaching and Teacher Education, and Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice. Deborah has been a member of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education TEAMC task force since 2009. Deborah presents regularly at the AACTE and American Educational Research Association (AERA) conferences and is an active member of the Moral Development SIG.

Table of Contents (PDF)

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