Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Dr. Suzanne Harrison

Second Advisor

Dr. Gary Tiffin

Third Advisor

Dr. Terry Huffman


This case study examined the pre-service teacher’s dispositional development in one small, undergraduate preparation program. The author conducted personal interviews with four former students and two faculty members, and analyzed and triangulated the data with archived artifacts. The study revealed four distinct expressions for dispositional development in the pre-service program: an early and sustained focus on dispositions, modeling by faculty, as well as embedded coursework and multiple practice contexts, with particular emphasis on clinical experience contexts. The four expressions functioned in tandem to foster dispositional development in the pre-service teacher. The research revealed that because the dispositional focus was embedded and integrated throughout the program, the pre-service teacher appeared to carry the dispositional awareness into the first professional teaching position. This conclusion validated the increasing burden and responsibility for pre-service programs to prepare highly qualified teachers with dispositions or heart for career longevity. Of particular significance, faculty and student participants acknowledged the unique link between the program’s dispositions and the college’s faith-based approach. The study affirmed the pre-service program’s efforts to implement a dispositional focus with recommendations to compare programs of similar size, as well as conduct follow up interviews with participants in a longitudinal study to trace the program’s dispositional efforts.


Be sure to check out Michelle Hughes' recent book Joyful Resilience as Educational Practice (2022 Routledge/Taylor and Francis) available on Amazon at