Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Ginny Birky, PhD

Second Advisor

Dane Joseph, PhD

Third Advisor

Terry Huffman, PhD


The desire to study the topic of effective teacher dispositions began about 20 years ago and has now led to the completion of this study. It is evident for everyone who either has gone through school or has had children go through school that an effective teacher can have a tremendous influence on how we function in school and even how much we believe in ourselves. Research has shown effective teachers possess certain dispositions. These dispositions reflect their character through values, beliefs, and behaviors. The impact to which these dispositions have on student learning is a topic in need of further research. I desired to gain the perspectives of undergraduate students on effective teacher dispositions using an adaptation of Tripod’s Seven Cs student survey. The purpose of gaining their perspectives was to determine if there were differences between at-risk students and not-at-risk students’ perceptions of effective teacher dispositions.

The achievement gap between underrepresented students and their peers is one of the most prevalent aspects in modern education. Data dating back more than four decades shows the consistent discrepancy of student test scores in math and reading between at-risk students and not-at-risk students (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2016). Determining how students perceive effective teacher dispositions may give insight on how to better prepare educators to teach all students successfully. Albeit, this study did not provide data that showed any difference between the undergraduate participants’ perceptions of effective teachers based on their status of being at-risk or not-at-risk. The Seven Cs student survey did provide data on the consistency of the scale used for the Seven Cs items. Student voice, when collected in its entirety, is a strong predictor of effective teaching and is a resource needing further research.