Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
A teacher's disposition is a valued factor in special education; however, preservice teacher training in California higher education institutions does not require a focus on dispositions. The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to examine whether common dispositions were associated with retention among teachers with comparable experience and preparation in special education. The study was grounded in constructivist learning theories including experiential learning, transformational learning, reflective practice, communities of practice, and situated learning. Data collection included responses to the Teacher Dispositions Index survey from 28 teachers in the partner school district. Results of multiple regression analyses indicated that effective communication and commitment to ethical professional behavior were common dispositions among persistent special education teachers. This research study affirmed special education teacher dispositions are difficult to define and assess. Future research is recommended regarding the dispositions of effective communication, commitment to ethical professional behavior, and supplemental dispositions present in the teaching profession. The doctoral project included a professional development seminar to foster persistence among special education teachers. Results may be used to increase percentages of persistent teachers in special education programs.