Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership (Ed.D)


Teacher Leadership for Learning

First Advisor

Dr. Angela Blaver

Second Advisor

Dr. Nita Paris

Third Advisor

Dr. Wendy Sanchez


Teachers demonstrating dispositions that lead to effective teaching is a common discourse in mainstream education circles. Consequently, teacher education programs are held accountable for standards that include assessing professional teaching dispositions. In 2008, National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) published standards in which professional dispositions were clearly defined. Likewise, scholarly work in metaphor research provided an understanding of how teachers conceptualize their most fundamental views and beliefs about aspects of teaching. This mixed methods study examined the relationship between the dispositions and the teaching metaphors of mathematics teachers. The sources for this study included multiple interviews, observations, and the researcher’s field notes and memos. After extensive data analyses, the findings revealed evidence that the link between the professional dispositions and the teaching metaphors of mathematics teachers may exist in teachers’ belief systems. Three themes emerged under the umbrella of belief systems: (1) personal experiences; (2) perceptions about personal factors (dispositions); and (3) perceptions about their students. One recommendation for teacher practice is to design professional learning in the area of teaching metaphors. Discovering their metaphors for teaching would provide for reflection on how their teaching metaphor informs many aspects of their teaching. Consequently, the findings impact teacher preparation as well. Exploring the teaching metaphors of preservice teachers would reveal basic beliefs that these students hold with regard to teaching and learning. These initial metaphors, along with exposure to reflective activities and field-based experiences could attribute to factors that would influence their beliefs about teaching.

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