Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 2009


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program for Education Leaders (IDPEL)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Derek Whordley

Committee Member

Robert Furman

Committee Member

Rose Mary Mautino

Committee Member

Barbara De Luca


AVA, Dispositions, Charter Teachers, Urban Schools


This study examined responses to the Activity Vector Analysis by both teachers and students in two urban charter high schools. The premise of this research was that the five dispositions of assertiveness, sociability, calmness, conformity, and conscious restraint were needed to be successful particularly in teaching urban students in charter high schools. Dispositions are "The values, commitments, and professional ethics that influence behaviors toward students, families, colleagues, and communities and affect student learning, motivation and development as well as the educator's own professional growth" (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education [NCATE], 2000).

The researcher wanted, first, to see what dispositions were captured on the AVA assessment by teachers, and then, second, to see if those teachers' students saw those same dispositions in their teachers. In addition, the researcher wanted to study the results for three other issues: whether the charter school teachers possessed these dispositional tendencies in a normal range as defined by the AVA, whether the AVA would reveal any pertinent gender issues, and whether the teachers' years of experience would affect their responses on the AVA.

The settings for the research were two urban charter high schools in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Thirty teachers participated in the study. Five of those teachers were teachers of special education. The study had 343 student participants. The researcher administered the AVA paper and pencil assessment to the students; the teachers took the online version of the assessment. All data were used to run Analysis of Variance (ANOVAS) and Correlation studies.

The most significant findings were that 90% of the students agreed with their teachers' responses on four of the five dispositions addressed in the AVA: assertiveness, sociability, calmness, and conformity. Thus, except for the disposition of conscious restraint, the students viewed their teachers in the same manner as the teachers viewed themselves. . In the area of conscious restraint, only 43% of the students agreed with their teachers' responses.

In addition, the data verified that the dispositions these teachers displayed were in the normal range. Another noteworthy finding was that the more years of teaching experience that a teacher had , the more assertive the teacher was in the classroom. And finally, the assessment results showed that the gender of the teachers had no bearing on the dispositions.

These results provide a strong foundation for further research into dispositions of teachers, especially pre-service teachers. It appears helpful that those desiring to teach in urban schools should conscientiously examine their own dispositional tendencies before embarking on this endeavor to see if they have the proper dispositions for dealing with urban students. These findings also indicate that the AVA could be an important additional tool to use in the hiring of teachers for urban education.