AN ANALYSIS OF TEACHERS’ PERCEPTION OF THE SUPERVISORY BEHAVIOUR OF SCHOOL INSPECTORS
The concept of supervision
One of the best-kept secrets outside the education profession and to a degree even within the provision is the existence of a large shadow army of school personnel known by the collective title of supervisors. Parents and sometimes teachers profess not to know of the presence of these specialists in the school systems of the nation. Although laypersons may be aware that school systems employ a variety of personnel, such as custodians, secretaries, cafeteria workers and counselors, the concept of school personnel held by a typical lay person is that of a teacher in every classroom and a principal in every school were members of the community asked to identify a school supervisor, they would probably indicate the principal who may not be the sole supervisor. Or they might refer tot eh superintendent, who plays a relatively small part in the type of supervision discussed in the research, namely instructional supervision.
Yet at the alien watchers say about extraterrestrial beings, supervisors are “out there” in fact they are all around us. We could discover to what degree they are present if we had the power to equip ever supervisor with a coal miner’s hat and to and to turn on all the light beams. If we could then photograph the light trails we would trace a pattern of motion as astounding as any graphics drawn by a computer. We d see almost endless movement as supervisors journey from class to class, school to school, and are usually place-bound, supervisors are in periodic motion. A distinguishing feature of true supervisors is that they leave their offices frequently for the purpose of helping other school personnel-namely, teachers do their jobs better.
Considering the veritable army of supervisors on local and state levels of schooling throughout the country, it is surprising to find that the role of the supervisor in education remains rather ill defined. Business and industry are not troubled by this same malady. The position of commercial or industrial supervisor is highly visible and well defines in the managerial structure of the organization. Educational supervisors may or may not be a part of the managerial structure of school systems. The question of weather they should be part of management is, as we will discover later, a storm center among specialists in supervision. Responsibilities of educational supervisors are not at all clear from locality to locality and from state to state. Even within localities, supervisors roles are often poorly delineated. To compound the problem the titles of supervisors are almost as varied as their roles.
Ben M. Harns attributed the variations in roles to differing theoretical perspectives. Supervisors, like any complex part of an even more complex enterprise, can be view in various ways and inevitably is the diversity of perceptions stems not only form organization complexity but also from lack of information and absence of perspective to provide perspective, at least, the total school operation must be the point of departure for analyzing instructional supervision as a major function.
To varying degrees, many occupations outside education use the services of supervisors, weather as office boss, telephone supervisor, floor manager, construction supervisor, departmental-store head or assembly-line supervisor. These individual carry out the latin word super video, “to oversee”. They demonstrate techniques, offer suggestions, give orders, evaluate employees performance and check on results (products).
Supervision may be seen as a positive force for programme improvement. Sergiovanni and Starrat (1983) define supervision as a “…………….set of activities and role specifications designed to influence instruction”. Ben Harris is quoted by Sergiovanni and Starrat (1985) as saying that “supervision of instruction is directed towards both maintaining and improving the teaching-learning processes of the school”. Wiles and Lovell (1975) have defined supervision of instruction as “. An additional behaviour system formally provided by the organization for the purpose of interacting with the teaching behaviour system in such a way as to maintain, change and improve the provision and actualization of learning opportunities for pupils.”
Contemporary definitions of supervision stress service, cooperation, and democracy. In this research, you will find the emphasis placed on instructional supervision. Harris wrote: “ supervision of instruction is what school personnel do with adults and things to maintain or change the school operation in ways that directly influence the teaching process employed to promote pupil learning”. Robert J. Alfonso, Gerald R. Firth and Richards F. Neville offered a slightly different definition: “Instructional supervision is herein define as: Behavioural officially designated by the organization that directly affects teacher behaviour in such away as to facilitate pupil learning and achieve the goals of organization.” John T. Lovell, in revising the earlier work of Kimball Wiles, looked at instructional supervisory behaviour as behaviour that “is assumed to be an additional behaviour system formally provided by the organization for the purpose of interacting with the teaching behaviour system in such a way as to maintain, change and improve the design and actualization of learning opportunities for students.” Don M. Beach and Judy Reinharte, rejecting the use if the world help in defining supervision, see “supervision as a complex process that involves working with teachers and other educators in a collegial, collaborative relationship to enhance the quality of teaching and learning within schools and that promotes the career long development of teachers.
William H. Burton and Leo J. Bruekner gave supervisor William H Burton and leo J. Bruckner gave supervision a broad interpretation, viewing it as a technical service requiring expertise, the goal of which is improvement in the growth and development of the learner.
Stressing the helping nature of supervision, jane franseth earlier on stated ‘’Today supervision is generally seen as leadership that encourages a continuous involvement of all school personnel in a cooperative attempt to achieve the most effective school program ’’ Ross L. Neagley and N Dean Evans pointed to the democratic nature of modern supervision in their definition:
Modern supervision is considered as any service for teachers that eventually results in improving instruction, learning and the curriculum. It consist of positive, dynamic democratic actions designed to improve instruction through the continued growth of all concerned individuals the child, the teacher, the supervisor, the administrator and the parent or other lay person.
Note how many definitions focus on 1. The behavior of supervisors 2. In assisting teachers 3. For the ultimate benefit of the student. Robert D. krey and Peter J. Burke offered a comprehensive definition of supervision:
Supervision in instructional leadership that relates perspectives to behavior, clarifies purposes, contributes to and supports organizational actions, coordinates interactions, provides for maintenance and improvement of the instructional program and assesses goal achievements.
Advocating the replacement of “supervision as it is now practiced” by what they refer to as “normative supervision, Thomas J. Sergiovanni and Robert J. Starrat saw supervision as taking place in schools that are “true learning communities ”. where values, norms and ideas are shared by supervisors, teachers and students.
John C. Daresh and Marsha A playko offered a concise definition, viewing supervision as the process of overseeing the ability of people to meet the goals of the organizations in which they work.
Jon. Wiles and joseph Bondi viewed supervision as “a general leadership role and acoordinating role among all school activities concerned with learning” Emphasizing process and function of supervision rather than title or position for the purpose of improving student learning. Carl D. Glickman, Stephen P. Gordon and Jovita M. Ross-Gordon pictured those in supervisory roles as applying “certain knowledge, interpersonal skills and technical skills to the tasks of direct assistance, group development, curriculum development, professional development and action research that will enable teachers to teach in a collective, purposeful manner uniting organizational goals and teacher needs ” .
Supervision is conceived as a service to teachers both as individuals and in groups to put it simply, supervision is a means of offering to teacher, in a collegial, collaborative and professional setting, specialized help in improving instruction and thereby student achievement. From all these definitions it can be seen that supervision refers to the improvement of instruction and also to teacher’s growth so as to improve pupils learning activities. Wiles and Lovell (1975) state that teachers may view supervision as a positive force for programme improvement while another one may view it as a threat to the teacher’s individuality. A third may view it as a source of assistance and support.
Purpose of supervision
Boardman and Bent (1953) indicate that the main purpose of supervision is to bring out a continuing improvement in the instructional programme. An increase in the numbers of high school pupils and the scope of secondary education has brought with it instruction problems which provide strong evidence of the need for supervision of instruction. The secondary school teacher of today has more difficult instruction method and material of instruction for widely different pupils. Therefore there is a need for supervision of instruction. This means that the increasing complexity and difficult of teaching problems of secondary school teachers and the need for a supervisory programme will be of assistance to the teacher in carrying out the teaching activities. Teachers sometimes transfer from different school, there is then need to supervise and orientate these teachers when they come into a new school. This also applies to newly qualified teachers who need as much help as possible from the supervisor. However, supervisory activities must be on going in the school. Supervision helps teachers to see the real ends of education, to provide them with specific skills in lesson delivery and to help them develop a positive attitude about professional development. Supervision seeks to improve methods of teaching and learning. It aids, inspires and leads the security that liberates the creative spirit. Harris (1985) states that supervision has the purpose of influencing the teaching process and promoting pupil learning.