Supervision Models of Supervision: Supervisory Practices Methods Essay

Pages: 3 (1065 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Teaching

Supervision

Models of supervision: Supervisory practices

Methods of teacher supervision vary widely throughout the nation. There is no uniform standard for measuring teachers that is deemed to be universally applicable to all situations. However, there has been a growing impetus to create supervision programs which are formalized and provide effective feedback to teachers in an ongoing fashion throughout the school year. Three of these models include professional development plans, clinical supervision, and differentiated evaluation.

Professional development plans are based upon the concept that by investing in and empowering professional educators, the quality of education in the classroom will improve. Professional development plans attempt to build teacher knowledge through self-accountability. The plans encourage teachers to set goals to improve teaching techniques and standards and "models preferred instructional practices or activities both in the classroom and through the professional development itself -- i.e. through active learning" (Firestone et al. 2008: 123). In a professional development plan, teachers must set specific goals for themselves to improve in various areas such as taking educational initiatives to improve their experience as educators; taking steps to meet state standards for students; and collaborating with colleagues.

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However, professional development plans must not merely be ambitious in terms of the goals they set: they must be specific and support educators in their ability to achieve lofty aims. For example, one such a program in New Jersey involving peer reviews of fellow teachers to monitor progress in their professional development plans was found to be unwieldy because of "the lack of time to get together, the reality of high administrator turnover rates, the daily outside demands of their jobs, and physical distance between administrators" (Firestone et al. 2008: 142). Without an effective mechanism to monitor development plans and encourage accountability -- which requires an investment of time and money -- the administrative hassle of asking teachers to create such plans may not be worthwhile.

Essay on Supervision Models of Supervision: Supervisory Practices Methods Assignment

Another method of assessment is clinical supervision. Clinical supervision is a much more structured program. It is based upon the principle of mentorship and shapes teacher development through education through instituting collaborative structures of exchange. Teachers set goals as in the case of professional development plans, but their supervisors help 'map' how they will meet these goals in terms of specifics and create a schema of accountability. Clinical supervision thus has more of a 'top-down' model than professional development's focus upon personal, self-directed teacher empowerment. It is based upon an ongoing, continuously developing relationship between a supervisor and a supervisee who meet frequently and discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the supervisee. Together they plan "job-related activities that reinforce supervisee strengths and systematically improve weaknesses, along with the implementation of these activities by the supervisee as observed by the supervisor" (Knoff 1968: 40).

Observation and consistent and direct measurement of specific goals for improvement is thus another critical component of this methodology. While most professional development programs tend to have relatively few 'check-ins,' the nature of supervision ensures there is a "joint analysis of these activities in a feedback conference using formative evaluations to acknowledge newly developed and observed supervisee skills and additional skills that will further improve his professional practice" (Knoff 1968: 40).

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