01 SES 04 B, Models of Teacher Development
The system-wide educational transformation needed for sustained improvement must emanate from the nexus of relationships and instructional practices, which occur in classrooms (James, 2010 and Sergiovanni & Starratt, 2007). At the center of the global call for transformative action, is a battle cry for transformation in the education and professional development of teachers. Not only do teachers require initial preparation to fulfill their roles in the classroom, but they also need continuing professional development (CPD). This research offers an avenue to address such CPD in a meaningful way that can be utilized globally. Clinical supervision (CS) is an effective CPD procedure that can improve teachers’ instructional practices (Gall and Acheson, 2011 and Beach & Reinhartz, 2000). The Ministry of Education (MOE) in Trinidad and Tobago has mandated secondary schools to perform clinical supervision. The University of the West Indies St. Augustine, School of Education (UWISOE) provides clinical supervision training via its Diploma in Education (Dip.Ed.) programme, to teachers enrolled in the educational administration option. Successive cohorts of teachers in this programme have indicated that clinical supervision is either not done in their schools, or if it is done they describe the process as punitive, distrustful, uncomfortable and non-collaborative. No empirical study has been done by the UWISOE or the MOE to determine participants’ perceptions and experiences, of the clinical supervision training and its implementation at schools. This current research sought to fill that gap. The purpose of the research was to investigate the perceptions of teachers enrolled in the Dip.Ed. programme of clinical supervision, their experiences implementing clinical supervision at their schools (the challenges and facilitators) and how to improve clinical supervision in schools. The key theoretical strands used in this study straddled the supervision, clinical supervision and teacher professional development fields. The term clinical supervision for purposes of this study is described as a collaborative process used to develop teachers classroom instruction and pedagogical skills, thereby increasing professional growth (Pajak, 2003, Sergiovanni & Starratt, 2007 & Gall & Acheson, 2011). This study drew on Gall and Acheson’s (2011) model which involves three elements: a pre-conference, classroom observation and a post-conference. It also drew on Guskey (2002) which states: “high-quality professional development is a central component in nearly every modern proposal for improving education” (p. 381).
A qualitative case-study approach was adopted in this study. Initial data collection was done using an online survey powered by Fluid Survey, with predominantly open-ended questions. These data were analyzed using a thematic approach. The survey was sent to the 30 students who comprised the Educational Administration Cohort 2014-2015. A second phase of data collection was done in 2018 using semi-structured interviews with a sample of 10 of the participants who were involved in the survey to determine whether, if at all and how did they continue to conduct clinical supervision and what were their experiences doing so. Open-ended questions were used. The purpose of the semi-structured interviews was to gain a deeper understanding of participants individual and collective experiences by giving them the opportunity to reflect on and these experiences. Additionally through the use of a narrative inquiry approach, participants were also given the opportunity to tell their stories through the narratives that were constructed from their responses. The interviews were viewed as discourse between the researcher and the participants and as such discourse analysis was used to analyze these data.
The findings show that that the clinical supervision training provided by the UWISOE is effective and that if clinical supervision is done using the Gall & Acheson (2011) model it can improve classroom instruction and develop professional capital in schools. Nevertheless, the participants indicate that a number of factors inhibit the conduct of clinical supervision, for example, time constraints, teachers’ lack of training and competence, and distrust. The researcher concludes that there is need for a national clinical supervision policy that would guide the process, that explains the nature and purpose of clinical supervision and how it should be conducted and training should be provided for those who conduct it.
Beach, D.M., & Reinhartz, J. (2000). Supervisory leadership: focus on instruction. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Cogan, M., (1972). Clinical supervision. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH). countries. Washington DC: World Bank, Oxford University Press Farley, G., (2010). Instructional supervision: A descriptive study focusing on the observation and evaluation of teachers in cyberschools. Retrieved from http://dspace.iup.edu/bitstream/handle/2069/315/Gregory%20Farley.pdf?sequence=1 Gall, M. D. & Acheson, K. (2011). Clinical supervision and teacher development: Preservice and inservice applications. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. Guskey, T. R. (2002). Professional Development and Teacher Change. Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice, 8(3/4), 381-391. James, F. (2010). Leading educational improvement in Trinidad and Tobago. School Leadership and Management Journal, 30 (4), 387-398. Pajak, E. (2003). Honoring diverse teaching styles: a guide for supervisors. Retrieved on January 21, 2016 from http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/103012/chapters/understanding-the-clinical-cycle.aspx Sergiovanni, T. J., & Starratt, R. J. (2007). Supervision: A redefinition (8th Ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.
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