Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1 Supervision and its classification
Concept of Supervision
Models of supervision in Education
Supervisional research in Education
Chapter 2: Supervision and Teachers’ Development
Supervision in Education
Supervision and Teachers’ attitude
Supervision and Teachers’ performance
Chapter 3 School Supervision: A case from Malaysia
Supervision in Malaysia
Scenerio of Supervisory Practices in Malaysia
Practices of Directive Supervision in Malaysia
Practices of Collaborative Supervision in Malaysia
Practices of Non-Directive Supervision in Malaysia
Chapterr 4 Supervision and Teachers’ Engagement- A case from Malaysia
Level of Teachers’ Awareness
4.9 Teachers’ Attitude towards Supervision
Supervision and Scenario of Teachers’ Performance
Chapter 5 Impact of Supervision: A case from Malaysia
The impact of supervision on teachers’ attitude
The impact of supervision on teachers’ performance
CHAPTER 1 Supervision and its classification
Any jobs can be evolved in terms of their responsibilities and requirements as time goes due to political, social and technological trends. It is evident in the field of supervision as it faces reforms throughout its history.The evolution of schools has become the main input in quality improvement policies and strategies. This led to the necessity to evaluate schools which focused on accountability, quality control, organizational efficiency and quality assurance (Grauwe & Naidoo 2004). To ensure the minimum standard of academic, teaching, resources and administration are achieved, governments that provide public schooling take steps to make the system in schools is monitored. In the United States, during the period of 1600’s to late 1800’s local officers, religious leaders and committee members visited schools to inspect and make judgments on teachers and curricular standards. At this time, supervision focused on overseeing the teachers and how schools were maintained. In the late 19th century, professional educators took over the administrative responsibilities where they focused on instructional improvement for the first time (Tyack & Cuban, 1995, Wolfrom, 2009). Knowledge of teaching transformed successfully from administrators to teachers. In the twentieth century, school administrators consist of principals, assistant superintendents, curriculum coordinators, and consultants shared the responsibility of supervision and evaluation. During this time, the scientific management theory which consists of inspection, domination and quality control influenced supervision and evaluation. Many new systems were introduced in supervision (Wolfrom, 2009). Smyth (1987) claimed that standard for teaching was introduced and the relationship between teacher and supervisor was hierarchical. In the late 1980’s, research showing that teacher quality was the primary variable to determine student achievement (Wolfrom, 2009; Darling-Hammond & Ball, 1998; Greenwald, Hedges, & Laine, 1996; Sanders, Wright, & Horn, 1997). This, lead to improving teacher supervision process became the primary concern which aimed to improve instruction.
Concept of Supervision
Supervision is mainly focused on improving teachers’ instructional practices and classroom practices to benefit students. Beach & Reinhartz (1989) claimed that the purpose of instructional supervision is to offer sufficient information regarding their teaching that enhances their instructional skills for performance improvement. This is supported by McQuarrie & Wood (1991) who mentioned that supervision is aiming to guide and support teachers so that they can learn and develop instructional practices. There are many different definitions of supervision proposed by researchers as some focus on its nature and others focus on the function it entail. The term ‘supervision is derived from the Latin words which bring the meaning as ‘over and ‘see’. Hornby (1962) defines supervision as a process that involves, watching, and directing work, workers and organisations or institutions. Adams & Bickey (1966) defines supervision as "A planned programme for the improvement of instructions". Nwokafor (1984) define supervision as "that phase of school administration which focuses primarily upon the achievement of the appropriate instructional expectations of the educational system". Ireland (1994) defines that supervision is a process which enables the individuals’ goals are met and interconnected that ultimately allows them to meet the organizational goal. Austin (1981) defines supervision as a process that has chosen functions involving relationships that provides the best services. Meanwhile, Kadushin (1985) classified supervision as a pathway that consists administrative, supportive and educational where the supervisor is responsible in delivering all these tasks to his supervisee. Sergiovanni & Starratt (1993) see supervision as a focal point that intent to improve teacher’s knowledge, skills, and abilities to make informal decisions and solve problem effectively. Other researchers also claim that supervision is an act of motivating teachers, enhancing human relation (Glickman, Gordon, & Gordon, 1998) and facilitating teachers to attempt new techniques in a more comfortable environment (Nolan, 1997).
Every school may have their own goals to achieve which will differ from others however, all supervisors have the same goal that is ‘improving teachers’ performance (Glickman et al., 2001; Zepeda, 2003) .Initially supervision is known as inspection which aimed to judge the performance of institutions and teachers rather than improvement. Even though supervision and evaluation are related in terms of their processes, the objective can be different between accountability and improvement. Inspection as the evaluation method has been practiced to ensure the quality of system and strategies implemented and maintain academic performance to be paralleled with educational goal. Inspection tends to receive criticism as it is more on judgmental. This can be proofed as Jaffer (2007) also pointed that inspection judges the performance of school only at one point with legal requirements rather than considering the progression of the school. In another study done by Burnham (1976) found that the process of inspection of school supervision used to make judgments of the management of the school and the teachers than of focusing on their teaching and student learning. This type of evaluation is known as Administrative Inspection in these days. Due to this, inspection went through reforms where the term ‘supervision’ replaces it gradually. To overcome the criticism on inspection, the concept of supervision is being introduced in certain countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. It is also because, to understand the purpose of ongoing support and guidance for school improvement (Ali 1998; London 2004; Perera, 1997). In the 19th century, supervisors were being strict in supervising the teachers as they were having strict requirement for their teachers. They visited classroom to observe to identify how closely the teachers obey the specific instructions (Peter et al., 2011, Oliva & Pawlas, 2001 & 1997). They also found that the supervisors carried out their tasks using authoritarian approach.
As mentioned before, in early days supervision was knows as inspection where the external parties who were appointed would inspect teachers in schools (Glanz, 1977). The formal activity of instructional supervision by professional personnel started in the second half of the nineteenth century as there was a development in school system due to population growth in main cities (Glanz, 1977). At this time, supervision of school shifted from bureaucratic to individual superintendent who was being responsible in controlling and supervising instruction in school. Supervisor would inspect classroom teaching and correct teacher behaviours. The existence of scientific management would change the administration of schools. This would change the supervisory processes to be more skilled professional. Moreover, teaching profession became scientific process due to the emergence of educational theories. Even though changes occurred in supervision, there was still the existence of observation and evaluation as Gordon (1997) called as ‘control supervision’ that was compressed with inspection, oversight and judgment of classroom instruction (Farley, 2012). This is because; more information is collected regarding teacher performance through observation and evaluation information. Criteria included in evaluation forms enable to judge teachers quality of instruction, classroom management and teaching behaviours. Observation and evaluation involves face-to face visits that are carried out by supervisors to offer direct assistance. In the process of direct assistance teachers are provided feedback for improvement through classroom observation based on the data of formative and summative evaluation (Glickman et al., 2001). At the same time, collaborative approaches to instructional supervision began to appear in the form of clinical supervision which gave a room for administrators and teachers to work together during the observation in the notion improvement (Farley, 2012: Goldhammer et al., 1993). This provided chances of existence of other form of clinical supervision like peer observation, self assessment and action research (Sergiovanni &Starratt, 1993) and other models of supervision. The development of school supervision has been a long and ongoing process which taking place since the late nineteenth century up to the present day (Ali 1998; London 2004).
Moreover, the growth of formative approach in supervision has widespread and commonly used than the previous model of inspection and evaluation (Burnham, 1976). This approach enable teacher needs has been taken into consideration which emphasize supervisors to enhance their techniques of supervising to meet those needs (Wolfrom, 2009). The aim of formative evaluation is to improve teacher’s instructional skills. The system of evaluation is carried out into two ways they are formative and summative assessment. In summative evaluation, teachers are judged on their performance by ranking and rating their professional competency (McQuarrie & Wood, 1991). Glickman et al. (2001) claimed Summative teacher evaluation is an administrative function intended to meet the organizational need for teacher accountability. It involves decisions about the level of a teacher’s performance. Summative evaluation seeks to determine if the teacher has met minimum expectations. If the teacher has not met his or her professional responsibilities, the summative process documents inadequate performance for the purpose of remediation and, if necessary, termination (p. 299).Formative evaluation is intended to shape, support and improve teacher instruction. This form of evaluation is recognized as supervision as it has the function of helping and supporting (Glickman, 2006; McQuarrie & Wood, 1991). Kleitman & Costa (2014) claimed that formative assessment refers to a specific type of assessment which is not ‘marked’ (judged) by the trainer. This assessment provides extensive feedback towards the performance of trainers which they feel non-threatening.
Models of supervision in Education
There are many approaches to supervision such as the production, scientific approach, developmental supervision and clinical supervision. Clinical supervision is a people-centered approach (Linde, 1998) which focuses on formative evaluation (Sergiovanni and Starrat, 1998). This model replaces the traditional methods of supervision and aims to assist teachers improve their performance and further professional development (Bouchamma, 2007). At the same time, one of the pioneers of clinical supervision Cogan (1973) defines it as “… the rationale and practice designed to improve the teacher’s classroom performance. It takes its principal data from the events of the classroom. The analysis of these data and relationship between teacher and supervisor form the basis of the program, procedures and strategies designed to improve the students’ learning by improving the teacher’s classroom behavior.” Coleman (2003) claimed that educational supervisions are known as clinical supervision. This supervision leads to a learning coalition that occurs between the supervisor and supervisee that enables the supervisee to learn therapeutic skills. This aims to teach skills, knowledge and attitude. While Acheson & Gall (1987) propose alternative name for clinical supervision as “teacher-centered supervision” rather than as there are no uncertainties of the process and who is in charge of the process. This is because this model is more like democratic approach which is opposite of directive approach.
Hopkins & West (1990) recommended three phases to carry out this model. They are 1) planning conference with teachers, 2) classroom observation and 3) feedback conference. At the first phase planning conference with teachers, both supervisor and teachers should agree with the most suitable time for classroom visit and supervisor needs to be informed about teacher-learning situation and learners. This helps to create good relationship between teacher and the supervisor. Supervisor needs to encourage teachers to do their best during the classroom observation. Teachers also need to be informed on the aim of follow up discussion. The supervisor is responsible to answer teachers’ doubts and questions to avoid any uncertainty (Linde, 1998). For the second phase which is classroom visit, it is important for the supervisor to spend sufficient time in class for observation and determine the focus and information before observing. This include the supervisor should be in classroom before the lesson starts and remain until the lesson is concluded. This helps the supervisor to have a clear picture on how the lesson is carried out from the beginning until the end of the lesson for not to left any important information (Linde, 1998).
Observing classroom activities is a challenging task thus supervisor needs to focus on students’ discussion in group and personal interaction between students to comprehend. Feedback conference as the last phase which is known as the last step of evaluation should be held as soon as the classroom visit held. Observation without feedback conference is meaningless hence it is necessary to have this session. In this stage, supervisor should discuss teacher’s strong points and deficiencies that occur in the teaching. Teachers have the opportunities to express their behaviours occur in the classroom. Consensus should be achieved for further improvement and change. Teachers need to be encouraged to look through both positive and negative factors and discussion should be held for improvement that directs to professional growth (Linde, 1998). These three phases of clinical supervision were extended into five stages and they are 1) pre-conference 2) Observation and data collection 3) Data Analysis 4) post-conference and the final stage will be 5) reflection or post-conference (Glickman, 1990, Sergiovanni, Starratt, 1993 & Acheson & Gall, 2003). The additional steps are data analysis and reflection. Data analysis stage is considered as foundation for clinical supervision where the supervisor conceptualise gathered information collected during the classroom observation and interpret them for the teacher to understand(Cogan, 1973; Goldhammer et al., 1993). Supervisor should present the gathered data in more clear and easier way for the teachers to comprehend and this helps them to understand, analyse the data and reflect upon them before they move to post-conference. In the post conference stage, supervisor examines whether the best supervisory practices were used with the teacher. It helps the supervisor to reflect his or her own practices and make improvement in the next supervisory conference (Cogan, 1973; Goldhammer et al., 1993).
Clinical supervision model encourages to build positive relationship between supervisor and teacher. It allows both the supervisor and teacher to collaborate and have mutual understanding and trust in the success of its process (Smyth, 1995). As this model consists of a series of discussion held between teacher and supervisor, it is possible for both parties to create this positive relationship. Clinical supervision distinct from other traditional forms of supervision which most of the supervisory and evaluation process efforts to improve teaching skills which is not associated with classroom. In another way it varies from other supervision practices because the structure of other evaluation and supervision do not treats teacher as a collegial partner when the supervision process takes place which is available in clinical supervision (Smyth, 1984 a). To add on Smyth (1984 b) claimed that the utmost concept of clinical supervision is teaching processes can be developed as teachers are provided with significant and timely feedback that related to their teaching which interests the teachers. In this model, helping teachers to modify the existing teaching practices into the teacher’s preferred way is the ultimate goal of the supervisor.
According to Holland & Adam (2002), clinical supervision in schools helps to improve teaching development and permits teachers to improve their teaching practices to be more efficient. It is also known as one size that can fit any practice. Teachers improve their teaching performance by developing their teaching practice and knowledge in teaching by experiencing effective clinical supervision. Teachers wish to get advice from their peers rather than from the principal. Teachers’ preference can be changed if principals aware the real purpose of supervision that is focused on improvement in teachers. As the clinical supervision gives priority to teaching quality, the evaluation stage in this model becomes the mechanism in improving teachers’ performance and school performance. It is clear that clinical supervision improves teachers’ performance and this improvement benefits the students as well. Both the principal and teachers understand the value of clinical supervision in terms of this model’s practices and effects. Therefore, this model can be the preferred method that is used by supervisors.
Despite its uniqueness, there are some issues to be considered in this model. Clinical supervision is not applicable method for everyone. It is not an approach that can be carried out continuously for a long period of time. To apply this approach it requires a great deal of time of the supervisor and the teacher to go through the stages it consists of to carry out them successfully. The supervisor should not play his or her as an evaluator and should be ready to permit the teacher to take control of the process. Furthermore, the administrator should let collegiality as the supervisor role and agree to the teacher to control the process. On the opposite of its nature, clinical supervision has failed to enhance teachers’ honesty and has not encouraged teachers to be innovative and have initiative to develop their teaching(Glanz, Shulman, & Sullivan, 2005). Thus, it can be concluded that to apply clinical supervision having sufficient time is one of the important factors. The study carried out by Baharom (2002) found that clinical supervision supervisors in Malaysia is not administered sufficiently as supervisors are not ready to supervise and teachers portrait ineffective attitude. He also found that about 12.03% primary school teachers and 5.88% secondary school teachers oppose the implementation of clinical supervision as they perceived it looking for teachers’ mistakes. As supervisors are found to be occupied with their administrative task they ignore to observe the teachers (Mohd Zaki, 2001). It is evident that implementing clinical supervision is a challenging process as Radi (2007) in his study suggested that supervisor and teachers should have discussion session to receive the feedback of supervision that is lacking is fundamental stage in this model.
In developmental supervision, there are four main supervisory approaches which are directive, directive informative, collaborative and non-directive. Glickman et al. (2004) categorise supervision behaviours as listening, explaining, encouraging, reflecting, showing, problem solving, talking, giving directives, standardizing and consolidating and combine these bahviours into these approaches to decide if the teacher or supervisor to be responsible in making decision.In directive, the supervisors give orders and determine what the teacher has to follow regarding the content, materials and techniques (Blumberg, 1980) which is described as “bureaucratic supervision belief” Sullivan and Glanz (2000). When the supervisors see their role as helping teachers to understand their own decision regarding content and the techniques that they use, Blumberg (1980) categorized it as non-directive which is described as “democratic supervision belief” Sullivan and Glanz (2000). Glickman et al., (2004) classified developmental supervision into directive approach, directive informative approach, collaborative approach and non-directive approach. Directive supervisor provides the most effective method to improve teaching and identify the problems and give alternatives to solve the problems. At this point, the supervisor understands the problem occurs by knowing the cause of the problem and his decisions are more suitable to improve teaching (Glickman et al., 2004).
At the same time, the supervisor makes it clear with the consequences if the teacher fails to follow as commanded. Moreover the decision-making is done by the supervisor as the teachers unable to deal with the problem effectively (Nolan & Hoover, 2008; Pajak, 2000; Zepeda, 2007; Ulan, 2012). In directive informative approach, supervisor still plays the major role than the teacher. This approach is very helpful to teachers who are inexperienced, confused and unable to find solutions to the problem they face. Thus the supervisor needs to be aware of the issues of confidence and credibility as he or she plays the role of expert. Teachers are given a few solutions to choose the best practice for him or her (C. Glickman, S. Gordon, J. Ross-Gordon — Supervision of Instruction – 4th edition, 1998). Second is collaborative approach where the teacher and supervisor play equal role in decision-making process. The role of supervisor is to work together with teachers but not to direct them. Cogan (1973) claims this approach as a “clinical supervision” where he believes teaching is a problem-solving process that needs shared ideas between supervisor and teacher to find the best solution. Through discussion they can produce a hypothesis, experiment and execute tactic that become a practical solution to the encountered problem (Gebhard, 1984).
This approach is more applicable as the teacher and supervisor have the same level of expertise, concern about the problem and specialism. If the supervisor knows part of the problem and teachers aware of the other part of the problem, collaborative approach should be applied. Teachers are given chances to propose suggestions for the problems. The purpose of collaborative is to reach mutual plan at the end of the discussion and be responsible for chosen action (DiPaola and Hoy, 2008; Glickman et al., 2004; Nolan and Hoover, 2008; Pajak, 2000; , 2012; Zepeda, 2007).This allows both the supervisor and teacher sustain positive professional development and work together to reach common purpose of instructional improvement. The supervisor listens to the teacher’s view of the problem and then he or she presents his view of the problem by adding information regarding the noticed problem that the teacher might not be aware of. Then the supervisor clarifies if the teacher understands his or her point of view.
At the same time, disagreement is accepted as both the supervisor and teacher have different perception of the problem. This facilitates to find the best solution where they can think critically of the problem and ensure that the chosen solution is able to overcome it. If there is difficulties occur to reach consensus both should ready to compromise with each other’s suggestion (C. Glickman, S. Gordon, J. Ross-Gordon — Supervision and Instructional Leadership – 8th edition, 2010). It is more appropriate to use non-directive when the teacher functions at higher level of expertise, commitment and responsibility towards a decision. At this point, the teacher is able to solve the problems that he or she faces in teaching and supervisor will be nonjudgmental but encourage them to explore new ideas (DiPaola and Hoy, 2008; Glickman et al., 2004; Nolan and Hoover, 2008; Pajak, 2000; Zepeda, 2007). Teachers make the decision as they are assumed to know which instructional change they need to make while the supervisor provides feedback that allow teachers to think of ideas of their actions. The supervisor who uses non-directive approach should listen to the teacher on how they view the encountered problem and let the teacher to think of the problem in different ways. Supervisor has to reflect on the teacher’s explanation regarding the problem. Then the supervisor asks the teacher to think to find possible solutions to the problem and the consequences that may occur on the solutions fond. The solution found by the teacher should be applicable and reasonable for him or her to implement. In this way, the supervisor assists teachers on their solution without influencing their decision (C. Glickman, S. Gordon, J. Ross-Gordon — Supervision and Instructional Leadership – 8th edition, 2010).
However, this model has its detrimental factors in the process of applying. In general, the most important aspect of developmental supervision is choosing the most appropriate approach that matches teacher’s developmental level, expertise and commitment. Hence, it will be complicated task for the supervisor to choose the appropriate approach for the teachers. This is due to differences that teachers have in terms of their developmental level, commitment and expertise. In nature, teachers have different characteristics. Teachers who are expert in the subject matter may have low commitment towards teaching on the other hand teachers who have low of developmental level may have high level of commitment towards teaching. In this way the supervisor faces difficulties to choose the right approach for the teachers. Another issue that needs to be considered is teachers characteristics can be influenced by the situations they are in. A teacher who used to perform at high developmental level, commitment and expertise may perform at low level of developmental level, commitment and expertise as they may be transferred to different school or assigned to teach different subject (C. Glickman, S. Gordon, J. Ross-Gordon — Supervision and Instructional Leadership – 8th edition, 2010). As Cogan (1973) claims that teaching requires ideas from both supervisor and teacher for improvement, directive approach opposes this view. Teachers have the negative perception on supervision that always judges their competency in teaching , directive approach which supervisors fully directs teachers what to do cause the supervisory role become autocratic which is similar to the finding of Mhd. Zaki (2001). Furthermore, directive control of supervisor can lead the teacher to feel inferiority and affect their self- esteem as they are always directed by their supervisor. It can also cause the teacher to feel anxious whenever the supervisor observes them because they will be worried if they meet the supervisors’ expectations (Gebhard, 1984).
When it comes to collaborative, it is difficult to make the teachers to believe that the supervisor is being collaborative rather than directive. When teachers agree with the chosen practices for improvement, their agreement may not be sincere. It is difficult to find out teacher’s thinking unless the supervisor asks them. In addition, not all teachers are willing to share ideas in decision making process. Some prefer to follow their supervisor’s idea for improvement rather than contributing theirs (Gebhard, 1984).
For non-directive supervision, it is not easy for the supervisor to be non-judgmental. Teachers can be anxious when they are asked to find solution on their own for the problem they faced. This is because, they may lack of experience to overcome the problem (Gebhard, 1984).. At this point, teachers ask for their supervisor’s input when they unable to make decision. In this way it is meaningless for the supervisor to be non-directive to the teacher (C. Glickman, S. Gordon, J. Ross-Gordon — Supervision and Instructional Leadership – 8th edition, 2010).
Differentiated supervision is mainly teacher-driven and the supervisor plays role as a mentor to the teacher (Glatthorn, 1997; Fritz&Miller, 2003). In this model, supervised teachers’ needs, skill levels, past experience and motivation towards subject matter are taken into account. As teachers may vary in these ways supervisor should use different methods (Glickman, 1981). According to Glatthorn (1997), there are four alternatives in differentiated supervision that are 1) intensive development (a special approach to clinical supervision), 2) cooperative professional development, 3) self-directed, and 4) administrative monitoring. Teachers choose one of the supervisory options and the supervisor work together with the teacher towards the focused area. Supervisor, who focuses on intensive development, directs the teacher on what need to be done and how to be done. It requires more observations which focus on learning outcomes rather than teaching method. Intensive development is appropriate for teachers who face difficulties in teaching. Intensive development includes five cycles which is similar to the stages in clinical supervision (Fritz & Miller, 2003; Glatthorn, 1997).
In Cooperative professional development as second option, teachers work together in a small group to develop their professional growth (Glatthorn, 1997). Teachers observe each other’s class and provide feedback on their teaching while supervisor plays role as a resource. This method is more applicable to experienced teachers who are intended to work collaboratively (Fritz&Miller, 2003; Showers&Joyce, 1996). The third proposed suggestion of differentiated supervision is self-directed. This supervision assists teachers to work on their own to develop their professional growth while the supervisor plays more relaxed role (Beach & Reinhartz, 2000; Fritz&Miller, 2003). This technique is suitable for teacher who prefers to work independently and get the supervisor’s assistance as mentor (Glatthorn, 1997). The final method is administrative mentoring where the supervisor observes the teacher’s classroom to monitor activities carried out in the classroom (fritz& Miller, 2003 & Glatthorn, 1997)
Contextual supervision is a model which adapts the supervision to the different situations rather than using existing models (Bouchamma, 2007). This model is suitable to supervisory styles with teacher’s developmental level to complete the selected teaching task (Ralph, 1998; Fritz&Miller, 2003). Based on this model, teacher’s developmental level refers to their level of confidence (enthusiasm, willingness motivation, interest) to complete certain task and competence (skills, capability, knowledge) their involvement in the task (Ralph, 1998; Fritz&Miller, 2003). This model is also an adaption of situational leadership as the supervisor or instructional leader’s leadership styles will be vary to match the teacher’s developmental level. Teacher’s skill level is the indicator of how much supervision they need and the direction of the task. The contextual model consists of four divisions to determine developmental level and competence of the teacher. This will help the supervisor to choose the appropriate division that is suitable for the teacher. The first part is known as high confidence and low competence. This part shows that the teacher is enthusiastic to teach but lacking in proficiency in subject matter. In this situation, the supervisor provides low support and high task (more guidance) for the teacher. Second section of contextual supervision is low confidence and low competence. In this level, teacher is known to be lacking of enthusiasm in teaching and not proficient in the subject matter. Thus, the supervisor provides high support and high task. The third division is low confidence and high competence. Here the teacher is not confident in teaching but has sufficient knowledge in the subject matter. To guide the teacher at this level, the supervisor provides more support and low task. The last section will be both confidence and competence are high level where the teacher is enthusiastic in teaching and has sufficient knowledge in the subject matter. At this stage, supervisor provides feedback to the teacher if necessary (Ralph, 1998; Fritz&Miller, 2003).
“Peer supervision” also called “colleague consultation” or “peer observation” is a voluntary and confidential process in which competent professionals with adequate training, observe and conference with another, sharing their expertise and experience. They provide one another with feedback, support, and opportunity to reflect upon practice” (Nolan & Hoover, 2005 p.86). This kind of supervision is carried out among peers that provide a room for collaboration that is intended to improve effectiveness. To carry out this process, tools like portfolios and class observation charts are necessary. Peer observation comprises setting goals for supervision, drafting indicators, developing instruments, and assists each other on the evaluation process, analysing and interpreting the collected data, planning improvement and targeting future- actions (Bouchamma, 2007; Santa, 2001). The process of peer evaluation brings benefits to teachers. This will allow teachers to be motivated for improvement, inquire one’s work and improve education as a whole (Santa, 2001). In another study, Nicklaus & Ebmeier (1999) mentioned that peer observation can improve teachers’ commitment, collaboration and promote self-esteem. This shared supervision enables teachers to develop and provide the chance of having supervising position in their professional practice. Moreover, it also allows collaboration among mentors and university teaching unit in the aim of reforming the study of education (Silva & Dana, 2001).
Supervisional research in Education
Nolan & Hoover (2005) define the action research as “the process of practitioners asking well-defined questions about their practice, systematically gathering and interpreting data to answer those questions, and consequently taking action to improve practice” (p. 166). John Elliott (1991) defines action research as:“Action research is the process through which teachers collaborate in evaluating their practice jointly; raise awareness of their personal theory; articulate a shared conception of values; try out new strategies to render the values expressed in their practice more consistent with, educational values they espouse; record their work in a form which is readily available to and understandable by other teachers; and thus develop a shared theory of teaching by research practice.” While ,Wallace (1996, p. 291) sees action research as “a form of structured reflection on professional action which is controlled and implemented by the practitioners themselves with the intention of improving some aspect of their professional practice”. There is a recent shift in educational research, teachers’ role and teacher educators’ challenge in measuring teacher performance (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999; Darling-Hammond, 2006). This can be solved if teachers themselves identifying problems occurred in their teaching and learning through their own research where teachers observe their role as change agent and decision makers (Alsop, Dippo, & Zandvliet, 2007).