UBC Theses and Dissertations
A case study of principal-teacher interaction in the supervisory post-conference Bader, Ellen D'Arcy
This research was a case study of the post-conference interactions between two principal-teacher dyads. The purpose of the study was to address three questions suggested to be important by the literature. The research questions posed were: 1.Do principals relate differently to beginning teachers than to experienced teachers? 2.If differences do exist, what reasons do principals give to explain why they are relating differently? 3. How do teachers perceive the principals' behavior sin the conferences? The main sources of data were video-recordings and transcriptions of four teacher-principal post-observation conferences, transcriptions of each of the eight stimulated-recall interviews, and follow-up interviews with each participant. The post-observation conference verbal behaviors were analyzed using Blumberg's System for Analyzing Supervisor-Teacher Interaction (Blumberg, 1980).The data were also considered in terms of Glickman's (1990) concept of Developmental Supervision. The following are the findings regarding principal-teacher interaction in the post-observation conference. First, the principals did not appear to consider level of teacher experience when formulating a supervisory approach. They based their supervisory approach mainly on their own philosophy of supervision and on their perceptions of the teachers' needs at the time. Second, the principals did not seem to assume that teachers of varying levels of experience needed to be treated differently in the supervisory post-conference. Third, the teachers perceived principals' behaviors with varying degrees of accuracy. Their perceptions appeared to be influenced by previous supervisory experiences and by the present relationship they enjoyed with their current supervisor. Four conclusions were derived from the findings. They were: (1) a developmentally appropriate supervisory approach should be based on more than the level of teacher experience, taking into account such factors as the teacher-supervisor relationship, the teacher's previous supervisory experiences, and current teaching assignment; (2) an open, trusting relationship between supervisor and teacher is crucial to the effectiveness of the supervisory process; (3)formal evaluation is counterproductive in the supervisory process if the goal of the supervision is professional growth; (4) the teacher's perception of the supervisor's behavior is critical to the effectiveness of the supervisory process and to the professional relationship between the supervisor and the teacher. The main implication for theory is that, although level of teacher experience could make a difference in how teachers are treated in the post-conference, there appears to be other factors of equal, if not greater importance. It may be that the need for a directive approach with experienced teachers is more common than the developmental theory articulated by Glickman (1990) suggests. Several important implications for practice arise from the findings of this study. First, supervisors need to consider such factors as curriculum and teaching demands on teachers when formulating a supervisory approach, and develop a repertoire of approaches, rather than depending on any particular one. Second, supervisors need the time and opportunity to properly build and maintain the open, trusting relationship conducive to a successful supervisory experience. Third, a professional growth program which includes collegial supervision should be seriously considered as a replacement for formal, evaluative supervision.
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