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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The role of content and process in principal's supervisory intervention on the classroom management practices of teachers : three case studies Haycock, Carol-Ann


This study examined the effects of the supervisory process on classroom teaching. Through examination of the supervisory conference setting, this study examined whether effective supervision required supervisors who practiced certain strategies as they dialogued with teachers in the conference, or whether discussion of research-verified knowledge about teaching and learning alone was sufficient to bring about an improvement in classroom teaching practice. This study also examined the effects of an intervention on school principals in their performance of the supervisory task. That is, the study sought to determine if supervisors transferred the research-verified knowledge and/or process strategies presented in workshop programs to the supervisory task, and, if so, what effect, if any, this had on teachers' classroom teaching performance (classroom management practices). The research design was a case study of three supervision dyads which included two different treatments. Pre- and post-test data sources included supervisee classroom management performance, supervisory post-observation conferences, and conference participants' independent post-conference reactions. Data analysis explored the relationships between classroom observation data and supervisory conference data, in each case, for evidence of improved practice on the part of the teacher in the classroom and on the part of the principal in the supervisory conference. The relationships among the teacher's classroom management practices, the supervisor's process strategies, the substantive content focus of the conference, and the differential treatments (workshops) received careful examination. Through this approach the effects of many variables on teachers' classroom management performance were explored. The supervisory experience appeared to be affected by the experience and/or professional confidence levels of both supervisors and supervisees, the openness of both supervisors and supervisees (as evidenced in the interactive nature of the conference), the level of content knowledge and supervisory process strategies employed by the supervisor in the conference setting, and the facilitating role played by the supervisor. Where teachers were experienced and professionally confident, they appeared to find the supervisory process less threatening, and were more open and interactive in the conference setting, rendering the supervisory experience more effective. Where supervisors were perceived as less threatening (low in experience and/or level of confidence), more knowledgeable, and sincere in their facilitating efforts (process strategies), the supervisory experience also appeared more effective. The effects of the treatments on supervisors also appeared to be related to their level of experience and/or confidence, as well as their degree of openness. While the supervisors in this study transferred the knowledge and/or strategies learned to their performance of the supervisory task, the levels of application differed considerably. The implications for practice, based on the limited findings of this study, suggest that the improvement of current supervisory practice may require a combination of several staff development programs designed to provide both partners involved in the supervisory process with opportunities to develop and/or enhance both the knowledge and/or the skills that appear necessary for effective supervision.

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