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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A case study of a post-observation conference in a second language setting Guevremont, Louise Anne


This case study examined the nature of the exchange between two French-as-asecond language teachers involved in a worthwhile post-observation conference, identified the conditions that facilitated their exchange, and investigated how this supervision experience contributed to the development of the teacher's practice. Since clinical supervision involves the analysis and interpretation of classroom data, it seemed important to inquire whether knowledge of the content, approach, and issues related to the teaching of a second language appeared to be a condition that facilitated a worthwhile outcome. Transcripts of the post-observation conference videotape and stimulated recall interview audiotape provided two of the three sources of data. A preliminary content analysis was conducted to examine the characteristics of the exchange between the participants and to ascertain whether the four conditions identified from previous studies, teacher-supervisor relationship, Glickman's (1990) developmental approach, peer supervision, and reflective transformation of experience, were present in this case. Results were used to frame questions for a subsequent interview with the teacher in order to explore further themes and issues that emerged from the preliminary analysis. Findings indicate that the exchange between the teacher and supervisor was nonjudgmental, honest, supportive, cooperative, and close to Cogan's (1973) colleagueship. The teacher-supervisor relationship and peer supervision by a second language teacher were found to be two conditions that facilitated a worthwhile outcome. However, the Glickman's developmental model was not found totally appropriate in peer supervision because the supervisor does not have the choice of a full range of approaches since s/he cannot enact decisions. Even though the conditions were present, reflective transformation of experience was not completed during the post-observation conference and it was therefore suggested that it may not be an appropriate indicator of teacher development. Finally, supervision was found to be useful in three different ways. It increased the teacher's awareness of her teaching, enabled her to take appropriate action, and provided useful feedback on her experimentation with new material. Based on these findings, it was concluded that the role of the post-observation conference may need to be reviewed, particularly in the case of experienced teachers using supervision for professional development. It was also recommended that further study be conducted to verify this case study's findings on a larger scale and find out whether they apply to teachers from different areas, and to investigate how teachers conduct their reflection outside the post-observation conference.

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