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Supervision for Instructional Improvement

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					Supervision for Instructional Improvement Running head: SUPERVISION FOR INSTRUCTIONAL IMPROVEMENT

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Supervision for Instructional Improvement Jacklyn Roberts Grand Canyon University EDA 550 6/19/08

Supervision for Instructional Improvement Abstract

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The five essential tasks of supervision are explored in the following paper. The five tasks include direct assistance, group development, professional development, curriculum development, and action research. An administrator should be knowledgeable of each task and able to implement these effective concepts by possessing positive interpersonal skills, group skills and technical skills.

Supervision for Instructional Improvement Supervision for Instructional Improvement Administrators play a pivotal role in defining the education received at their schools.

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They are continuously making decisions on a daily basis that determine the quality of instruction students are receiving. Instructional leaders across America face many challenges in today’s society where resources are short, expectations high and adjustment to technology is crucial (Bondi & Miles, 2008). While faced with numerous challenges, there are tools administrators can use to improve student instruction while maintaining an academic environment conducive to learning. According to Glickman, Gordon, and Ross-Gordon (2007), there are five essential tasks administrators must implement into their schools for improved instruction. These tasks include direct assistance, group development, professional development, curriculum development and action research. Prerequisite skills for performing these tasks successfully involve being knowledgeable about school and personnel, having effective interpersonal skills, and technical skills. Direct Assistance occurs when an administrator effectively provides feedback one-to-one to a teacher. It is necessary for instructional improvement by providing feedback to teachers by making sure they are not feeling isolated and are an essential part of a team oriented staff (Glickman, Gordon, & Ross-Gordon, 2007). Direct assistance can be carried out effectively by conducting clinical supervision in a way that is goal oriented and provides support and a commitment to improvement. Administrators must be able to provide teachers with a preconference, observation, conference, and post conference as well as study the effectiveness of this method (Glickman, Gordon, Ross-Gordon, 2007). It is essential that administrators keep in mind the personalities of the individuals involved and their developmental levels. Successful administrators are able to take clinical supervision and allow for developmental supervision

Supervision for Instructional Improvement which involves peer coaching, demonstration teaching, assisting with materials and resources, and problem solving (Glickman, Gordon, & Ross-Gordon, 2007). Issues that may arise with clinical supervision include the lack of trust between teacher and supervisor, poor management of time and lack of consistency. To avoid this from occurring, the administrator needs to make sure the teacher understands that clinical supervision is not a judgment regarding their teaching,

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but a way to help them grow through guidance. Scheduling and availability are often issues faced by administrators when providing direct assistance. Effective planning and scheduling are essential tools for an administrator to use to prevent these issues from occurring (Salida, 1997). Group development provides meetings where groups of teachers can work together to problem solve. It is necessary for instructional improvement due to the ability of the group to come together and discuss what is working and what needs improvement. By working together and brainstorming solutions, instruction will improve and student learning will be enhanced. Group development can be carried out successfully when the administrator is able to understand the dimensions of the group, handle dysfunction in the group, determine the correct leadership style after analyzing of the group, and apply developmental supervision (Glickman, Gordon, Ross-Gordon, 2007). According to Pike, Lynch, and Harmon (2000), group activity evokes different efforts from teachers at different levels. This allows for more successful teachers to share ideas with less successful teachers whose practices may not be aligned with state standards. Group work enhances the knowledge of teachers at different developmental levels by the collaboration of ideas, regardless of experience or accomplishments, which initiates cohesiveness and creates a team amongst educators. Issues that may occur with group development involve domination of a certain member or a timid individual not feeling comfortable to speak up. To create an

Supervision for Instructional Improvement environment of trust, an administrator must build rapport with teachers and encourage them to communicate their ideas to the group. It is the administrators responsibility to allow everyone in the group to have a voice and feel as they are important in the decision making process. Professional development provides learning opportunities for instructional improvement

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to teachers (Glickman, Gordon, Ross-Gordon, 2007). To have successful schools, educators must be knowledgeable about the content they are teaching as well as all the other responsibilities bestowed upon them as educators of society. To ensure teachers are receiving up to date information regarding teaching, administrators must make sure they are providing professional development opportunities to each educator. Professional development is necessary for instructional improvement based on the knowledge of the educators who are teaching the standards to students. Professional development can be implemented effectively by the administrator by studying the characteristics of successful professional development programs and implementing these characteristics into their program. Characteristics of successful professional development programs include the involvement of staff members in planning, implementing and evaluating the program, integration of school, group and individuals goals as well as long range planning (Glickman, Gordon, Ross-Gordon, 2007). Administrators must keep up with new integrative ways of providing professional development such as beginning teacher assistance programs, mentor programs, skill development programs, and partnerships. With a rapidly changing society, professional development will continue to change. It is the administrator’s responsibility to research the most successful professional development programs that meets the needs of the teachers at his or her school. According to the American Federation of Teachers (2008), professional development should be rooted in and reflect the best available research and be aligned with the standards and curriculum

Supervision for Instructional Improvement

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teacher’s use. Issues that may arise with the task of providing effective professional development to teachers would be keeping up with the continuous changing of professional development and avoiding the one time speakers that provide disinterest among staff members. Administrators need to make sure professional development is a comprehensive plan that relates to school goals. Curriculum development involves the administrator providing opportunities for changes in curriculum and materials to improve instruction and learning. It is necessary for instructional improvement due to the need for enhancing collective thinking about instruction (Glickman, Gordon & Ross-Gordon, 2007). In a time with high stake tests and accountability, administrators must provide guidance to teachers when making decisions regarding curriculum. Since many states have mandated standards, it is essential for administrators to effectively carry out curriculum development by understanding educational philosophies and student development. Blooms Taxonomy is a great tool for curriculum development that can be implemented into the curriculum which allows for higher order thinking skills to evolve. Administrators need to be able to help teachers effectively organize and format curriculum which can be done by pacing guides, transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary models (Glickman, Gordon & Ross-Gordon, 2007). Issues that arise regarding curriculum development are the diverse levels of teacher involvement in curriculum development and the challenge of matching curriculum development with teacher development. Administrators must analyze staff member’s commitment, thinking and expertise in this area in order to match them with curriculum responsibilities (Glickman, Gordon, Ross-Gordon). Action research allows teachers to evaluate their own thinking and teaching which allows for improvements in instruction. Action research is necessary for instructional improvement due to the importance of teachers being able to study their own teaching styles and results to improve

Supervision for Instructional Improvement their teaching methods, which in turn improves student learning. Action research is effectively implemented by selecting a focus area which is in need of improvement, gathering data on the area, forming an action plan, implementing the plan and then analyzing the process (Glickman,

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Gordon, Ross-Gordon). Issues concerning action research include the administrators challenge to get teachers involved in this inquiry process and helping them manage their time to implement this into their daily hectic schedules. Solutions for these issues include effectively communicating the purpose and steps of action research to teachers and also being able to implement alternative approaches. In conclusion, administrators in today’s society need to be able to implement these five essential tasks of supervision effectively. It is important that administrators take the time to build rapport with teachers and provide feedback which will help them grow as educators as well as gather groups that can successfully meet and problem solve to improve instruction. Administrators need to be actively seeking out the most effective professional development programs to meet the needs of their school and help teachers with curriculum development as well as action research. If administrators can successfully implement these supervisory tasks, the chances for instructional improvement in their school will greatly increase.

Supervision for Instructional Improvement References American Federation of Teachers. (2008). Professional Development for Teachers. Retrieved June 19, 2008 from http://www.aft.org/topics/teacher-quality/prodev.htm Bondi, J. & Wiles. (2008).Supervision A Guide To Practice. Retrieved June 20, 2008 from http://www.amazon.com/Supervision-Practice-Jon-W-Wiles/dp/productdescription/0130462675 Glickman, C., Gordon, S. & Ross-Gordon, J. (2007). Supervision and Instructional Leadership (7th ed.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Saliba, V. (1997). Clinical Supervision: A Critical Review. Retrieved June 19, 2008 from http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/Spa/4773/spcrrw.html Pike C., Lynch, S. & Harmon, A. (2000). Adult Learning Theory and NBPTS. Retrieved June 19, 2008 from http://www.wested.org/nbnetwork/resources/synthesis/pyke_lynch_harman_notes.doc.

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