EFFECTS OF THE FOUR-MONTH TEACHING PRACTICE ON CLINICAL SUPERVISION AT LESOTHO NATIONAL TEACHER TRAINING COLLEGE
Clinical supervision originated from a group of American teacher educators; Cogan, Goldhammer and Sergiovanni. It was developed to provide Havard University student teachers a chance to observe and give each other feedback. It was further used to assist experienced teachers and administrators to learn more about team teaching. It therefore, has validity in the profession as it provides academic and personal development of teachers and administrators (Smyth 1984:3) and Goldhammer, Anderson and Krajewski 1993:7).
Cogan (1973:9) sees clinical supervision as a supportive structure that particularly helps teachers analyse their teaching and as a consequence make improvements. It is in-class, data-based and face-to-face cyclonical process involving three outstanding contact stages: the preobservation conference (a stage whereby instructional goals are jointly shared by the supervisor and the teacher), observation (a stage in which the data to be used in improving the teacher's instruction is collected), and the postobservation (a stage in which the supervisor and the teacher review observational data). Clinical supervision, as Smyth (1984:3) explains, took place of the "one-short" visits to classrooms which were without effect. In such visits, teachers were neither enlightened about their own classroom practices nor helped with control over the direction and pace of their professional development.
The National Teacher Training College (NTTC) has adopted clinical supervision in helping the student teachers during teaching practice. The 1979 Justification for the Internship shows that since the inception of NTTC in 1975, teaching practice was of one year duration in the second year of the three-year training programme. The student teachers were placed in schools in the thirty-five sites (as planned by NTTC) spread all over the country. During the one year period, the student teachers were under supervision of teacher educators known as Intern Supervisors. Each supervisor was assigned eight to twelve student teachers whom he/she supervised using clinical supervision. All the supervisors were responsible to the Internship Coordinator - a liaising officer of field activities and college activities.
Presently, the teaching practice sites are cut to ten. They are in the lowlands of the country along the main roads. The Intern supervisors have been deployed as tutors in various college departments. Instead, the cooperating teachers have been introduced in schools where student teachers are placed. All tutors supervise from college. The student teachers are attached to cooperating teachers in schools.
Studies on the effectiveness of clinical supervision during the one-year teaching practice have been done. Manamolela (1980) investigated on the direct as well as indirect supervision. His study discovered that student teachers benefitted from indirect supervision because they shared in the analysis of the observation. Makhakhane (1980) examined the effectiveness of the intern's teaching and how they were supervised. She discovered that the minimum observation visits were two while the maximum were four per month per student. Both studies revealed that the clinical supervision cycle was followed by Intern supervisors. They also disclosed that the student teachers professionally benefitted from the use of clinical supervision.
However, the "1987 Consultancy Report" shows that one of the criticisms of the one-year internship is that the student teachers are not well prepared for teaching practice. As a result of this criticism, the one year is divided into two. During the first half of the second year of training student teachers undergo teaching practice preparation (TPP). They teach from college in the nearby schools still taking in-class instructions. During the second half of the second year, they are attached to the cooperating teachers in the schools in the ten teaching practice sites. They are supervised by the college tutors and the cooperating teachers who are supposed to use the clinical supervision cycle.
The study was focussed on the second half of the second year of training when the student teachers were attached to cooperating teachers and were also supervised by the college tutors. The research problem was one of determining the proper implementation of the clinical supervision cycle. Therefore, the study looked at the extent to which clinical supervision cycle was effected by the cooperating teachers and the college tutors. It also looked at whether or not the change in the teaching practice model had affected the proper use of clinical supervision.
The study answered the following questions:
[a] Is the four-month teaching practice an accepted change to the cooperating teaches and the college tutors?
[b] To what extent are the cooperating teachers and the college tutors trained in the use of clinical supervision?
[c] To what extent is clinical supervision used by the cooperating teachers and the college tutors?
[d] Are there any managerial implications in the proper use of clinical supervision?
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to investigate the extent to which clinical supervision was used during the four-month teaching practice. The intension was also to suggest improvements on the supervision that would enhance teaching practice as a whole.
Justification of the Study
It was hoped that the results of the study would benefit the NTTC administration in adequately introducing and training the cooperating teachers and the college tutors to the knowledge and the proper use of clinical supervision. The research results would also help the college to remedy problems experienced during teaching practice by suggesting alternatives for improvement. These suggestions would benefit the student teachers who actually practice teaching by improving their quality of life during teaching practice and in the teaching profession. It was further hoped that the Ministry of Education (MOE) would improve the policy on teacher education at NTTC and other teacher training institutions.
Scope of the Study
The study focused on the proper use of the clinical supervision cycle by cooperating teachers and college tutors. It also looked into the appropriate implementation of the four-months teaching practice. The research was not academic-subject-oriented. It neither aimed at investigating on the one-year internship programme nor the teaching practice preparation programme.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
The reviewed related literature focused on the use of clinical supervision during teaching practice. It reviewed clinical supervision and its advantages and disadvantages. It looked at teaching practice and theory and practice in it. It lastly serached into the change in the teaching practice programme.
The rationale for this review was based on the view that although various authorities use different words in defining clinical supervision, they agree that the major issue in it is to guide the teacher in analysing his own lesson. Weller (1971:15), Cogan (1973:9), Miltz and Fanslow (1980:8), Sergiovanni and Starratt (1983:294), Brown and Nacino-Brown (1990:4) are in line in viewing clinical supervision as a face-to-face interaction between the supervisor and the teacher aiming at improving classroom instruction. It involves a systematic cycle of planning observing and intensive analysis of the data collected during observation. The analysis is done cooperatively between the supervisor and the teacher. In the process, the supervisor constructively and objectively guides the teacher to see strengths and weaknesses in his/her lesson. The supervisor further leads the teacher in suggesting strategies for improving his/her teaching performance. The end results of clinical supervision is to improve the qality of the teachers instruction and student learning in the classroom. To succeed in this procedure, the supervisor follows the clinical supervision cycle.
Although Cogan (1973:10-12) outlines eight phases of the clinical supervision cycle, he advises that "certain phases may be ommitted or altered, or new procedures instituted, depending upon the successful development of working relationship between supervisor and the teacher." These eight phase are establishing the teacher-supervisor relationship, planning with the teacher, planning a strategy of observation, observing instruction, analysing the teaching-learning process, planning the strategy of the conference, the conference, and the renewed planning.
However, Miltz and Fanslow (1980:6), Sergiovanni and Starrat (1983:302), Smyth (1985:7) and Goldhbammer, Anderson and Krajewski (1993:175-176) suggest that supervisors do not necessarily have to follow clinical supervision stages as proposed from the beginning. They can cut them to suit the situations in which they find themselves. In altering the phases, there remained five distinct teacher-oriented phases. They are the pre-observation conference, the observation, the analysis and strategy, the postobservation conference, and the supervision analysis.
These five phases are distinctly explained by authorities. Miltz and Fanslow (1980: 7 - 11) explain the preobservation conference and the observation. The preobservation conference is a stage at which the teacher discusses face-to-face with the supervisor his/her plans and objectives for the lesson to be observed. Often the discussions bring out problems in the lesson that can be corrected before it is taught. Also, the two agree on the type of data to be collected during observation. It is at this stage that the supervisor or establishes a relaxed atmosphere between him and the teacher. Then they get into the classroom for observation.
Observation is a stage in which the supervisor collects data on what was agreed upon in the preobservation conference. The observation is scheduled in a manner that it does not disturb the process of instruction. At the end of the observation, the supervisor plans a strategy for the discussion.
Smyth (1985:9) shows that it is at the analysis and strategy phase that the supervisor works alone "deriving meaning from, and making sense of the shared experience of the lesson ... attaching meaning" to the data collected. Then the supervisor determines the appropriate strategy to present the results to the teacher so that what actually happened during the lesson is reflected. Then they proceed to the post observation conference.
Miltz and Fanslow (1980:8) and Goldhammer, Anderson and Krajewski (1993: 133 - 134) explain that during the postobservation conference, the supervisor and the teacher come together into a face-to face discussion again. The supervisor leads the discussion presenting the data collected during the observation stage. As they discuss, the teacher discovers the strengths and weaknesses of his/her lesson. The postobservation conference leads to the analysis of the whole supervision process by the teacher.
In the supervision analysis, the teacher brings both positive and negative aspects of the supervision. This exercise helps the supervisor to improve his supervisory skills. Alternatively, a third person can be invited to observe as the clinical supervision cycle is followed. This person gives his/her views on the whole process. This practice benefits both the supervisor and the teacher. They both discover their strengths and weaknesses. Then the area for observation in the future is made or agreed upon.
In summary, the clinical supervision cycle first looks at the teaching strategies that the teacher intends to use in presenting his lesson. Weaknesses are remedied before the lesson is presented. During observation, the supervisor objectively collects data on teacher-learners interaction. The supervisor analyses the data and presents it in a non-directive manner to the teacher. He also guides the teacher in pointing out strengths and weaknesses of his/her own lesson and make suggestions for improvement thereof. The teacher finally makes insights into the working relationship throughout the cycle.
Advantages of Clinical Supervision.
If followed properly, the clinical supervision cycle is beneficial. Blumberg and Gusick (1970:3) show that by innate qualities and training, the supervisor knows best how the supervision should be done. Unlike other forms of supervision, Smyth (1984:3) states that clinical supervision does not rely on rating or evaluating teachers but on working collaboratively with colleagues on the hidden self. This practice enhances close relationship and increase in professional growth resulting in improving the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom.
Miltz and Fanslow (1980:9), Borich (1990:23), Glickman (1990:281) and Goldhammer, Anderson and Krajewski (1993:43-44) see the preobservation stage as reducing the anxiety that the teacher might experience. It also provides a procedural framework for all the phases of the cycle. Trust is build. This leads to commitment on the part of the supervisor.
In observing, the underlying assumption is that the supervisor will discover patterns that can be encouraged, remedied or altered to improve the quality of classroom instruction. As stones (1984:1) puts it, the supervisor has the ability to capture activities going on in the classroom. On the basis of the collected data, the supervisor is in the position to tell why one activity or another seems more or less productive. This is the platform on which to suggest alternative approaches which may yield better results. Hence, the supervisor has to analyse the data and find a strategy to present it to the teacher.A pictorial reflection of the teacher's education through the Johari window
Source: Sergiovanni and Starratt (1993:307).The explanation of the Johari Window as given by the quoted authors is that in cell 1, the teacher's knowledge of his/her teacher behaviour and other aspects of his/her professional practices corresponds with the supervisor's knowledge. This is the area in which communication occurs most effectively. Because of the communication, the teacher's defensiveness and threat are minimized.
In cell 2, the teacher knows about the aspects of his/her teacher behaviour and professional practice that the supervisor does not know. Often the teacher hides these aspects from the supervisor for fear that he might be punished or exploited. This cell suggests how important a supervisory climate characterized by trust is to the success of clinical supervision which encourages reduction of the cell.
In cell 3, the supervisor knows about the aspects of the teacher's behaviour and the professional practices of which the teacher is unaware. This cell is reduced as clinical supervision is practised. This cell is often neglected by the traditional evaluation methods.
In cell 4, the teacher's behaviour and the professional practice are not known to either teacher or supervisor. As the teacher and the supervisor work together, they get to know their subconscious self.
In essence, the Johari Window and the teacher's education platform suggests that the clinical supervisor should create an atmosphere that will help the teacher become aware of the open self, secret self, blind self and undiscovered self. The supervisor should guide the teacher to discover his/her strengths and weaknesses.
In summing up, all the phases of the clinical supervision have advantages which help both the supervisor and the teacher in improving their tasks. As Smyth (1984:10) claims, "teaching can only be improved when the teacher is provided with direct feedback on aspects of teaching that are of interest or concern to that teacher". If the supervisor achieves this, likewise his/her supervisory skills are improved.
Despite the good points in clinical supervision, the literature revealed that it is time consuming and labour intensive. The conferences in some of the phases of the cycle take time. Also various kinds of complaints and can occur in the triad. These conflicts have been found to extend to both in-school and out-of-school activities (Turney et al [1982:47] and Smyth [1984:9]).
Literature from student teachers show concern about the unprofessional attitude by some supervisors. Student teachers are not consulted when other teachers are invited to observe them, they are criticized infront of the class, and some supervisors take over from student teachers while they teach (Danah, Elliot and Marland 1982:35). Moreover, the student teachers see the supervisor as an evaluator rather than a helper. Their anxiety focuses towards evaluation rather than helping relationship (Turney et al 1982:48) (Goldhammer, Anderson and Krajweski 1993:11).
Time and budget constraints are a limiting factor in achieving the ideal goal of clinical supervision. At times it is a "one-shot chance". It does not include preobservation and postobservation. This results in nervousness in teachers (Goldhammer, Anderson and Krajewski 1993:11).
However, literature sees cases put against clinical supervision not as its problems. But the problems are personal character, administrative, and lack of priority of professional activities among teachers. The roles of each party need to be explicitly spelt out (Smyth 1984:9).
In spite of the fact that clinical supervision is American in its origin and despite the weaknesses observed in it, NTTC has adapted it in helping her student teachers during teaching practice. As Miltz and Fanslow (1984:61) show, an adoption can be made to meet institutional unique circumstances. They point out that clinical supervision has, since its origin, been changed and adapted from its origin. If clinical supervision meets the requirements of NTTC, then it has done well in adapting it for its teaching practice.
Teaching practice is a specified period in which student teachers put into practice (Agusiobo and Olaitan 1981 and the Illinois State University Student Teacher Handbook 1987). A number of authors generally take teaching practice as an important integral part of teacher training. They provide rationale for teaching practice as "traditional sampling of reality" affording student teachers a chance to work directly in situations like those they will encounter in the teaching profession. They assume responsibility for directing learning (Smyth, Krouse and Atkinson 1967:230, Wragg 1974:160). It is opportunity for student teachers to put their theory into practice. Student teachers gain confidence and learn from competent teachers in schools. Throughout the supervision they get, they gain from constructive criticism, they evaluate self and discover their strengths and weaknesses (Brown and Nacino-Brown 1990:3 & 56). As a result of teaching practice, student teachers are supposed to develop to be competent teachers.
However, there is little conclusive evidence on what constitutes a good teacher. Studies which have taken pupils' gains on achievement tests and pupil/observers' ratings have produced quite different groups of good teachers. But teaching practice will defeat its purpose if it becomes a simple exercise in adapting new personnel into the old pattern of the profession. Teaching practice should develop reflective teachers and professional socialization - teachers who will fit into the classroom now and in the future. Also it is not possible to formulate universal objectives in teaching practice. But those set for each teacher training institution should be effectively implemented to help students to become competent teachers (Salzillo, and Van Fleet 1977:28 and Morris 1968: 120 - 122). Even research on teacher effectiveness does not provide an adequate, definite basis for answering a question on what constitute effective teaching.
Theory and Practice in Teaching Practice.
A theory is the principle which when put into practice is refined as reality is discovered. As it is refined, knowledge to improve the theory is also discovered (Page & Thomas 1978 & Button 1988). Practice helps to organize material into more meaningful experience, that is, the regularity in doing an activity results in acknowledge of that activity. Hence student teachers undertake teaching practice as an integral part of their training. The teacher training institution is a source of theory which is supposed to be applied during teaching practice. The generalisations that make up educational theory are directly and consciously used by student teachers in appropriate situations.
However, there are findings that show conflict between theory and practice during teaching practice. The conflict is between the teacher training institution and the school, the student teacher and the supervisor, and the student teacher within himself. The teacher training institutions is interested in changes leading to changes in practice while the school emphasizes continuity. The school by its nature responds to theoretical and practical innovations very slowly because it gets direct pressures from parents and wider community while the college is free from such pressures. This results in the student teacher being frustrated between the school and the college. Sometimes the college and the school may drift apart so much that the student teacher feels isolated (Morris 1968:124 - 125).
At times the conflict is between the student teacher and the supervisor. Some supervisors, as Cogan (1973:50) shows, fail to exhibit both person-oriented and tasks-oriented behaviour in an integrated fashion. This is done with the aim of supporting psychological and professional needs of the student teacher. Also, the college supervisor and the school-based supervisor sometimes show a competitive behaviour in regard to their "way" of supervising. Their way of supervision reflect conflicting roles. This behaviour leaves the student teacher frustrated between the two supervisors. Smyth (1984:9) suggests that the roles of the two supervisors should be explicitly spelled out to avoid conflicts.
To lessen or avoid conflict between the college and the school, Morris (1968:125) suggests that student teachers should be immersed in schools during teaching practice. The college should contact them indirectly through cooperating teachers. There should be regular meetings between the cooperating teachers and the tutors to discuss the student teacher's progress. The tutors underplay theory and remove themselves as influence on the student teachers. Also the student teachers are freed from the college pressures. This type of teaching practice is termed the "school-centred practice."
However, Morris argues that this measure may not always work. Sometimes the school and the college may drift apart so much that the student teacher may feel isolated. He/she may find his progress depended upon the good fortune that he/she is attached to a sympathetic school and cooperating teacher of high calibre. The recommendation is that if this type of teaching practice is adapted, the cooperating teachers should have taken a course in (clinical) supervision in education or be prepared to attend part-time courses.
Burke (1987:71) also recommends that academic college programmes should bring theory to the support of good practice. With gradual experience, the student teachers mature in the teaching profession and see the college theory and field experiences complementary rather than antagonistic to each other as theory and practice diversities are reduced.
Writing on conflict within the student teacher, Salzillo and Van Fleet (1977:29) show that upon encountering life in a different social situation, the common experience is cultural shock. An individual becomes insecure assuming that his/her way of behaving and thinking are inappropriate. The reaction to the situation is often frustration, anger, fatigue and the feeling of strangeness. The proposal here is to structure the teaching practice model which will recognise the insecure position of the student teacher. The observer model in which the supervisor interacts with the school staff to lessen the student teacher's fear is suggested. It is supposed to help the student teacher to relax in his classroom.
The model that Salzillo and Van Fleet purpose in the quoted work concurs with the teaching practice model Morris (1968:125) advocates. He proposes a "casework approach" in teaching practice. In this approach, the supervisor discusses retrospectively with the student teacher his work with the learners. The aim is to develop the student teacher's social and personal insights, also giving retrospective, analysis of this kind. This increases the student teachers skill in observation and equips him with techniques to be less depended on external assessment and to be able to assess his own teaching.
In the "casework approach", the supervisor does not visit the student teacher and see him/her teach. The student teacher teaches one or two lessons per week, writes a full report on them dealing with techniques, own feelings, relationship with the class, and the success of the lesson. These reports form the basis for the tutorial. The student teacher discovers reality by himself by retrospectively examining his own teaching. In this way, theory and practice conflicts are lessened.
However, in the casework approach, the supervisor is unable to directly observe the lesson and he makes suppositions when analysing the lesson. The information on the lesson is only from the student teacher. It is unlikely for the supervisor to contrast what the student teacher believes has happened.
Another solution to the conflict between theory and practice is suggested in Morris quoted work. He recommends a staggered model of teachign practice. He proposes that theoretical discussions in the college should immediately be followed by work in schools. The work should infuse a problem solving approach or research approach. This model provides a continuing opportunity for dialogue on the problem of theory and practice, and between the school and the training institution.
The 1987 Consultancy Report on the NTTC teaching practice also suggested the staggered model of teaching practice. The consultancy assignment was to examine to one-year teaching practice and recommend a teaching practice model for NTTC. It recommended four alternatives: the two staggered model types, shifting the teaching practice to year, and instituting a demonstration school. The two staggered models included comprised taking instruction from college, exposure to school situation for a certain period, twice in the three years and returning to college after each time. The first return would help them reflect on their experiences. That reflection would help them during the second exposure. They would come back to college and reflect again.
Shifting the one-year teaching practice was the third alternative. Student teachers would take full-time lectures at college. They would then go for teaching practice in the third year at the end of which evaluation would be done. Nevertheless, it was observed that the student teachers would lack reflection on their field experiences.
Lastly, the demonstration school was recommended. However, it was observed that it would call for more expenses. Building the school, staff if, and executing the staff in it in the understanding of the purpose of the demonstration school would be expensive. The first three alternatives had the field-based supervisors in mind.
In summary, theory sometimes conflict with practice. To avoid the conflict there should be a compromise in every type of the teaching practice model that any teacher training institution chooses. This compromise should be done with the purpose in mind that the student teacher is relaxed and gaining academically, socially and professionally.
Clinical Supervision and Change in the TP at NTTC.
The NTTC Teaching Practice Handbook (1991:1) clearly states the expectation to produce competent teachers. Student teachers are teamed up with cooperating teachers in schools. The college tutors are expected to work collaboratively with the cooperating teachers. Both parties use clinical supervision in helping the student etchers. This triad is supposed to be guided by the NTTC. Teaching Practice objectives and guidelines. The achievement of the objectives are reflected by the extent to which the student teachers grow academically, professionally, socially and personally during the teaching practice period.
The NTTC four-month teaching practice operated from 1989 to date. The change from one-year teaching practice to four-month teaching practice called for training workshops for tutors and cooperating teachers to get them prepared for the new teaching practice. Emphasis during training was laid on the proper use of clinical supervision when helping the student teachers.
The change in the NTTC teaching practice was first initiated by the Ministry of Education advising the college to cut down the one-year teaching practice programme. Second, NTTC initiated innovation and change by introducing the cooeprating teachers into the programme and determining the services of the field-based supervisors.
When change is initiated, there are many unknowns and fears of the unknowns. Everard and Morris (1985:168) and Burke (1987:209) observe that some people see change as a threat and are comfortable in continuing practising what they have always been doing in exactly the same manner. Burke in the quoted work terms this a "straight jacket" , meaning that people have never come to any decision in their minds as to whether they want continuation of the same thing or make changes.
Fullan & Stiegelbauer (1991:29) quoted Cuban's categories of innovations into "first-order changes" and "second order changes". The first-order changes are "those that improve efficiency and effectiveness of what is currently done without disturbing the basic organisational feature." However, the roles performed by the participants may be altered. The second order changes are "those that seek to alter fundamental ways in which organisations are put together, including new goals, and roles."
It is observed that NTTC started with the first-order change - introducing the cooeprating teachers without disturbing other structures of the programme. Subsequently, the field-based supervisors services were terminated. The question is whether or not by the changes and innovations the college made the teaching practice was strengthened.
Everard & Morris (1985:169) point out that change involves both intellect and emotions. It does not only affect individuals but also the organization, its structure, norms and environment. Consequently, it will not happen successfully unless it is promoted, steered or facilitated. Like Everard & Morris, Vago (1989:280) quotes Bennis, Benne and Chin that planned social change is "deliberate, conscious and collaborative effort by change agents to improve operations of social system. "Explaining change that is without collaboration and consultation, Fullan & Stiegelbauer (1991:62) state that any change that affects different or single group(s) should involve its members in deciding on the change. No party should be left out without information. If any change made has an element of taking opportunity of the other group, it will fail. It is even worse if such a change is not followed up. Its implementors get discouraged.
Fullan & Steigelbauer (1991:4) observe three broad phases to change process. The first phase involves initiation. It consists of the process that leads up to include a decision to adopt or proceed with change. The second phase is implementation. It involves the first experience of putting the idea into practice. The third phase is continuation. It refers to whether the change gets built in as an on-going part of the system or disappears by way of a decision to discard it. These phases are a process in which events at one phase can feed back to alter decisions made at previous stages. They then continue to work their way through in a continuous interactive way. Below is a pictorial process of change.
A simplified overview of the change process.
Source: Fullan & Stiegelbauer (1991:48).
The Arrows indicate the feedback from one phase to another. As Fullan & Steigelbauer in the cited work observe, the complication that the total time perspective as well as sub-phases cannot be precisely marked. The initial stage can be at work for years. The line between implementation and continuation is somehow uncertain and arbitrary. Hence they point out that the best beginning combines the three Rs of "relevance, readiness and resources." Relevance implies that there should be "interaction of need, clarity of innovation, and utility". Readiness "involves the school's practical and conceptual capacity to initiate, develop or adopt a given innovation." Resources concern the "accumulation and provision of support as part of the change process."
The reduction of the teaching practice sites and the termination of the services of the field-based supervisors was a cut of expenses for NTTC. However, this did not mean that the change would be a success. It seemed that in implementing this change, the college did not comply with the three Rs. Fullan & Steigelbauer in the quoted work show that the greatest success of change is likely to occur when the size of the change is large enough to require noticeable, sustained effort, but not so large that the implementors need to form a copying strategy that may lead to distortion of the change, especially if the resources are not available. The implementors and the institution should also be ready to embark on and continue with the task. Also, the appropriate resources for implementation should be available.
It is questionable whether or not the student teachers are followed up, the cooperating teachers given enough support, the field activities properly coordinated, and the clinical supervision cycle properly applied during teaching practice. The general assumption is that these activities are not properly done.
Summary of the Reviewed Literature.
The received literature provides a descriptive framework of clinical supervision. It is shown that the supervision concentrates on the strong helping relationship provided by the supervisor to the student teacher. This student teachers gets theory from college and applies it during teaching practice. A continuity of observations which help remedy arising problems are made in line with set teaching practice objectives and guidelines. The literature further shows how change should be introduced. People affected by change should be consulted so that they contribute in its planning. If they contribute they feel duty bound to implement and follow up its activities.
The assumptions of the study are therefore that:
1. the student teachers are not regularly observed by the college tutors and the cooperating teachers;
2. the clinical supervision cycle is not properly followed by the college tutors and the cooperating teachers;
3. the teaching practice activities are not well coordinated;
4. the cooperating teachers are not given adequate support by the college; and
5. communication and consultation on teaching practice activities are not properly done among the tutors, between the tutors and the college administrators, and between the college and the cooperating schools.
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND DESIGN
This study employed questionnaires and interviews to determine characteristics, opinions, attitudes, preferences, and perceptions of persons of interest to the researcher. Questionnaires collected basic descriptive information from a broad sample while interview followed up questionnaire responses in depth for a smaller sample. These instruments objectively collected both quantitative and qualitative data on the proper use of clinical supervision cycle during teaching practice at NTTC. The quantitative and qualitative methods of data analysis were interwoven in data analysis. These methods helped to produce qualified and generalizable conclusion. Qualitative methods specially sought insights rather than statistical analysis.
The population of the study comprised one hundred and eight (180) student teachers, one hundred and eighty (180) cooperating teachers, sixty-six (66) college tutors and five (5) college administrators. The purpose of using these four groups was to find out their relationship and views in terms of the proper use of clinical supervision which is a variable constant. Also the ten NTTC teaching practice sites were used.
The ten teaching practice sites were taken as homogeneous therefore, making ten clusters. A purposive and convenient sample of three out of ten sites was made (Leedy 1980:155, Cohen & Manion 1989:103 and Ary, Jacobs & Razavieh 1990:177). The suggestion of Bell (1993:83) was followed in sampling the student teachers and the cooperating teachers. Fifty percent of the population from each selected site was taken. Each second name on the alphabetically listed names of student teachers was taken. To cater for subjects who were not willing to participate in the study reserve names were taken, that is, the next name to the sampled subject was taken. The sampled student teachers correspondingly sampled their cooperating teachers. This resulted in thirty-five (35) student teachers and (35) cooperating teachers.
There were sixty-six tutors as reflected by the 1995 College Calendar. Practically there were thirty-five tutors. Others were on study leave, occupied in administrative posts and had resigned from college. These thirty-five were taken as subjects for the study. From these thirty five, a random sample of five was made and were interviewed. Likewise, five cooperating teachers were sampled and interviewed. The five administrators comprised the Directors and the teaching practice coordinators.
The question to be analysed from the questionnaire was first written in a rephrased form. Then a simple tabulation consisting of frequencies and percentages was made on each close-ended question. Each table was discussed bringing out prominent features and relating them to the appropriate research questions, assumptions and literature review.
Various responses on each open-ended question were written. Similar responses were grouped together under one summarizing category. Then the summarized categories were arranged in numbers. A descriptive analysis of the summarised categories was made occasionally injected with actual responses. Findings were reflected on the basis of the analysis. These findings were also related to the research questions, assumptions and reviewed literature. These were followed by thoughts for bettering the situation. The data collected through interviews was descriptively analysed with respondents' actual words cited to strengthen the analysis.
DISCUSSIONS AND SUMMARY OF FINDINGS.
There were two major assumptions forming the foundation of the investigation. First, it was supposed that clinical supervision was not properly affected by the cooperating teachers and the college tutors when supervising the student teachers. Second, it was assumed that there were some managerial problems hindering the proper use of clinical supervision. The findings therefore, answered the four research questions stated in the introduction and the assumptions written at the end of the reviewed literature. Following are the questions and their findings:
[a] Is the four-months teaching practice model an acceptable change to all involved in the supervision of student teachers?
It was disclosed that some cooperating teachers (24:14%) and College Tutors (43.43%) did not accept the four-months teaching practice. The cooperating teachers indicated that it had created much work for them as supervision of student teachers is left in their hands. This resulted in treating the student teachers as full-time teachers. The college tutors did not satisfactorily do their work.
[b] To what extent were the cooperating teachers, college tutors and student teachers trained in clinical supervision?
The findings indicated that the cooperating teachers and the college tutors were trained under various modes ranging from full-time courses to learning from colleagues. Full-time training seemed to have given the best training of all modes. The college workshops failed to offer sustained training hence some cooperating teachers (44.8%) and college tutors (7.14%) had no training at all. The various categories of training resulted in lack of uniformity in supervision of student teachers. Most cooperating teachers (93.1%) and college tutors (75%) did not accomplish the five phases of the clinical supervision cycle. The two non-contact phases were omitted. The omission of analysis and strategy phase deprived supervisors of constructively planning tactics for handling the postobservation conference. Leaving out the supervision analysis phase denied the student teachers opportunity to reflect on the supervision process. It is also observed that student teachers were introduced to clinical supervision during one week orientation for teaching practice.
It generally seemed that although the college had adopted the five-phase clinical supervision cycle, only three contact phases were emphasized during training. It was also found out that the training workshops for the triad were held separately. The separation denied them sharing of ideas and experiences.
[c] To what extent is clinical supervision used by the cooperating teachers and the college tutors?
It was disclosed that the five phases were generally no accomplished. In some cases in-class supervision was not done at all. In others it was done with omission of some phases especially analysis and strategy and supervision analysis. The preobservation, the observation and the postobservation were found to be the major focus during supervision. However, some respondents reflected that the preobservation was not done due to late arrival at schools and as a result of lack of knowledge of clinical supervision. Supervisors did not base their observation on the student teachers' education platform but on theirs.
To some extent, in-class observation was improperly done as some supervisors sat in class and did not take notes. Others took over the lesson with the purpose of "helping" the student teacher. Respondents also show that there was an observation form constructed in a manner that encouraged use of the clinical supervision. However, some supervisors did not use the form hence there was no uniformity in how supervision was done.
[d] Are there any managerial implications in the proper use of clinical supervision?
It was revealed that the majority of cooperating teachers (82.7%) and college tutors (53.53%) were unknowledgeable of the teaching practice regulations. These regulations were not disseminated properly as communication and consultation lacked. This resulted in some students not being observed. Moreover, there was no follow up on TP activities by the NTTC Administration. Also the teaching practice coordinators did not have a private place to handle some issues. Lastly, inefficiency in transport organisation was an inconvenience to the proper running of the teaching practice activities.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.
The findings of the study disclosed that clinical supervision, as perceived by NTTC, was not properly applied. The study showed that some cooperating teachers and college tutors trained in clinical supervision were denied the opportunity to properly apply it by managerial problems. These problems included lack of communication and consultation between the college and the schools.
With the intention to improve the proper application of the clinical supervision cycle are made:
1. The five phases o the clinical supervision cycle should be cut into three. The analysis and strategy and the supervision analysis should be infused into the observation and postobservation respectively.
2. Training of all involved in teaching practice should be improved. They should be held on regular basis and be extended to teaching practice sites. Participants should refresh themselves on clinical supervision. Participants should be college tutors, cooperating teachers and student teachers. For long term purpose, the college should include clinical supervision as a course its curriculum. This will equip the student teachers to reflect on their teaching in a problem solving manner. This will improve the quality of instruction in the classroom.
3. During teaching practice, it is proposed, the student teachers should engage in action research. They should follow the basic research cycle proposed by Steward (1987:324). Each fortnight a reflection on three or four lessons should be made. These lessons should be independent from others observed by the coopering teachers. Each student teacher writes a report on each lesson he/she has reflected upon. When the tutor visits the school, she/he will together with the cooperating teacher and the student teacher discuss these lessons. As Morris (1968) earlier on suggested, this is a "casework approach" in which the supervisor discusses retrospectively with the student teacher his/her work with the learners. This approach increases the student teacher's skills in observation and trains him/her to be less dependent on external assessment.
The advantage of the suggested model is that the student teachers will know him/herself through the Johari Window proposed by Sergiovanni and Starrat. He/she will be aware of the four cells - the open self, secret self, blind self and undiscovered self. The ultimate result will be the improvement of the quality of the student teacher's life and the learners' life in the classroom. Below follows the suggested pictorial model of teaching practice supervision for NTTC.
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