The development and testing of a conceptual model of peer supervision

Date

1981

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Abstract

Many questions have been raised in the literature and research about the productivity of the traditional model of supervisor-teacher interaction with its emphasis on a one teacher-to-one supervisor relationship. Blumberg's (1975) research concluded that: "Teachers see much of what occurs among themselves and supervisors as a waste of time and at best harmless; the character of the relationship between teachers as a group and supervisors as a group can best be described as somewhat of a cold war; super- visor-teacher relationships are largely characterized by lack of trust, little or no real respect, and closedness and defensiveness." This study was based on the assumption that a model of peer supervision could be more productive in assisting teachers in the instructional process. A conceptual model of peer supervision was developed for use in the study. The model was based on the direct improvement of instruction, providing help for the teacher from other teachers, and from a supervisor with a generic role of classroom teacher, principal, instructional supervisor, or department chairperson. The peer supervision model is integrated into three components: "Process," or the human relations, insights, and skills which the supervisor must have; "content," which includes the teachers' classroom behavior; and "system," or the method by which the classroom observation will occur. The model of peer supervision provided the basis for derivation of a set of hypotheses which were tested with a sample consisting of 103 teachers from the Alief, Texas, Independent School District, who volunteered to participate in the study. Sixty-two teachers from five randomly selected elementary and middle schools made up the experimental group, and forty-one teachers from five randomly selected elementary and middle schools comprised the comparison group. The statistical method used to test the hypotheses was the analysis of covariance. Analysis of covariance tested for statistical significance that comes from between-group differences while controlling for differences which may exist between the groups at pre-testing. All three hypotheses were confirmed as predicted. Hypothesis I- that teachers exposed to the treatment of the peer supervision model would score significantly higher on the Teacher Attitudes Toward Supervision Instrument compared to teachers who did not experience the treatment-was significant at the . 05 level after the adjustment of the covariate, which was significant at the .01 level. The adjusted means of teachers in the experimental group who received the treatment of the peer supervision model changed to a greater extent in the planned direction of having positive attitudes toward supervision than did teachers in the comparison group who did not receive the treatment. Hypothesis II-that teachers exposed to the use of the peer supervision model would score significantly higher on the Hunter Teacher Appraisal Instrument than teachers in the comparison group-was significant at the .01 level after the adjustment of the covariate, which was significant at the .05 level. The adjusted means of teachers in the experimental group who received the treatment of the peer supervision model changed to a greater extent in the planned direction of teachers' positively improving their instructional behavior than did teachers in the comparison group who did not receive the treatment. Hypothesis III-that teachers exposed to the treatment of the peer supervision model would score significantly higher on job factors of intrinsic job satisfaction on the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire than teachers in the comparison group who did not experience the treatment-was significant at the . 01 level after the adjustment of the covariate, which also was significant at the .01 level. The adjusted means of teachers in the experimental group who received the treatment of the peer supervision model changed to a greater extent in the planned direction of teachers1 increasing their intrinsic job satisfaction than did teachers in the comparison group who did not receive the treatment. The conclusions of this study are that teachers' attitudes toward supervision, teachers' instructional behavior, and teachers' intrinsic job satisfaction can positively be affected by the treatment of a peer supervision model.

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Keywords

School supervision

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