ERIC Number: ED350649
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
The "Instructional Leader" Must Go.
Evans, Dennis L.
Using some dictionary definitions, one might easily infer that supervision of teaching is a managerial/administrative function closely related to evaluation and control, implying hierarchical connotations. However, Guthrie and Reed (1991) describe teacher supervision as "a function of leadership concerned with improving, enhancing, and reinforcing classroom or teaching effectiveness" and "subsequent maximization of student academic performance." Instructional supervision is more of a collegial process than an individual act and has no need for an "instructional leader." Instructional supervision is primarily a formative process, whereas the administrative evaluation of teachers for retention or dismissal purposes is primarily a summative activity. The hallmarks of the supervisory process (collegiality, trust, and reflection) are incompatible with the characteristics of evaluation, which often involve legal mandates, role hierarchies, and concerns related to job security. This "bad marriage" of formative and summative responsibilities explains why neither is particularly done well in our schools. As Guthrie and Reed conclude, evaluation and supervision are more effective when performed by different individuals. The solution is for the principal to remain the summative evaluator and re-assign instructional supervision to the teacher, the teacher's peers, the district's supervisor specialist, and an outside program assessor/consultant. (MLH)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A