Rural Saskatchewan Elementary K-6 Teacher's Perceptions of Supervision and Professional Development
Dollansky, Tracy D
about supervision, reactions to the supervisory process, the connection between supervision and professional development, and perceived qualities of an effective supervisor. The respondent group consisted of 485 teachers from 42 (K-6) rural Saskatchewan schools, each consisting of five or more full-time teachers. Approximately 40% of those surveyed responded to the questionnaire. Analysis of data included frequency counts, means, standard deviations, and percentages to summarize items on the questionnaire. T-tests and one-way analyses of variance were used to determine statistical significance. The findings from this study supported the position that, generally, teachers were satisfied with the quantity and quality of supervision received. Teachers agreed that all teachers could benefit from supervision, but that special consideration should be given to new teachers and those experiencing difficulty. They believed that supervision should be a collaborative effort between supervisor and teacher, and that supervision should meet individual needs. They also recognized the need for a differentiated approach to supervision such as that outlined by Glatthom (1990) which allows teachers choice in the supervisory process. Teachers emphasized the need for a strong connection between supervision and professional development, and they tended to agree on qualities of an effective supervisor. While most respondents indicated satisfaction with the supervisory process, their preferences centered around ten general themes: a trusting supervisor and supervisory environment, time, training, peer supervision, conferencing, supervision of new and at-risk teachers, professional development plans, formal and informal supervisory visits, new policy creation and implementation, and teacher choice in the supervisory process. Strong implications exist for supervisory personnel based on these findings. More consideration must be given to teachers' needs and input. Hopefully, teachers and supervisors will begin to understand supervisory policy and become well trained in the methodology so as to implement effective supervisory processes that will result in better supervision, effective professional development, and, ultimately, improved student learning.