The supervisor of the school.
The supervisor of the school is highly knowledgeable of the curriculum and attempts to identify and solve problems therein. A spirit of optimism is inherent within the supervisor. The supervisor believes that situations can improve and moves in the direction of the ideal. With feelings of optimism, the supervisor of the school believes in the self as well as in others as positive resources to solve problems. Self-reliance emphasizes trust in oneself. Others, including faculty and staff, are there to provide additional quality input and support (See Ediger, 1988, 27-38).
Improving the Curriculum
Supervisors are available to assist in improving the curriculum. There are numerous approaches available. First, the supervisor needs to talk with teachers about new recommendable ideas in teaching. Stimulating teaching suggestions discussed with teachers can definitely aid in improving the curriculum. Thus, a supervisor may discuss with teachers the concept of `cooperative learning'. The pros and cons of using cooperative learning should be discussed. Perhaps, the teacher desired to use committee work in the classroom and the discussion on cooperative learning assisted in implementing a desired procedure. The repertoire of teaching skills increases for teachers as opportunities are presented to discuss ideas with supervisors (Ediger, 1995, 1-11).
Second, supervisors need to visit classroom teaching situations to guide improved instruction for teachers. A conference should follow the observational visit. Items to cover in and during the conference might include the following;
1. How to keep students on task.
2. Management of discipline problems.
3. Encouragement of learner interest.
4. Motivation of students to achieve and accomplish.
5. Establishing purpose in learning.
Supervisors should do much reading of professional literature to stay current in the field of supervision of instruction. Trends and issues change much in time. Thus the supervisor must be acknowledgeable about the following:
1. measurement driven instruction.
2. peer coaching.
3. team learning.
4. problem solving strategies.
5. project methods of instructions (Ediger, 1994, 11-15).
Supervisors need ample opportunities to discuss content read with other professionals. Depth study of content read is important. Worthwhile ideas read may be presented for group consideration and implementation Critical and creative thinking are needed as skills when professionals evaluate new ideas for acceptance in the curriculum. The supervisor of instruction must have time during the school day to engage in professional reading (see Ediger, 1997, 37-41).
Supervisors need to have ample opportunities to attend professional teacher education conferences. The local school district should pay expenses for attending a reasonable number of conferences. The supervisor of instruction must select carefully which specific presentations to attend at each teacher education conference. Those attended should assist the supervisor of the school to do a better job of supervising instruction in the public school setting. Students should then experience an improved curriculum (Ediger, 1996, 5-7).
Fifth, supervisors need to meet periodically with other professionals in the local district to discuss common problems. The discussion could zero in on improving the role(s) of the supervisor. Certainly, improved services of the supervisor in working with faculty and staff should be an end result. The supervisor believes strongly in himself or herself. Within the supervisor, creative ideas and beliefs can come forth. The unique, novel, and the original are in evidence. The supervisor also believes strongly in other professionals in the school setting. The latter might possess problem solving skills which the supervisor needs to encourage. Cooperatively, the supervisor, staff, and faculty have resources that must be used to guide each student in the school setting to achieve as optimally as possible.
Sixth, supervisors need to have opportunities to engage in research investigations. Thus, an experimental study can be conducted. The experimental group in the study receives the treatment or new approach of teaching. The control group experiences the traditional method of instruction. Ideally, participants in the experimental and control groups are selected at random. If randomization is not possible, pretest results from both experimental and control groups can be equated through analysis of covariance. Tests used in the study should contain high validity and reliability. A review of the related literature in the study may provide further inservice education for the supervisor.
Research conducted should relate directly to improving the school curriculum. Students in the public schools should then experience an improved curriculum.
Supervisors could also experience conducting a survey when using the descriptive survey method of doing research. An excellent survey could relate to determining what parents want their offspring to learn. The number of objectives listed should not be excessive in number since a goodly number of parents must respond to the survey. Perhaps an 80 percent of return from the questionnaires mailed should be expected. A space should be left on the questionnaire for respondents to list additional objectives than those provided by the supervisor. The importance of each objective can be rated on a five point scale. From the responses, the supervisor can average the ratings given by respondents. The supervisor may then be in a better position to select vital objectives, from among alternatives, to stress in teaching-learning situations (Ediger, 1995, 102-109).
The supervisor of the school must study trends and issues in the curriculum continuously. He/she needs to stay abreast of what the role of a true professional is in the school setting. The following means of inservice education are recommended for supervisors in schools;
1. talk with teachers about innovative ideas in teaching. The supervisor and the teacher must learn from each other in improving the curriculum.
2. visit classrooms to guide in curriculum improvement.
3. read current literature on trends and developments in the curriculum.
4. attend state and national educational teacher education conventions.
5. meet with other supervisors in the district.
6. conduct research to improve the curriculum for each student.
Ediger, Marlow (1988), "Philosophy of Education," Journal of Education and Social Change, 11 (3), 27-38.
Ediger, Marlow (1995), "The Psychology of Learning and the Teacher," Philippine Education Quarterly, 23 (4) 1-11.
Ediger, Marlow (1994), "Shared Leadership in the Curriculum," Education Magazine, nr. 110, 11-15. Published by the National Commission for Education of Qatar, the Middle East.
Ediger, Marlow (1997), "Slogans in Society," Journal of Instructional Psychology, 24 (1), 37-41.
Ediger, Marlow (1996), Essays in School Administration, Kirksville, Missouri: Simpson Publishing Company, 5-7.
Ediger, Marlow (1995), Philosophy in Curriculum Development, Kirksville, Missouri: Simpson Publishing Company, 102-109.
DR. MARLOW EDIGER Truman State University Box 417 North Newton, Kansas 67117-0417
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