Clinical Supervision in Teacher Evaluation: A Pivotal Factor in the Quality Management of Education

Article excerpt

The rapidly approaching new millennium is ushering in significant changes in management and management style in all organizations. One such a new paradigm which would benefit educational management is Total Quality Management (TQM) which is clearly aimed at quality. Organizations are designed to fulfill specific mandates and therefore to achieve specific objectives. A school is accountable to its community for fulfilling its purpose namely quality teaching. Supervisors play a key role in the monitoring and facilitating of quality teaching. This article discusses clinical supervision as approach to evaluate teachers. An attempt is made to apply TQM to this mechanism of control and development in education. The aim of the article is to relate TQM to the process of clinical supervision.

Introduction

The rapidly approaching new millennium is ushering in significant changes in management and management style in all organizations. One such new paradigm in management rapidly gaining ground, which would also benefit educational management, is the so-called "Total Quality Management", which is clearly aimed at quality. Omachonu and Ross (1994:3) define Total Quality Management (hereafter, TQM) as: "... the integration of all functions and processes within an organization in order to achieve continuous improvement of the quality of goods and senices. The goal is customer satisfaction."

There are certain commonalities between commerce, industry and education such as: Financial administration, recruitment of personnel and the management of personnel. Therefore, certain management tasks such as planning, organizing, leadership and control (which includes evaluation of teachers), are executed in commerce, industry and education. Thus there are many facets of commerce and industry that could be applied very effectively to the concurring facets in education. (It should be stressed, however, that the uniqueness and the overall objective of the school, namely educative teaching should never be lost sight of.)

Since this article discusses clinical supervision as an approach to evaluate teachers, an attempt is made to apply TQM to this mechanism of quality control and development in education. Although there is a plethora of literature on teacher evaluation, there appears to be very little material available on clinical supervision of teachers, which implements the TQM theoretical framework. Therefore, the aim of this article is to fill this gap by relating TQM to the process of clinical supervision.

Statement of the problem

Organizations are designed to fulfill specific mandates and therefore to achieve specific objectives. A school is accountable to its community for fulfilling its purpose namely quality teaching. Supervision is used for a diversity of reasons and in different educational contexts, such as personnel development (formative evaluation) and evaluation of teachers for merit rating and promotion (summative evaluation). The implementation of the TQM theoretical framework usually facilitates the improvement and quality of organizations in order to fulfill customer expectations. This could also be true of the school as an organization: it could similarly fulfill the expectations of the customers of the school such as: Employers of school leavers, universities, the army or marital partners. However, the primary customer is the student and the ultimate goal is to provide the opportunity to learn (Downey, Frase and Peters, 1994:10 - 11) and the development of capacities and abilities.

Beare, Caldwell and Millikan (1989:215) declare: "No professional educator in his or her right mind would advocate that there should be no teacher assessment". The quality of the school is determined by teacher performance in the classroom more than by any other factor. Supervisors play a key role in the monitoring and the facilitating of teachers in their task: therefore the supervisor ought to have expertise in this area of evaluation in order to help the teacher to constantly improve his teaching. …