Better Supervision, Better Teaching: A Handbook for Teaching Practice Supervisors

Better Supervision, Better Teaching: A Handbook for Teaching Practice Supervisors

Better Supervision, Better Teaching: A Handbook for Teaching Practice Supervisors

Better Supervision, Better Teaching: A Handbook for Teaching Practice Supervisors

Synopsis

This handbook is designed for those involved in teacher education and the supervision of practical teaching. It will be useful for university tutors on teacher education programmes and mentors in schools, as well as senior staff in schools who are involved in appraisal and evaluation.

Excerpt

This handbook makes, to say the least, a timely contribution to the rapidly changing world of initial teacher education. It has been created by a team of highly experienced supervisors at a time when more and more classroom teachers are working in a supervisory role with trainees on teaching practice. in my own country, teachers are also preparing for a supervisory role in induction programmes for newly qualified teachers.

One striking feature revealed by this handbook is that the basic skills required by the good supervisor transcend cultural boundaries. the book meets head on many of the perennial problems attaching to supervision wherever in the world it is taking place even if justifiably ambiguous answers prevail. What is the relationship between support and challenge? What is ‘presence’ in the classroom, and how can it be developed? What is a failing student? How do we ensure continuity and progression in students over their entire period of training? And, for me the ultimate question, how do we create the ‘reflective’ teacher?

The authors have set themselves a formidable task - the codification of a number of largely unwritten rules about what constitutes good supervision of teaching practice. At the end of the day, the answer to that question is identical to the question ‘what identifies any good teacher?’ the aim of both supervisors and teachers is to bring about the demise of their own role. Reflective teachers do not require supervisors because they have learnt to analyse their own professional behaviour, recognize instances of weakness, and develop appropriate strategies to improve at both micro and macro levels of performance. However, the metacognitive skills required for decisive reflection are not so easily developed as is sometimes supposed. Recognizing poor practice in others is one thing. Recognizing it in oneself is entirely another matter, especially if it has been reinforced over many years of generally successful teaching. Such behaviours are too easily passed off as minor idiosyncrasies if they are recognized at all.

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