Cogan Problems with the Clinical Supervisor

Cogan, M. (1973). Clinical supervision. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Chapter 4: Some Problems of the Clinical Supervisor

  • Task-oriented Versus Person-oriented Behavior

    • Definition of Task-oriented: "Some supervisors may exhibit behavior directed principally toward the outcomes of their work. They are deeply concerned about the productivity of their efforts. They want to know what they have substantively accomplished (p. 48)."
    • Definition of Person-oriented: "These men and women tend to take the excellence of their interpersonal relationships as the criterion for their performance...Those who adopt this position in its extreme form hold that the better the teacher-supervisor relationship, the greater the chance of teacher change (p. 48)."
    • Task-oriented care first and foremost about results. Person-oriented supervisors argue that relationships are the foundation for change. A poor relationship will not produce results. Results = change of behavior.
    • Cogan argues that the majority of supervisors exhibit characteristics of both task-oriented and person-oriented. Cogan claims that it is more of a continuum than a dichotomy.
    • Supervisors need to first emphasize person-oriented supervision and then progress to task-oriented. Teachers need a strong relationship first before they can attend to the task.
  • The Scarcity of Dependable Knowledge in Teaching-Learning

    • Even though data on teaching and learning may be limited, supervisors must make the best of what data there is.
  • "To Thine Own Self Be True"

    • A supervisor's behavior and personality must align. The supervisee interprets misalignment as fake and contrived.
    • (MY THOUGHTS: Could we then say that changes must be transformational - how they know and what they do?)
  • Integrating Multiple Models of Good Teaching

    • Supervisors' notions of good teaching arise from their experiences as teachers. They project those images onto others, trying to get other to teach as they did. (MY THOUGHTS: Puppeting?) Therefore supervisors need to have a broadened perspective of good teaching. Cogan suggests that supervisors should study multiple models of "best" practices.
  • Gaining Knowledge About the Teacher

    • Clinical supervision is individualized, so supervisors must have a strong working knowledge about the teacher's beliefs and current practice.