Goldsberry Is Clinical Supervision Practical?

Goldsberry, L. (1986). Is clinical supervision practical? In W.J. Smyth (Ed.) Learning about teaching through clinical supervision. London: Falmer Press.


Prerequisites for Clinical Supervision
•    Clinical supervision requires a clear mission that is aligned to its goals, participants who are willing to engage in the process, and the resources necessary to conduct it properly and adequately.
•    "In short, one feature that distinguishes clinical supervision from other approaches to working with teachers is its clear aim to develop within teachers the skills and dispositions necessary to evaluate one's own performance and to refine it whenever possible (p. 138)."
•    Clinical supervision often gets misused. Poorly prepared administrators turn it into a series of checklists of "best teaching practices." In this manner, those practices cannot capture the complexity of teaching.
•    "Collaboration is easy to advocate...for others. The difficult part of collaboration comes in giving discretion to one's collaborators while maintaining personal commitment to, and investment in, the products of the effort (p. 139)."
•    Successful clinical supervision requires a willingness to participate because successful clinical supervision requires collaboration.
•    Clinical supervision requires an investment in time.

Preparation for Clinical Supervision
•    Administrators who are usually forced to participate in clinical supervision are usually poorly trained.
•    Reference points, usually obtained from a school's espoused platform, provide the guide for supervision practices.
•    Supervision is never free from judgment. (Do I agree with that statement?)
•    Reference points are not static. They can change, and they should change.
•    "When practices are encountered which seem incongruous with established platforms, reflective assessment may conclude that platforms need to be amended or revised, or that practices should change (p. 142)."
•    There are many and varying definitions of clinical supervision.
•    All participants should have an understanding of the definition of clinical supervision in which they will engage and the practices and requirements of clinical supervision that will be required.
•    Clinical supervision is cyclical. Sporadic engagements create a disillusionment of finality that run contrary to the beliefs of clinical supervision. (My words).
•    Clinical supervision is not a Bandaid approach nor a one-night stand. It is a long-term commitment - a marriage that constantly needs work as it grows over the years. (My words).
•    Clinical supervision requires trained supervisors and prepared teachers.

Introducing a Clinical Supervision Program
•    Like dating - start slow.
•    "Start of a Small Scale."
    o    Begin with the "best" teachers. Doing this will help to eliminate the preconceived notion that clinical supervision is for only for marginal teachers who are in need of repair.
    o    Beginning this way will lead to success, which breeds more success.
•    "Provide a Thorough Orientation to All Participants"
•    "Publicise the Reason for and Nature of the Pilot Program to all Teachers"
•    "Work to Understand Teaching from the Teacher's Perspective"
•    "Analysing Positive Teaching Patterns and Moves"
•    "Monitor your Clinical Supervision Program"
    o    "Clinical supervision calls upon teachers to expose their own performance to collective examination and to reflective assessment (p. 151)."

The Last Part