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Background of the study
Instructional supervision is a constant process that aims at improving teaching by providing needed services to teachers. Improving teaching is a complex process in which many elements should interact. Teachers are at the center of this improvement process. Their acceptance of instructional supervision and interaction with instructional supervisors provide the catalyst for any supervisory success. The way teachers view the supervision that they are undergoing and think about it is very important in the outcomes of the supervision process.
Supervision has its origin from the Latin word “Super video” meaning “to oversee” (Adenaike and Adebanjo, 2000:151). Therefore, “Supervision can be seen as a way of advising, guiding, refreshing, encouraging, stimulating, improving and overseeing certain groups with the hope of persuading people to desist from applying wrong procedures in carrying out certain functions on their jobs and at the same time try to emphasize the importance of good human relations in an organization” (Akilaiya, 2001:251). Supervision as a concept has diverse meanings and definitions on the individual’s needs, purposes and experience. Whereas the school supervisor would perceive it as an indispensable force for improved productivity, the teacher and or the taught being supervised might view same as an attempt to harass, threaten and curse because of the use of traditional approach of supervision by supervisors, or as a source of assistance and support needed in realizing the educational goals and objectives. The traditional approach of supervision is a fault-finding approach, the supervisor goes to school to criticize and condemn teachers, not seeing anything good in them (Adenokun, 2000). Educational supervision is the process or act of seeing to it that the policies, principles and methods established for achieving the objectives of education are properly and successfully carried out (Akilaiya, 2001). This process involves using expert knowledge and experience to oversee, evaluate and cooperatively improve the conditions and methods of doing things connected with the teaching-learning problems in schools.
The need to supervise the instructional process cannot be over emphasized; hence Ezeocha (1985) is of the view that most of the schools activities and all the school programmes require supervision. Supervision of instruction is a process of assisting the teachers to improve himself and his instructional abilities so as to enhance effective teaching and learning (Afianmagbon, 2007). It is a service rendered to teachers which is directed towards controlling the quality of their classroom instruction. Supervision of instruction aims at identifying areas of work that need to be improved upon. Oraemesi (1997:195) is of the opinion that supervision of instruction is important for a number of reasons. To him; “the supervisee learns during supervision, since the supervisor is more knowledgeable, he corrects and advises the supervisee. This is done through friendly interaction. It also enhances personal professional growth of the teacher since interaction and greater knowledge gained at supervision promote personal growth”.
Education has been known to be the antidote to poverty and ignorance and the key for unlocking natural resources (Obaji, 2006). Since education is accepted to be an instrument of change; teachers serve as the main operators of the instrument while the students are referred to as the raw materials to be processed on which the change would be manifested over a period of time (Adenaike and Adebanjo, 2000). In an attempt to ensure that the value of education is being derived at all levels, some officials are charged with the responsibility to monitor the performances of all those who run education especially those in schools in order to find out or assess the extent of achievement of the goals of education. These officials are the ones officially designated as supervisors.
Consequently, due to high cost of education, stakeholders are becoming increasingly interested in the school system. They monitor the teachers and their wards’ activities critically to ensure that adequate teaching and learning activities take place. Thus Parents Teachers Association monitors the activities within the school and constitutes part of the team involved directly in supervision. In the process of teaching and learning, some variables sometimes interfere with the plans and patterns of operation within the school that can be harmful to the attainment of set goals. Such variables include: teacher’s personality, his attitude to work, motivation, discipline, student’s background and environment which will have either positive or negative influence on the school system and education at large. The school is an organization where the generality of the citizens have input and support. As a result, the whole society and designated supervisors are in the position to help improve the system generally (Ijaduola, 2000).
The process of supervision is complex and it permeates the whole structure of the school system. There seems to be little or no area of operation within the school where the need for supervision would not arise, although this may be in diverse proportions. As Ajibade (1993) opined, the crucial areas within the school system that require supervision are instructional and discipline areas where both the content, method or mode of delivery, and the personality of both the students and the teachers are examined to ensure their adequacy for the school system.
According to Ojo (1991:97);
the effective implementation of curriculum is obviously the single most important function of the school. The implementation of the school curriculum should be viewed as a critical conversion stage that annualizes the best of human energies to enhance the production of positive gains in students’ behaviour.
He maintained that the conversion requires human input in form of interaction of various school personnel, particularly the interaction between the principal (and or the supervisor) and the teachers. The need to improve the teaching and learning capabilities of teachers and students is often the basis of this type of interaction. Interaction between supervisor and teachers involves situations where the teacher sees the supervisor as a helper and not as a task master, he freely goes to the supervisor when faced with teaching difficulties, he freely pours out his mind about his feelings to the supervisor and the supervisor is always ready to assist the teacher and not to ‘lord’ over him. Availability of teaching materials (like textbooks, audio visual aids) help a great deal in improving the teaching instructions in class. It makes teaching and learning easier for both teachers and students. Conferences and seminars involve organizing programmes by instructional supervisors for teachers that center on talks about classroom instruction, papers on different topics (educational) are presented and questions are asked. This makes teachers to discover new teaching methods and also avenue to ask questions and to improve teaching skills. This in turn improves their performances.
Teachers have been accused of divided loyalty, nonchalant attitude and indiscipline among the teachers and students, which lowers the performance of both teachers and learners. Performance is seen as an act, process or manner of executing, performing or functioning. It can also be seen as an action seen, noticed or felt due to its effects on the people’s lives or way of thinking. Classroom Performance on the other hand is the act, process or manner of executing teaching functions in the classroom by the teacher either through discipline, teaching instruction, punctuality in class and so on.
Parents now complain about their wards’ inability to communicate effectively in other language (English) from their mother tongue, also their wards’ academic performances have greatly and drastically reduced. They now see the school system fast losing its glamour and orientation which is affecting the attainment of National aims of education.
To restore this, the need for instructional supervision process cannot be over emphasized (Ezeocha, 1985).
Instructional Supervision can be done either through internal supervisors who are Heads of schools, their assistants, and the Heads of departments, or through External supervisors who are resource persons and consultants like University professors, education researchers, curriculum consultants and designated officials from the Post Primary School Management Board (PPSMB) (Chiagha, 2008). If there is effective instructional supervision there is a greater possibility of achieving the set goals, on the other hand a defective instructional supervision or poor instructional supervision will impede a successful implementation of the school programme. Instructional supervision is a great determinant of a school’s quality; it can affect it either positively or negatively.
Effective instructional supervision of schools ensures proper functioning and mutual interaction of all persons and materials involved in the processing of a child and harmonizes the efforts of all designated school personnel. When all resources (human, physical and material) are in place, the need to monitor the operations within the school system by all interested groups would be an effective way of getting the best out of the school system. Teaching and learning are the major activities going on within the school; there is therefore the need to supervise these major activities for efficiency and effectiveness.
In line with the above, the State Post Primary School Management Board (SPPSMB) whose responsibility it is to control secondary education in the country emphasizes greatly on supervision of instruction in the secondary schools. It is on this ground that the board found it more necessary to offer great assistance to the classroom teachers through the designated school officials. These people have important roles to play in helping teachers to achieve the objectives of the secondary school as was stated in the national policy on education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004). And how teachers perceive the help given by these officials will determine if these objectives will be achieved or not.
These officially designated instructional supervisors can be male or female irrespective of the gender, and they have been trained to supervise instructions in class. Though some male teachers are gender biased when being supervised by female instructional supervisors and as such, they don’t usually accept the helps rendered to them with open hearts. Also, some older teachers feel their many years of teaching experience is enough for them and as such supervision should only be meant for younger teachers (Adenaike and Adebanjo, 2000). According to Nwoke (1997), teachers do not like to be supervised by supervisors younger in age.
The positive perception of teachers towards the influence of supervision of instruction will bring about the actualization of the objectives of supervision of instruction and a negative perception will stampede it. The rational for this study is to see the perception of teachers on the influence of supervision of instruction towards the realization of the objectives and goals of supervision which is to improve classroom instruction. This study will be concerned with the perception of teachers on the influence of supervision of instruction as it affects interaction between supervisor and teachers, availability of teaching materials as suggested by instructional supervisors, and conferences and seminars organized by instructional supervisors.
Statement of the problem
In the attempt to improve the quality of education, more focus should be put on teachers. This focus is based on the assumption that understanding the perception of teachers on the influence of supervision of instruction on their performances will increase our knowledge about how to go about instructional supervision (Wu and Short, 1996).
In Ijebu-North Education zone of Ogun State, there are designated instructional supervisors charged with the responsibility to supervise instructions. The supervisors supply teaching materials to schools for teachers to work with in order to improve classroom instructions. The supervisors are always ready to assist the teachers and the interaction is quite cordial. Also, workshops, conferences and seminars are organized more often both within the education zone and at the state level to help find solutions to teachers’ unanswered questions.
The problem investigated in this study was whether the perception of teachers as regards the influence of supervision of instruction on their class performance is negative or positive and the extent of their perception, since these will determine the impact and success of instructional supervision of schools in Ijebu-North Education zone. It focused on three aspects of instructional supervision. These are: interaction between teachers and supervisors, availability of teaching materials as directed by instructional supervisors and attendance to conferences and seminars organized by instructional supervisors.
Purpose of the study
The main purpose of this study was to determine the perceived influence of supervision of instruction on teachers’ classroom performance.
Specifically, this study investigated the extent to which:
1. Teachers perceive the influence of interaction with instructional supervisors on their classroom performance.
2. Teachers perceive the influence of use of instructional materials as suggested by instructional supervisors on their classroom performance.
3. Teachers perceive the influence of conferences and seminars organized by instructional supervisors on their classroom performance.
Significance of the study
Examining the perception of teachers on the influence of supervision of instruction is significant, in that it will help improve the supervision process in schools.
This study will help the following groups: Teachers, Schools’ management, Education board, the Parents Teachers Associations (PTAs), and other researchers interested in supervision of instruction.
The findings of this study will help teachers to understand and appreciate the importance of supervision of instruction on effective classroom performance as regards instruction. It will help them understand that instructional supervisors are there to assist them and not to harass them. It will also make them know that the way they perceive supervision of instruction can make or mar their classroom performances.
This study will help the schools’ management to have understanding about the teachers’ perception on the influence of instructional supervision on class performance. And this understanding will help them realize that the perception of teachers towards supervision of instruction can make or mar the school activities. Since classroom instruction is one of the major school activities in the school and the school is like a factory that processes the students into finished products. Also, it will help the school management to know the extent to which attendance to conference and seminars improve teachers’ classroom performance. This will make them encourage teachers to participate more in conferences and seminars
Teachers are the main targets of supervisors’ work. Teachers’ views on the influence of what is being done to them and their reactions to them are very important in planning and implementing successful instructional supervision. This study will be an eye opener to the Authorities of Education (i.e. Education Board) most especially instructional supervisors to understand that the way they supervise has a great influence on teachers’ classroom performance. And that how teachers view their influence contributes greatly to class instruction. Also that how they interact with teachers go a long way in affecting teachers classroom performance, thereby help them to improve on their interaction with teachers
This finding will also help the Parents Teachers Associations (PTAs) know that supervision has a great influence on teachers’ classroom performance. This will make them provide enough instructional materials to improve classroom performance of teachers. It will also be an eye opener to them as part of external supervisors to know that the way they supervise has a great influence on teachers’ classroom performance. And that the interaction between them (as parts of external supervisors) and teachers should be improved to get desired results.
The findings will also help other researchers to understand better supervision of instruction and help in their researches. It will also assist them in their review of empirical studies. As it will contribute to the existing theories and works on supervision of instruction.
Scope of the study
The scope of this study covered Ijebu-North Education zone of Ogun State involving all the secondary schools (both Junior and Senior). The investigation centered on the perceived influence of supervision of instruction on the classroom performance of teachers. It involved all teachers in Junior and senior secondary schools. The content scope of this study involved: perceived influence of interaction of instructional supervisors and teachers, perceived influence of availability of teaching materials as suggested by instructional supervisors and the perceived influence of attendance to conferences and seminars organized by instructional supervisors on teachers’ classroom performance.
The following research questions were posed to collect data for the study:
1. What is the perception of teachers on the influence of interaction with instructional supervisors on their classroom performance?
2. What is the perception of teachers on the influence of instructional materials suggested by instructional supervisors on their classroom performance?
3. What is the perception of teachers on the influence of conferences and seminars organized by instructional supervisors on their classroom performance?
The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study and were tested at 0.05 level of significance:
1. There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of teachers with less teaching experience and teachers with more teaching experience with regards to influence of instructional supervision on teachers’ classroom performance.
2. There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of male and female teachers as regards influence of instructional supervision on teachers’ classroom performance.
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