INSTRUCTIONAL SUPERVISION AND TEACHERS’ PERFORMANCE IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS
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1.1 Background to the Study
In today’s education market, the requirement for competent instructional monitoring cannot be overstated. This is due to Nigeria’s declining educational standard, which causes more alarm than satisfaction. The need to improve teachers’ and students’ teaching and learning capacities is frequently the basis for supervision in educational organizations. Global educational policies and programs have posed substantial problems to many education systems around the world, despite the fact that educational policy in the twenty-first century is critical to global security, sustainability, and survival (Olssen, Good, & O’neill 2006). Education for All (EFA), Universal Primary Education (UPE), and Universal Secondary Education (USE) are three major global educational initiatives that have been in place for a long time. Habimana (2008) points out in his master’s thesis that political leaders and experts are always emphasizing that education is dropping globally due to a variety of issues. Numerous recent studies continue to show that today’s education systems in countless nation-states throughout the world are confronting a slew of educational-related issues that are making it more difficult than ever to attain educational goals and objectives. Globalization is one of today’s most visible challenges.
The effect of globalization on education, on the other hand, has today called for education survival measures all over the world, and all organizations are always striving for sustainable development and survival. In response to this scenario, Armstrong, as cited in Nzabonimpa (2011), advises that adequate job supervision is one of the strategic survival tactics. According to Hunsaker and Hunsaker (2009), as a manager in any firm, one must ensure that objectives are reached as well as that people learn how to improve their performance through regular appraisals and supervision. However, insightful observations, publications, and repeated educational research studies show that there is a global drop in school supervision today (Bentley referenced in Nzabonimpa 2011). Education is even being chastised in some underdeveloped countries for the products it produces. In response to this, US President Barack Obama was described in the VOA Special English Education Report, 2011, as saying, “If Americans want to win the future, they must also win the race to educate their children.”
In reference to President Obama’s strong comment, the term “race” merely suggests a continuing severe rivalry in which countries compete for top educational success around the world. The question of how to reach this goal remains unanswered.
In 1882, an education ordinance was drafted, which established an inspectorate agency to oversee the operations of the country’s schools. The first Nigerian education ordinance was passed in 1887, and it required all schools to be open for inspection at all times. A good education dictionary describes supervision as “all efforts of designated school officials to provide leadership to teachers and other educational workers in the improvement of instruction.”
To Ijaiya (2013), supervision is perceived as a process concerned with growth and development of both human (i.e. Teachers, Publics and other School Personnel) and material resources within the school for the ultimate benefit of the learners and the society. It is seen as legitimate efforts made by a designated professional to assist the classroom teacher to improve on his competence so that he/she becomes a self propelling practitioner as well as ensuring a favorable setting for effective teaching and learning. Supervision as it is, planned for all round improvement on factors that affect teaching/learning process, especially instructive management of school, curriculum, and methods of teaching and personality of teachers. Schools are designed to bring about learning in pupils through the efforts of teachers. Supervisors are required to exhibit their competence, tactfulness, sincerity and integrity in their work (Nambassa, 2003 cited in Nzabonimpa 2011).
Looking critically at the above definitions of supervision, instructional supervision as related to this study can therefore be seen, as an aspect of school administration which focuses primarily upon improvement of teaching and other school activities for ultimate achievement of instructional goals. Beyond doubt, lack of supervision has apparently made some teachers no longer regard teaching as a desired career and ever take it for granted. To make the matter worse, teachers who fall under this category do not mind about improving their teaching, school performance and report in school whenever they like and do school duties unenthusiastically (Education Policy Review Report, 2005).
One of the most fundamental developments in educational administration has been the evolution of the role of the school head teacher from his status as that of head teacher, record keeper and major disciplinarian to its present status as a professional leader in the school. Over time, the head teacher’s teaching and clerical duties have been reduced and emphasis has been placed on the head’s supervisory roles in the school. It is felt that only the head teacher has the authority to make administrative changes necessary to improve teaching and learning situations (Global Literacy Project, 2008). An important characteristic that differentiates instructional supervision from other forms of supervision is that it is school-based and therefore an internal process. The role of head teacher is therefore better referred to as that of an instructional supervisor rather than simply a supervisor (Evetts, 2008). This not only depicts the head teacher as a leading professional responsible for raising standards of teaching and learning but also as a leader in the institution who has the ability to influence the action of others to ensure that his/her followers subscribe to the requirements of instructions.
The value of supervision lies on the development and improvement of the teaching/learning situation and is reflected in the development of pupils. It then becomes imperative that the school environment and teachers are constantly monitored and approved to the achievement of education goals. It is the tool of quality control in the school system and a phase of school administration which focuses primarily upon the achievement of appropriate expectation of educational system (Peretomode, 2004). It has long been recognized in the educational setting. In the study of Berg and associates (1994) for instance, the finding showed that stress level of staff, most especially teachers are significantly reduced through supervision, as they provide individual planned care for patient with dementia. Hallberg (1994); Nzabonimpa (2011) also found out that instructional supervision allows the improvement of teacher-student relationship, reduction of stress level, enhancement of self-confidence among students and knowledge enrichment. Also, supervision is seen as the intervention given by a senior member of a certain profession to a junior or group of member working in a similar profession. In some studies, supervision enables teachers and educators to reflect upon themselves, particularly on their formative learning needs. White and associates (1998) on the other hand, noted that instructional supervision makes work routine easier for the staff (teachers) as they can openly share their difficulties with someone who understands their experience as well as their feelings. Clearly, this study emphasizes the role of instructional supervision on providing quality educational service. In the case of secondary education, supervision is important to ensure that students are given enough attention.
Teachers’ performance among other staff in schools e.g. secondary schools, received the increasing interest and concern among the researchers. The performance of every teacher is expected to reflect ability to drive the changes within schools; secondary schools included and therefore can create an impact towards the schools. Because of the lack of monitoring and guidance from the higher officials or often referred to as the supervisors, the teachers and their performance cannot be assured as effective in the schools. The performance of teachers in secondary schools is important. Therefore the functions and roles assigned for them should be well addressed. The factors involved are the organizational structure in which they operate their workload and work management with the appropriate instructional supervision. The teacher effective performance can be ensured and can have a significant outcome according to the task or responsibility given to them.
Consequently, it is significant to note that supervision and the officials assigned to carry out the supervision play a vital role in the educational organization most especially the secondary education, in order to make the overall operation and resource system a valuable asset for the whole organization. With effective supervision carried out by the effective supervisors in any educational organization like secondary schools, the students are being benefited in a way that they will become fully developed and also teachers’ effectiveness will be enhanced. Hence, this study intends to examine instructional supervision and teachers’ performance in secondary schools in Ilorin South Local Government Area of Kwara State.
Statement of the Problem
This research work is to investigate the instructional supervision and teachers’ performance in secondary schools in Ilorin South Local Government Area of Kwara State. The teacher’s performance is expected to reflect in their ability to drive the change within the schools and therefore making an impact towards the teaching and learning activities in the schools.
Fullan (2007) cited in Alimi and Akinfolarin (2012) in a comprehensive report on how school principals acquire and deploy their fiscal and human resources wrote that principals report spending a great deal of time managing facilities, supervising staff, dealing with discipline and security, and student learning. They devote less time to professional development and curriculum supervision.
One of the most critical problems facing the teaching profession is how to improve the development of beginning teachers. Teachers find their first few years of teaching a trying and often defeating experience. Entrance into the teaching profession is marked by an initial period of challenges and opportunities. Teachers begin their careers facing the most difficult assignments with lack of time for planning, supervision and interaction with colleagues (Odell & Ferraro, 1992). As Robinson (1998) pointed out, to be successful, teachers must meet their challenges with perseverance, hard work and quality assistance from experienced teachers and administrators who are willing to provide and recognize extensive support for them during the first few years of their teaching careers, effective supervision and coaching programs at the induction level have been found to ameliorate beginning teacher concerns, and to increase teachers’ focus on instruction (Huling-Austin, 1990). Among secondary school teachers, some often complain about their administrators, the head teacher and the principals, as they primarily focus on administrative duties, rather than giving instructional and academic supports. Thus, the image of instructional leadership has become awkward in the professional rhetoric but all too often lacking administrative practice of many school administrators. Teachers in Ilorin South local government area secondary schools of Kwara State have been finding it difficult to cope with the teaching profession due to inadequate supervision by the principals, vice-principals and HODs in secondary schools.
As the school head or administrator, it is his/her responsibility to provide effective and efficient management of the school. Schools are headed by administrative and educational leader and their leadership roles have a primary function only, and this function is to ensure that successful learning take place for all students in the school through supervision of their staff. The principal, vice-principal and Heads of the Department (HODs) have been deficient in the checking of lesson notes, scheme of work, teachers’ punctuality, teachers’ regularity in class and students’ notes. In the aspect of supervision of instruction, the principals have not been performing up to the task in the area of moderation of examination question papers, moderation of making scheme and observation of classroom teaching. The problems experienced by teachers should not lead supervisors to conclude that all induction programs should focus solely on survival issues (Glatthorn, 1990). Ijaya (2013) explained that supervision is a process aimed at promoting growth and development in a school setting, whereby a designated officer assists classroom teachers to become more competent and self-propelling.
According to Glatthorn (1990), teachers can also be characterized in terms of their preferences for certain kinds of supervisory practices. There is general agreement that most teachers require the intensive assistance of clinical supervision. To improve their instructional performance, the supervisor should also work with them in two other styles, a direct supervisory style and flexible collaborative style. Stemming from the need for improved supervision of teachers is a need to develop a connection between supervision and professional development (Dollansky, 1997). The route taken in professional development should parallel teacher needs (Jonasson, 1993). Professionalism of teachers depends on how their particular needs are satisfied. It is the purpose of administrators as supervisors to provide necessary and effective models of supervisory practice for professional development. Teachers need to have a choice among supervisory styles available for their academic growth. Thus, personal and professional development is the outcome of effective supervision (Oja & Reiman, 1998). During the past several decades, instructional supervision has been identified as a means to enhance the performance of teachers in professional roles, since being a true “professional” requires that a teacher has to be fully capable of making appropriate decisions and providing high quality services. It also requires the teacher to be in constant pursuit of better understanding and more efficacious methodologies. Thus, supervision of instruction is closely connected with professional development. This connection has been the theme of a thorough study in recent decades (Wanzare & Da Costa, 2008)
Consequently, the researcher’s interaction with members of the school society shows that there is dissatisfaction among the stakeholders’ in the performance of teachers of secondary schools in Ilorin South Local Government Area of Kwara State. The inadequacy of teachers’ performance is attributed to inadequate instructional supervision in secondary education in the locality.
Purpose of the study
The general purpose of this study is to examine how effective and efficient instructional supervision has yielded positive impacts on the teacher’s performance. Different reasons have recently been identified, responsible for the fall in quality of education in Nigeria; secondary schools are not left out. The causes include among others, student unrest, examination malpractices, leakages, teachers ineffectiveness, teachers nonchalant attitude to work etc. These are attributed to lack of proper management and inadequacy in educational supervision in general.
The study also aims at emphasizing on the need for adequate instructional supervision of teacher’s in secondary schools, for enhancement and improvement in their efficiency in teaching in all secondary schools.
This study intends to examine the relationship between instructional supervision and teachers’ performance in Ilorin South Local Government Area Secondary Schools of Kwara State. Other specific purposes include to:
- Investigate how often teachers are supervised in Ilorin South local Government Area secondary schools, Kwara State;
- Investigate the methods often used to supervise teachers in Ilorin South local government area secondary schools, Kwara State;
- Investigate the level of students’ academic performance in Ilorin South local government area secondary schools, Kwara State.
- Investigate the relationship that exists between instructional supervision and performance of secondary school teachers in Ilorin South local government area secondary schools, Kwara State.
The following research questions are raised to guide this study:
- How often are teachers supervised in Kwara State secondary schools?
- What are the methods often used to supervise teachers in Kwara State secondary schools?
- What is the level of teachers’ performance in Kwara State secondary schools?
The following research hypotheses are formulated to guide the conduct of this study:
Ho: There is no significant relationship between instructional supervision and teachers ` performance in Kwara State secondary schools.
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