Shifting approaches to supervision: The case of mathematics supervision

  • Nelson B
  • Sassi A
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Abstract

Standards-based instructional reform has been occurring in all major school subjects. However, administrators’ supervisory practices have generally not taken account of subject-matter content but have focused primarily on pedagogical process. This article addresses how administrators can better support standards-based instruction by shifting their approaches to supervision to attend to the intersection of process and content. The article reports on a study that looked at what administrators thought significant when viewing the same videotape of a fifth-grade mathematics lesson at the beginning and end of a professional development seminar on supervision. It describes the different interpre- tations of the same events at these two times to illustrate the emergence of new principles to guide the exercise of administrators’ professional judgment in classroom observation and supervision. The article concludes that there is a need to bring adequate sub- ject-matter knowledge to the process of supervision and suggests several possible direc- tions for achieving this shift.

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Authors

  • Barbara Scott Nelson

  • Annette Sassi

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