Supervisor FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Clinical Supervision?
Clinical supervision is the examination of the performance of teacher candidates in real-world settings with the aim of improving instruction and students’ learning. It is a dynamic process where clinical supervisors, teacher candidates and cooperating teachers set mutual goals for the teacher candidate and use observational evidence to analyze his or her teaching performance over time.
What are the Goals of Clinical Supervision?
Clinical supervision teams aim for several outcomes of their work:
  • Objective feedback about a candidate’s teaching;
  • Diagnosis and problem solving;
  • Development of diverse teaching strategies; and
  • Evaluation of teacher candidates.
Ultimately, the triad of university faculty, clinical supervisors and cooperating teachers deems itself responsible for making certain that the teacher candidate improves and that students under that candidate’s tutelage learn.
What Qualities Do Effective Clinical Supervisors Have?

First, effective clinical supervisors have a vision of effective teaching. This vision includes clear ideas about the importance of

  1. different teaching styles, such as direct and indirect instruction;
  2. the teaching of critical thinking skills;
  3. effective planning and classroom management;
  4. addressing the needs of diverse learners; and
  5. valid and reliable student assessment.
While there is no single vision of effective teaching, university supervisors are ultimately interested in whether or not students are learning from the teacher candidate’s work.

Secondly, clinical supervisors need a diverse set of tools to provide evidence of teacher practices and their effects. Among these are selective verbatim transcripts, analysis of student participation, script-taping, videotaped lessons, and shared teaching journals.

Lastly, clinical supervisors need to believe that they are part of a larger team that includes both people in the field and at the university, all of whom share an interest in improving and developing the candidate’s teaching skills and sense of professional responsibility.