AN ANALYSIS OF TEACHERS’ PERCEPTION OF THE SUPERVISORY BEHAVIOUR OF SCHOOL INSPECTORS
1.1. Background to the Study
It is generally accepted that a major purpose of educational supervision is to help teachers improve instruction (Doll, 1983; Sergiovanni and Starratt, 1983). In the Nigerian school system, there are two popular types of educational supervisors, namely internal supervisors and executive supervisors. Internal supervisors include head teachers of primary schools, principals and vice principals of secondary schools as well as heads of department, since they all perform supervisory functions in their schools (Obilade, 1989). External supervisors also called Inspectors of Education are those formally designated officers of the Federal and State Ministries of Education who are expected, as their primary responsibility, to inspect or supervise schools and work directly with teachers in order to improve the quality of instruction in schools. The critical tasks of these external supervisors/inspectors, such as helping teachers improve instruction, curriculum development, and sta development require the ability to apply interpersonal skills. The fact that supervisors and teachers are interested in achieving the common purpose of improving instruction would lead one to expect them to relate cordially at the professional level. In reality, however, teachers and supervisors interact in terms of each group’s negative preconception of the other. The concept of “supervision” was known as “inspection” which referred to the specific occasion when the whole school was examined and evaluated as a place of learning. Blumberg (1980) has described the working relationship between supervisors and teachers as “a private cold war”. This is how supervision
was perceived by teachers. Whether teachers still perceive supervision in this way is what this study will investigate.
Supervision may be seen as a positive for programme improvement. Sergiovanni and Starrat (1983) defined Supervision as a set of activities and role specifications specially designed to influence instruction. This statement is supported by Martimore and Martimore (1991) who point out that appraisal is a continuous systematic and purposeful two-way communication between the appraisers and appraisees. From these definitions it can be seen that appraisal or instructional supervision refers to the improvement of instruction as well as teacher growth and the learning activities of the students.