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La Educación
Número: (117) I
Año: 1994

Supervision Practices

In supervision, just as with education generally, a search for more effective methods of communication during the learning experiences has led to an interest in and use of technology, including the use of computers, interactive video, audio-and video-recordings and video-teleconferencing. Another attempt to employ developing technology has been the use of the mechanical third ear device, the bug-in-the-ear (BIE). The BIE device is a small, inexpensive, wireless one-way communication instrument, 1similar to that used in broadcast journalism, which allows the supervisor to communicate with the trainee. Located away from the trainee, the supervisor is able to view the situation and simultaneously direct the trainee to attend to specific behaviors using short concise cues or prompts. This strategy has been applied in a variety of clinical training settings where communication during supervision is an issue. These clinical settings include medicine, psychology, counseling, dentistry, and teaching (Baum and Lane 1976; Boylston and Tuma 1972; Bubenzer et al. 1986; Domoto, Weinstein and Getz 1979; Giebelhaus and Cruz 1993; Hunt 1980; van der Mars 1984, 1988; Ward 1960).

With the growing emphasis placed on clinical field experiences in the professional development of teachers, concern over the effectiveness of the supervision process used with preservice teachers has also increased. Field experiences in teacher education programs, especially student teaching, have long been considered the most influential aspect in the education of prospective teachers, providing the greatest potential opportunity for learning and thus contributing to the future success of teachers (Lanier and Little 1986; Edmundson 1990). If recent reform proposals and state legislation trends requiring more hours of field experience for state teacher certification are valid indicators, it can be assumed that extended field experiences in preservice teacher education will assume an even larger portion of the total preparation program (Metcalf 1991). Although the relative merits of extended field experiences continues to be debated, one thing remains clear: If preservice teachers spend a larger proportion of their professional development program involved in clinical experiences, the significance of the supervision processes utilized during those experiences increases (Metcalf 1991).

The responsibility for supervision of preservice teachers has increasingly been placed with field-based supervisors or cooperating teachers. Recent reform initiatives such as the Holmes Group Proposal (1986) have focused attention on the importance of the cooperating teacher in the student teaching process. The inherent influence of the cooperating teacher on the professional development of teachers is well documented (Friebus 1977; Hersh, Hill and Leighton 1982; Karmas and Jacko 1977), yet according to a 1990 American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) survey, trai i g for cooperating teachers in the supervision processes appears to be a rarity (Lewis 1990).
Education 31.6: 45-55.