Ornstein and Hunkins (1993) have stated that the field of curriculum/instruction is directly related to the field of supervision. As the authors put it:
...once curriculum is created, we need to "look" at, to supervise, how it is being delivered. (p. 201)
The purpose of the paper presented here is to examine theory and research on instructional supervision. The presented review begins with a brief historical overview of theoretical approaches to instructional supervision. More current research is then examined. In general, the review focuses on literature that emphasizes theoretical conceptions of those methods and procedures school administrators can use to improve school instruction.
Instructional Supervision: Theory and Research
Glickman (1990) has conceptualized supervision as the "glue" of a successful school. According to Glickman, the administrator functions as "glue" in the sense that he or she successfully molds the myriad elements of instructional effectiveness into successful school action where successfully school action is ultimately manifested as high quality instruction resulting in strong levels of student achievement. The question that can be asked here is how the principal/administrator best attains the objectives of high quality instruction and high levels of student achievement?
Over the years, several theories have been developed as attempts to specify those steps which principals need to take in order to be effective instructional supervisors. In this regard, Bolin (1983) has presented a comprehensive review of the foundational work in developing theories of instructional supervision. He notes that instructional supervision has historically been concerned with classroom improvement, rationalizing that what administrators and supervisors encourage in teachers is what teachers will encourage in students.
In Bolin's (1983) work, the scholarly writings of six leaders in instructional ...