Field of Supervision
Supervision is a broad multidisciplinary practice whose definition is mostly specific to the discipline. However, generally, supervision is a developmental concept that prepares trainees to tackle real professional and workplace challenges according to Wiles & Bondi (2000). Educational supervision relates specifically to the provision of critical practical skills in the professional and educational development of a trainee. The administration of these skills is effective at a personal level. The field of supervision is wide as it encompasses education, medicine, theology among others. Specifically, in educational set up, supervision can include fields such as counseling and administration.
According to Wiles & Bondi (2000), the field of supervision includes a clear understanding of leadership from a supervisory view, a clear evaluation of knowledge in teaching/human development, and intricate development of tools useful for the exercise of both teaching and supervision. While the authors note that supervision is critical at any level of education, they also note the mutating nature of its administration. The authors attribute this to human resource changes and the effect of technology. Technology provides new avenues for supervision. In-depth analysis reveals that technology has improved supervisory capability of educators across all levels.
Connection between Supervision and Professional Development
The sole role of educational supervision is contribution towards improved professionalism. The authors bring out this connection explicitly through practical examples. In chapter four, where the authors look into promotion of human development, the role supervision plays is clearly brought out. Confidence and the need to make decisions that influence many people are some of the traits that a person obtains because of close monitoring by a mentor.
Mentoring is critical to the stability of a trainee’s career. For instance, mixed-ability classrooms require specialized attention. The trainees can obtain skills, new strategies, and a measure of complexity across different levels more effectively from supervisors rather than from trial and error. The main purpose for educational assessment is finding out what a learner may or may not be able to do and how they learn best in order to take appropriate intervention measures. On realization that the learner needs further assessment, the professional refers them to a specialist for diagnostic assessment and decisions on intervention measures. The specialists include a speech therapist, clinical psychologist, reading specialist, pediatrician among others.
How Differentiation affects Professional Development
Differentiation is a critical skill used to ensure that all learners obtain education optimally regardless of background, possible differences in skill levels, backgrounds, and style of learning. Professionals with capability to employ differentiated instructions play a fundamental role in the holistic development of learners. The authors note that the role of differentiation is monumental in the professional development of the supervisor too. Differentiation exposes supervisors to daily “research labs” to asses mixed capability of students. The professionals are additionally afforded the chance to explore diversified ways to develop curricula and grow individual students. This way, the professionals can employ new technologies to level the playing field. In the last chapter, Wiles & Bondi (2000) review this thoroughly.
Generally, the authors conclude, educational supervision aims at understanding impartation of skills and development of professionals from a holistic point of view. Hence, the ideal educator can counsel, participate in training, participate in leadership, and carry out administrative duties successfully. The overall impact is that trainees who undergo mentorship in such environments understand their subjects quite well which results into dissemination of better trainers. Since the process is cyclic, the overall standards for educational supervision and professionalism increase exponentially.
Wiles, J. & Bondi, J. (2000). Supervision: A Guide to Practice. Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.