Supervision Models in Education


There are various models of education supervision in existence, making it difficult to choose the most effective among the different supervisory elements needed in a particular situation. Most education professionals seek to research a model that integrates all approaches entailing the essential aspects of good administration. Supervision models vary from developmental, integrated, differentiated, and contextual strategies. This study describes and analyses some of the supervision approaches with the aim of comparing the advantages and limitations of each model.

Meaning of Supervision

Supervision has different concepts, according to various scholars. The most common definition describes it as overseeing an individual or group of people through a transparent and organized manner to achieve the desired objective (Bondar & Shestopalova, 2020). Supervision is a vital factor in schools if the education sector expects quality performance in teachers and students. It helps instructors identify and improve challenging areas in teaching, promoting the tutor’s competency and hard work in students to achieve the set academic standards. Educational supervision is a continuous process that begins from teaching practice and intensifies throughout education. The basics of supervision include coaching, assessing, mentoring, guiding and counseling, and evaluating teaching and learning activities. Therefore, it is essential to apply the most effective model of supervision, which comprises all or most of the fundamental guiding aspects.

Models of Supervision

Directive Model

The directive model is the most common approach of supervision recognized by teachers. The procedure comprises instructors with little expertise, less commitment, and a low level of conceptual thinking. Most educators in directive supervision are usually at their early stages of teaching, where they experience challenges in making decisions and problem solving. Therefore, they need an instructional leader’s assistance. The administrators assist trainers by directing and controlling teaching behaviors while monitoring and evaluating their adaptation to the recommended behaviors (Carlos et al., 2017). Limitations of this model include how an instructional leader defines particular ways of teaching as effective or ineffective. Since teaching methods vary, it is unfair to consider one instructional method as better than the other. Directive supervision does not take responsibility for other classroom activities as teachers follow prescriptive orders of what the supervisor views as the best approach.

Non-Directive Model

The non-directive model includes teachers with higher expertise, abstract thinking, and training commitment and allows them to make decisions regarding the establishment and ways of achieving goals at a given time. Supervisors have a passive role in the non-directive approach and only encourage and clarify challenging areas. According to Bondar and Shestopalova (2020). this approach is advantageous in helping teachers to understand concepts and ideas more clearly because supervisors repeat the instructor’s opinions during supervision for clarity and recommendations. The supervisor’s feedback is known as ‘understanding response’ since the administrator voices the educator’s ideas to understand the their intentions. Although this model allows the teacher to make the final decisions, it compares to the directive model where only one party participates in decision-making instead of sharing ideas like the collaborative approach.

Collaborative Model

This model includes teachers with moderate expertise and slightly higher abstract thinking. The supervisor’s role in this model is to collaborate with the trainers in establishing goals, identifying ways of achieving the objectives, and the duration of attaining the aims. Unlike the directive model, where the teachers follow the supervisors’ ideas, the collaborative approach involves both the teachers and supervisors sharing opinions to develop decision-making and problem-solving skills. Collaborative approaches help tutors implement effective teaching strategies and formulate reasonable solutions to challenges in handling classroom activities (Bondar & Shestopalova, 2020). Compared to the directive and non-directive models, Steele (2017) recommends this model as the most suitable supervision approach since it considers both sides of the participants’ ideas to create the most idealistic suggestions. As much as the directive method allows teachers to make decisions, it does not consult most of the supervisors’ opinions during making hypotheses and implementing goals to reach the given objectives.

Although the idea of sharing opinions may seem appealing, others may find it chaotic and challenging, especially in analyzing and determining the best suggestions from a variety of views. Some instructors may not be accommodating to sharing ideas due to competition or a feeling of vulnerability in voicing one’s opinions. Also, supervisors may feel inadequate when the best ideas come from the teacher’s side creating insecurity and unreliability issues.

Alternative Model

In this model, administrators give alternative suggestions according to a teacher’s classroom performance allowing tutors to choose the ideal substitute from experience. The provision of choices makes it easier to adopt and implement a different teaching approach since the teacher understands the areas that require an alternative solution to reach the desired goal. This model is effective if supervisors are not biased in choosing options or judge opinions according to individual perspectives. Using this approach enables trainers to widen the scope of the teaching alternatives by integrating one or more models in creating a better teaching method (Bondar & Shestopalova, 2020). Unlike the models discussed above, the alternative model incorporates other models, making it different and more approachable.


From the descriptions above, there is a better understanding of the various supervision models’ advantages and limitations, which helps determine the most suitable model and its application. It is essential to consider a model’s theoretic framework when choosing the most appropriate approach that matches a given objective. Since supervision is an ongoing process, the directive model allows teachers to learn through the supervisors’ directions until they acquire experience. The non-directive model gives teachers a chance to provide independent opinions, while the collaborative approach helps them learn from each other to obtain the best ideas. In alternative models, educators can make expert choices through the different options providing self-reliability and appreciation of their work.


Bondar, K., & Shestopalova, O. (2020). Supervision as a model of inclusive education retraining and professional advancement of the school community. EDP Sciences. Web.

Carlos, A., Cardoso, S., Galante, S., Lamy, F., Massano, L., Silva, P., Gaspar, M. I., & Seabra, F. (2017). Supervision in continuous teacher training. Enseñanza & Teaching, 35(1), 185-206. Web.

Steele, A. R. (2017). An alternative collaborative supervision practice between university-based teachers and school-based teachers. Issues in Educational Research, 27(3), 582-599. Web.

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