Chapter One

1.0     Background to the Study   

          The swift changes in knowledge, concepts, technology and philosophies as a result of the rapid changes in the world have brought about some fundamental changes in education. Education is no longer restricted to considering human needs and the requirements of the present, but it seeks to address and reflect on developing human skills and capacities, and the necessities of the future (Hismanoglu and Hismanoglu 2010). The present era where the world is considered a “global village” had seen a great progress of knowledge leading to new and technological ways of teaching and learning. Kankam (2013) supports this by indicating that the emergence of the information and knowledge-based society has brought a change of mindset in learning and that new approaches to learning necessitate new approaches to teaching which challenge the teachers roles as a facilitator of learning.

Coskuner (2001) stresses that for teachers to satisfy the expectations of the increasing numbers of students; they need to employ the use of up-to-date teaching methodologies with dedication and enthusiasm. Sergiovanni and Starrat (2002) believe that supervision of school potentially improves classroom practices, and contributes to student success through the professional growth and improvement of teachers (Baffour Awuah, 2011). The quality of education cannot be improved by only adding more resources into the system. Its also calls for effective management of these resources at the school level. Ensuring an effective system of professional supervision, and preventing, the deterioration of essential support structures for teachers. Through quality collaboration, teachers could move from  their subjectivity and draw some conclusions about their experience and views. This makes educational supervision, which is a co-operative problem-solving process a crucial concept in the professional development of teachers (Hismanoglu and Hismanoglu, 2010).

School supervision and effects on teachers professional performance has occupied the minds of serious educational thinkers in recent times. There are different shades of opinions in regards to the standard of training of teachers in Nigeria. A lot of people attest that the standard has fallen based on their subjective judgments while others talk of remarkable improvements. Since the country is poised to achieving qualitative education as specified in the new national policy on education (1981) all efforts should be geared towards achieving this goal. In order to achieve this, a high level of supervision must be adopted and maintained in all educational institutions.

Supervision generally is an integral part of management and an effective administrative strategy. That is why the universities, polytechnics and industrial establishments etc. have been organizing seminars and workshops regularly on supervision.  Supervision helps uniform standard to be maintained interms of deciding the nature and contents of the curriculum. Teachers records would be duly completed and student’s workbook checked and corrected by the teacher. Quinn M. Pearson (2006). In his journal of mental counseling, observe that inspite of notable weakness, counseling theories when integrated in role based supervision help in “promoting growth and change in supervisee”.

Supervision has its origin from the Latin word “super video” meaning to oversee” (Adenaike and Adebanjo, 200:151). Therefore “supervision can be seen as a way of advising, guiding, refreshing, encouraging, stimulating, improving and overseeing certain groups with the hope of persuading people to desist from applying wrong procedures in carrying out certain functions on their jobs and at the same time try to emphasize the importance of good human relations in an organization. (Akilaiya, 2001:251). Educational supervision is the process or act of seeing to it that the policies, principles and methods established for achieving the objectives of education are properly and successfully carried out (Akilaiya, 2001). Supervision of instruction is a process of assigning the teacher’s to improve his/her self and his instructional abilities so as to enhance effective teaching and learning (Afianmagbon, 2007).

Education has been known to be the antidote to poverty and ignorance and the key for unlocking natural resources (Obaji; 2006). The amalgamation of the Northern and Southern departments of education in 1914 and the appointment of government visiting and supervisory teachers. Subject inspection and supervision became prominent with the expansion in the number of post primary institutions in Nigeria. In order to ensure that public money spent on education was used to the best possible advantages, a system of specialist advisory service was established in 1974 when the federal governments introduced it’s own inspectorate division on subject bases in all the state of the federation.

Today, our schools are changing and there will be new role for supervisors. Already, we can list some of the trends we see, for example, the protest against inadequacies of school facilities as well as accusation of two much permissiveness. Thus, the performance based accountability will continue. This can have either a restrictive or threatening influence on teacher’s development or a challenge to teachers to refine a new purpose and behaviour. System analysis will continue to influence our ways of looking at school organization as we learn to see how changes in one part affect changes in another, such a process of examining relationships as well can help schools develop self regulating yet adaptive mechanism for delivering services. Supervisors would be expected to understand system languages and analytic procedures. Furthermore, with the evolution of modern concept of supervisions. Supervision could be done  internally by the school principal, vice principal and any appointed senior and experienced members of staff such as heads of departments. It could also be done externally by designated officials of the inspectorate units of the ministry of education.