Classroom supervision is a way of improving the quality of the teaching-learning process in schools. The authors Wayne K. Hoy and Patrick B. Forsyth are experts in educational administration, and this book is a good reflection of their expertise. The book is well written and covers almost all essential aspects of effective supervision. It provides an in-depth and detailed explanation of a model and its practical implications in classroom supervision. The book is an attempt to outline a model of supervision that improves instruction by employing open-systems theory. It proposes a diagnostic cycle of supervision by linking it to the classroom performance model so as to improve teaching-learning and the supervisory process. The application of theoretical concepts to real school and classroom examples is the hallmark of the book. The writing style is very fluent and engaging. Comprehendible tables, charts, and the use of examples make each chapter very interesting and engaging. The authors have synthesized everything effectively and each chapter summarizes its contents at the end, which enables the readers to revise the whole chapter.
The book has fifteen chapters that have been arranged in three parts. The 'Introduction and Overview' part comprises of three chapters. These chapters introduce the models of effective supervision, performance, and the diagnostic cycle. The second section 'Organizational Context' describes have analysed competency, attitude, motivational needs, and expectations of students and teachers. Furthermore, formal classroom arrangement, classroom climate, teaching tasks, and outcomes of classroom performance with a focus on the classroom performance model are the areas covered in this section.
The notion of "organization as a social system" (Katz & Kahn, 1966) is still influencing the recent literature on schools (Hussein, 2014; James et al., 2006; Muhammad Faizal, 2013). Although the book under review is a similar attempt to explain how social systems are organized, it goes a step forward by elaborating 'the classroom as a social system'. It explains the classroom as a sub-system of the school where supervision plays the role of input factors. Nevertheless, two important and most influential factors on the supervision process have been overlooked while describing supervision as a process of change and innovation; the authors include task-oriented and relation-oriented leadership behaviour as input factors in their model. Change- oriented leadership behaviour without which change and innovation is not possible and has been completely ignored (see, Yukl, 2010).
Overall, the first part of the book can be challenging read. It is complicated, dense, and at times difficult to comprehend. On the other hand, parts two and three are very interesting and easy to understand.
As a reviewer, I recommend this book to every supervisor, headteacher and teacher. They can apply it in their supervisory practices as the narration has a strong practical relevance. In order to reap the full benefits of this masterpiece, the reader should start from chapter 4 to 7 first, followed by chapters 9 to 14. After reading ten chapters in the above mentioned order, readers become fully prepared to grasp the knowledge contained in chapters 1 to 3. Chapters 8 and 15 that have a pool of cases should be attempted in the end. In this sequence, readers will find the book easy to comprehend and will make full use of it. The authors too have recommended repeatedly in chapters 8 and 15 to revise the first three chapters. After that, they can grasp the technicalities of models and in end the application of models in cases. Although the book is mainly on classroom supervision in schools, it is equally important and relevant to all levels of education including colleges and universities. A new edition of this book encompassing new insights developed in recent years would be very timely. These new insights include the application of technology in education, and professional learning communities in schools, which have a strong bearing on school and classroom supervision.
Hussein, A. (2014). Implementation of strategic education policy plan at micro-level contexts: Management and leadership challenges. Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Management, 2(2), 1–21.
James, C., Connolly, M., Dunning, G., & Tony, E. (2006). How Very Effective Primary Schools Work. London: SAGE.
Katz, D., & Kahn, R. L. (1966). The social psychology of organizations. New York: John Wiley.
Muhammad Faizal, G. (2013). 'Development of effective school model for Malaysian school'. International Journal of Academic Research, 5(5), 131–142. doi:10.7813/2075-4124.2013/5-5/B.20
Yukl, G. (2010). Leadership in organizations (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Reviewed by Zarina Waheed, PhD Student, University of Malaya, Malaysia; Lecturer, SBK Women’s University Quetta, Pakistan.
Review by (Zarina Waheed) (2015) 'Effective supervision: theory into Practice' Research in Teacher Education, Vol 5 (No.No.2), 47–50.