Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

William P. Foster, EdD, Director; Janet Blenner, PhD; Ronald Hockwalt, PhD; Susan M. Zgliczynski, PhD


clinical supervision, education, higher-order teachers, lower-order teachers, southern California, traditional supervision


The researcher in this study sought to examine the relationship between clinical and traditional supervision models and teacher need strength. The problem that this study addressed can best be stated in the form of a question: What (if any) effect does clinical and traditional supervision have on the satisfaction levels of higher and lower-order need teachers? The study which extended from October, 1983, through February, 1984, was a field experiment conducted in fifteen school districts in southern California. The sample consisted of 157 teachers--74 supervised via clinical methods and 83 by traditional approaches. The study also included 10 clinical and 10 traditional principals. The instruments used to gather data focused on teacher need strengths and teacher perceptions of supervision. The Higher-Order Need Strength Measure B was used to identify teacher need preferences and categorize teachers into higher-order or lower-order groups. The Teacher Supervision Practices Questionnaire was used to obtain a satisfaction rating from teachers who had clinical supervisors and those who had traditional supervisors. Statistical procedures were tested on ten null hypotheses by analysis of variance (ANOVA). Findings were significant when they reached the .05 level of probability. As a result, nine hypotheses were accepted and one was rejected. Significant differences in the satisfaction levels of teachers were found between teachers who had clinical principals and teachers who had traditional principals. Further summary data indicated that there were no significant relationships between need strength and teacher classification to supervision. The researcher concluded that (1) clinical supervision enhances more positive perceptions and higher levels of satisfaction among teachers when contrasted to traditional supervision; (2) clinical supervisors are perceived more favorably than traditional supervisors when assessed for methods of evaluating the performance of a lesson, methods for helping teachers improve instruction, methods for collecting data and providing feedback, and methods for fostering interpersonal relations; (3) clinical supervision engenders high levels of satisfaction among higher-order and lower-order teachers and those in tenured and non-tenured positions; (4) clinical supervision is in a better position than traditional supervision in helping lower-order need teachers develop a desire for improving their teaching skills; (5) clinical supervision is in a better position than traditional supervision in helping higher-order need teachers continue their desire for professional skill development; (6) clinical supervision is found to be confining by some higher-order need teachers, and (7) clinical principals tend to spend more time in supervision than traditional principals as evidenced by the number of classroom observations conducted during the study.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access