Relationship Between Evaluation and Supervision

Evaluation and supervision are the core processes in determining standards and maintaining quality in education. The assumption is they enhance teacher’s performance and boost the learners’ achievements. Evaluation is a function of policy while supervision administrative tools. This paper is focussing on the definitions, types, purposes, roles, differences and similarities of these two key processes. It will also look at why the two are necessary in any education system and what problems are associated with each of them.

Evaluation Defined

Chivore (1994:2) defines evaluation as a “rational enterprise which examines the effects of policies, projects and programmes on their targets- individuals, institutions, communities”.

A systematic and objective method is used to check if goals set have been met. It examines the extent and factors associated with success or failure. The fact and finding are then used to assist the decision makers in the future course of action. It is therefore done to improve the system or programme. Kurira (2012) defines evaluation as a continuous ongoing process.

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It is both informal and formal.’ The formal is done using set criteria while an informal in more intuitive during the curriculum development. Evaluation determines the successes and failures and suggests improvements. Dr Nyagah establishes that evaluation “is a process of establishing the extent to which the objectives of a programme have been achieved.

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It can also be defined as an objective process for determining the performance of a programme. It is a judgemental process aimed at decision making.” While Doll (1992) says it is a broad and continuous effort to inquire into the effects of utilizing educational content and process to meet clearly defined goals.

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Shiundu and Omulando (1992:185) “evaluation is a process of collecting and provision of data for the sake of facilitating decision making at various stages of curriculum development. It is a process of collecting data in a systematic manner for the purpose of assessing quality, effectiveness and worth of a programme. Dr Nyagah in Curriculum Studies Module describes evaluation as a process of establishing the extent to which the objectives of a programme have been achieved. It is “an objective process for determining the performance of a programme.”

Thus, evaluation is a judgmental process, aimed at decision – making. Gatawa (1990:50) defines concurs that it is the process of describing and judging an educational programme or subject, comparing students’ performances with the set objectives, and is a decision making tool for revision and improvement. He classifies the definition into three: • The process of describing and judging an educational programme or subject. • The process of comparing a student’s performance with behaviorally stated objectives. • The process of defining, obtaining and using relevant information for decision-making purposes. He indicates that teacher tend to do these after every lesson or on a weekly basis. Urebvu (1985) postulates that it informs decision makers enable teachers to evaluate themselves, tool for correcting deficiencies, make improvements and establish new priorities. It allows for innovation, development, renewal, and improvement of the curriculum

Supervision defined

However, supervision, according to Chivore (1995:38) involves the assessment of proper implementation of policy, correction of identified weaknesses, direction and redirection of defects for the attainment of stated aims, objectives and goals of an education system at a given level. He argues that it is an administrative tool and a process of monitoring educational standards which school heads cannot function effectively without. Chivore (1994) furthers explains that supervision “is a part of administration”. He encourages the Headmasters together with the senior teachers to supervise teachers frequently. While there may be a number of constraints quality and quantity of supervision should be of concern. It should be done by qualified persons. Madziyire, 2000:107 says supervision is often a response to a crisis or, in other cases, a routine of occasional visits to classrooms. Supervision is meant to monitor, direct, guide and evaluate.

It is a continuous process that enhances the quality of teaching and learning activities. Supervision of any school ordinarily refers to the improvement of the total teaching-learning situation and the conditions that affect them. It is a socialized functions designs to improve instruction by working with the people who are working with the students/pupils. Supervision can also be defined in terms of function and purposes for which it shall be used as a) skills in leadership, b) skills in human relation, c) skill in group process, d) skill in personnel administration and e) skill in evaluation. Kunakahakudyiwe (2012) in Excellence in Teacher Education defines supervision as ‘guiding, helping, correcting, advising and mentoring or demonstrating how tasks may be done.

It becomes a tool to monitor work and workload, assuring that work is completed, quality and quantity control, appropriate implementation of policies and procedures. It is the assessment of skills, evaluation of needs, provision of learning experiences, upgrading of knowledge and skills. It provides support, understanding and assistance, understanding emotional needs. The supervisor provides employees with a supportive environment as they work with different learners. Supervision can then be summed up as a tool that encourages professional growth, provides interaction between supervisor-supervisee, improve performance, monitors progress, identify teachers who excel, give help where necessary, check whether standards are met, identify weaknesses and strengths, encourage hardworking, maintain quality and gather data for the future while maintaining discipline.

Van Staden (2000:12) says that the school-based supervisor should be approachable, be sympathetic and have empathy, be a good listener, be decisive, be a motivator of people, be very patient, create a feeling of trust in others, and be a strong leader. Chivore (1995:38) states that there are key areas in education that need supervision.

These area are: class activities and inspecting of exercise books, schemes and planning books, accuracy of mark schedules after tests, administering of written work, checking on attendance registers, providing basic and necessary facilities, maintaining enough and modern buildings, maintaining the general cleanliness of school grounds and buildings, staff developing teachers, attending to disciplinary matters of pupils and teachers, making proper budgets, allocating resources according to school policy, recruiting new staff (trained and untrained), and monitoring tasks and activities. All these contribute to the quality of teaching and learning in a school.

Evaluation approaches

Gatawa (1990: 60) both supervision and evaluation have approaches that are similar in nature. He has identified five curriculum evaluation approaches namely bureaucratic evaluation, autocratic evaluation, democratic evaluation, norm-referenced evaluation, criterion-referenced evaluation. Supervision also has similar approaches to it such as Laissez-faire, Democratic, Coercive, Training and Guidance. EXPLAIN APPROACHES TO EVALUATION In the Laissez-faire approach does not use any objective control, in which the teachers are observed. Nothing is done to help them improve the work they are doing. The teachers are left free to make decisions on their own, they are not to be imposed upon or directed. The Coercive approach is a direct opposite of the laissez-faire.

The supervisor visits the teachers in order to observe them. The teachers have to perform according to the prescribed procedure by the supervisor, failure to which there maybe consequences. In the Training and Guidance approach the improvement of the teacher as well as their technique through direction, training and guidance is used. The democratic consists of the teacher’s cooperation in the formulation of policies, plans and procedures. The supervisor then observes teacher inside the classroom setting with the aim of improving the teaching-learning situation through cooperation process or group action. The teachers, supervisors and administrators are regarded as co-workers in a common task.

Types of Evaluation

Both supervision and evaluation have different types that occasionally overlap. As pointed out in the summary, there are various types of evaluation. Let us examine some of them, pre-assessment, formative, summative evaluation and impact evaluation. Brief details of each of them follow.


This is the process that helps to determine whether the students possess the prerequisite knowledge and skills to enable them proceed with new material. This is useful at the beginning of a new course; beginning of a new year in school. It is also useful for a new teacher posted in a class he/she has not handled before.

Formative Evaluation

Formation evaluation is that which takes place during the implementation of a curriculum project or programme. It therefore guides and promotes the development of the programme, by providing data for its improvement. Note: Formative evaluation should take place at all stages of curriculum development and implementation. Summative Evaluation refers to evaluation carried out at the end of a programme. It facilitates major decisions about whether to continue with the programme as it is; expand it, modify it or stop it all together depending on the extent of success or failure of the programme. Impact evaluation is an aspect of summative evaluation; it establishes the impact of the programme on the beneficiaries or recipients of the programme, and the community in general.

Criteria for Curriculum Evaluation

There are a variety of proposals in curriculum literature on what constitutes criteria for evaluation. Following is one example. Curriculum evaluation can be judged by: consistency of evaluation with objectives of project; comprehensiveness, validity and reliability, and continuity. Each of those criteria is briefly discussed hereafter.

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Different types of supervision exert a variety of influences on teachers. Chivore (1995 :39) identifies several types/ models of supervision.

2.5.1  General supervision

General supervision is a routine type of supervision whereby the school head goes around the school to see whether everything is in order (Chivore, 1995:51 ). During such supervision, the school head may find that some children are still coming to school after stipulated starting time. This lateness may include teachers as well as general workers. Such informal supervision is very powerful because it provides clues on the norms of expected behaviour in a group.

2.5.2 Spot checks

Spot checks are carried out by the school head for example during the morning when he/she makes quick observations around the school. He/she may check classrooms, grounds, toilets, rubbish pits and so on. The head might also want to check teacher presence. Once teachers, pupils and general workers know that the school head is in the habit of carrying out spot checks, they maintain punctuality (Chivore, 1995:40). 31

2.5.3 Random checks

Random checks go hand in hand with spot checks, they are unannounced. In other words the school head can go into a classroom at any time or day as a follow up to activities that should or have been recommended to be carried out. Random checks tend to be unpopular with a lot of school teachers. Giles and Proudfoot (1994:269) define informal supervision as “those procedures where the teacher, the administrator or the supervisor assesses performance and make decisions related to teaching, but does not prepare a written report which is descriptive and summative of overall performance”. From the definition, it is clear that the supervision is carried out without formality. It is a casual encounter that occurs between the supervisor and the teacher. Thus there are no appointments made in this type of supervision.

The classroom visits are not announced. For the supervisors, informal supervision promotes dialogue between the supervisor and his /her staff as they interact on professional issues. It also promotes collegiality among staff even between the individual teacher and the supervisor. The traditional belief is that informal supervision helps to create a flexible environment which is conducive for teacher improvement which in turn will improve the performance of the pupils. It can also be argued that since no written reports are produced, this enables heads to cover a good number of teachers within a short space of time. However, this kind of supervision in itself is artificial. The fact that there are no written reports for teachers means no reference to facilitate follow ups and follow through. It might also be very difficult to verify its validity because there is no criteria. This model does not encourage teacher growth and is not developmental since no reference is made.

2.5.4 Clinical supervision

If teacher supervision is done properly in schools, then teachers would develop and perfect their teaching skills for the benefit of the pupils. It is upon this assumption that this model was founded. Acheson and Gall (1987:13) define clinical supervision as “supervision focused upon the improvement of the instruction by means of systematic cycles of planning, observation and intensive intellectual analysis of actual teaching performance in the interest of rational modification.” From the noted definition, clinical supervision takes its principal data from the events of the classroom. The analysis of the data and the relationship between teacher and supervisor, form the basis of the programme procedures and strategies designed to improve the student’s learning by improving the teacher’s classroom behaviour.

Clinical supervision is problem-solving. This is usually used in curriculum implementation (Chivore, 1995:40). The school head and the teacher may sit down and plan a lesson. The planning of the lesson is mutual and educational to both the teacher and the school head. The teacher then teaches the lesson under the guidance and supervision of the head. After the lesson delivery, the two sit together again to discuss the strength and weaknesses of the taught lesson. A follow up after the first lesson is recommended. The most important feature of this type of supervision is that it is open and there is no ‘hide and seek’.

2.5.5 Formative supervision

Formative supervision is a broad term encompassing what goes on when a new curriculum supervision is being carried out. It is ongoing, developmental, co-operative, collaborative, non-judgmental, coaching, counseling-oriented and directed at improving teacher performance (Chivore, 1995:45). It is usually restricted to classroom and class performance on the part of the teacher.

2.5.6 Summative supervision

Summative supervision is judgmental, comparative, adjudicative and final. It is meant and designed to make a decision about the worthiness of a teacher. This type of supervision is one of the commonest and one open to abuse. This is particularly the case when school heads supervise their teachers for accelerated salary advancement. The role of the supervisor is largely one of inspection characterized by telling, directing and judging. However, teachers sometimes look upon inspection with a degree of anxiety, tension, fear and apprehension. It is necessary to consider that if the process of teaching and learning were alright, society could do away with all inspection; but in a changing society, the kind of perfection has remained a myth and hence there is a felt need for some kind of inspection and supervision of educational activities in schools (Madziyire, 2000:136).

2.5.7 Inquiry-based supervision (IBS)

Amongst the many models of teacher supervision is inquiry-based supervision (I.B.S). This model involves action research described by Stratemeyer in Sergiovanni and Starrat (1993:293) as, “a process aimed at discovering new ideas or practices as well as testing old ones, exploring and establishing relationships between causes and effects, or of systematically gaining evidence about the nature of a particular problem”. They proposed that teachers be engaged in problems, generate new ideas, discover new insights and practices and develop conceptual knowledge.

This approach promotes continuous learning. In this case supervisors should create an environment that encourages research. Supervisors should guide personnel in research and finding strategies to implement changes and share ideas with colleagues. However, the I.B.S model is time consuming as it involves research. This model targets solving pupil difficulties in a systematic way since it involves action research, but this is suitable for experienced hardworking teachers who will do thorough research. Thus, based on this model, it encourages creativity among teachers and hence boosts teacher morale.


The Commonwealth Secretariat (1998b) Module 4: Personnel Management

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Relationship Between Evaluation and Supervision. (2016, Dec 07). Retrieved from

Relationship Between Evaluation and Supervision

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