Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Kadushin and Harkness describe six principles of learning. After reading them, identify which one resonates with you. Explain why. Propose an example of a situation in supervisi - Writeedu

Kadushin and Harkness describe six principles of learning. After reading them, identify which one resonates with you. Explain why. Propose an example of a situation in supervisi

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In your unit readings for this week, Kadushin and Harkness describe six principles of learning. After reading them, identify which one resonates with you. Explain why. Propose an example of a situation in supervision and describe how the principle you chose could be used in the example.


to be taught, is highly motivated to teach it, has a high level of teaching skills, is capable of designing an effective learning program, is enthusiastic about his subject, and has respect for and confidence in his learners. The neces- sary knowledge base required for good educa- tional supervision is not confined to the subject matter of content to be taught. It extends as well to necessary knowledge about teaching tech- niques, knowledge about the student who is the learner, and knowledge of the teacher about himself or herself.

Our interest is in how learners learn. The supervisor needs to be aware of some of the factors that facilitate learning and know some- thing about techniques that maximize it. In this section, we outline some general principles of learning and some techniques derived from these principles that are applicable to the super- visory conference.

Principle 1: People Learn Best If They Are Highly Motivated to Learn In applying this principle, the supervisor can use the following techniques.

1. Explain the Usefulness of the Content to Be Taught The supervisor owes workers some explanation as to why it might be important for them to know the material if they are to dis- charge his professional responsibilities effec- tively. Motivation increases as usefulness of the content becomes clear. The new worker may not appreciate the importance, for instance, of learning effective referral procedures. If the supervisor can show, by citing the relevant

Conditions for Effective Teaching and Learning: Introduction In implementing the responsibilities of admin- istrative supervision, the supervisor acts as a manager. In implementing the responsibili- ties of educational supervision, the supervi- sor acts as a teacher. The previous chapter was concerned with what the supervisor teaches. The present chapter is concerned with how the supervisor teaches to catalyze learning. It is further concerned with some of the problems in implementing the process of educational supervision.

The supervisor’s principal responsibility in educational supervision is to teach the worker how to do the job. Our task here is to delineate what promotes effective teaching and learn- ing. The teacher can organize content, provide a suitable atmosphere for learning, and make learning available; however, the teacher cannot ensure its acceptance and certainly not its use— only the learner can do that. Teaching is essen- tially the art of assisting another to learn. As Robinson (1936:128) said, “Teaching provides the subject matter, the stimulus, the materials, sets the tasks and defines the conditions. But learning is the process of utilizing opportunity and limits in one’s way for one’s own ends.” Learning is a creative personal experience.

The supervisor, in implementing educational supervision, has the responsibility of knowing the content that needs to be learned, of know- ing how to teach it effectively, and for creating, sustaining, and managing an interpersonal environment that facilitates learning. The good teacher has expert knowledge of the content

C h a p T E r 5

principles and problems in Implementing Educational Supervision

C o p y r i g h t 2 0 1 4 . C o l u m b i a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s .

A l l r i g h t s r e s e r v e d . M a y n o t b e r e p r o d u c e d i n a n y f o r m w i t h o u t p e r m i s s i o n f r o m t h e p u b l i s h e r , e x c e p t f a i r u s e s p e r m i t t e d u n d e r U . S . o r a p p l i c a b l e c o p y r i g h t l a w .

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to goal seeking.” Intrinsic motives are tied to the content itself. People want to study the con- tent because they are interested in the material, because there are intrinsic rewards in meet- ing and mastering the challenge of the content (Csikszentmihalyi and Csikszentmihalyi 1988), and because there is pleasure in acquiring knowledge that helps solve professional prob- lems (Gleeson 1992).

Motives may be largely extrinsic, however. Learning the content is only a way of reaching subsequent goals. There may be psychic rewards from the approbation of peers, the supervisor, parents, and one’s own professional superego. Other psychic rewards are derived from com- petitively learning better than sibling-peers in the agency. Learning the content may be moti- vated by a desire for autonomy and indepen- dence, so that one does not have to turn to the supervisor for help. There may be administra- tive rewards, such as pay raises and promotions.

Motives for learning may result from a devel- oping commitment to the agency, its staff, and its objectives. Having a strong conviction in the agency’s objectives, the worker wants to see them achieved as effectively as possible. Moti- vation is strengthened by identification with the agency and colleagues. Feeling identified with the agency, the worker wants the agency to be favorably perceived by the community; feeling loyal and close to his colleagues, the worker wants their good opinion. As a consequence of these considerations, the worker is motivated to learn so as to be as competent as possible.

Research on the nature of job satisfaction helps clarify the incentives that are likely to motivate on-the-job learning. Influential stud- ies on job satisfaction have been done by Herz- berg and his group in a wide variety of contexts (Herzberg 1968; Herzberg, Mausner, and Sny- derman 2005). Although the work itself may be the best predictor of job satisfaction after controlling for personal and job characteristics (Smerek and Peterson 2007), five factors were identified as the principal sources of job satis- faction for most people. Arranged in order of

research, the sizable percentage of people who need referral service and the effects of different referral procedures on subsequent client expe- rience, the worker may better understand the significance of this unit of learning. The adult learner (Goldman 2011; Memmott and Bren- nan 1998) is concerned with current problems that require learning for solution. In teaching- learning situations involving adults, the super- visor can take advantage of this orientation by stressing the utility and applicability of what is learned.

2. Make Learning Meaningful in Terms of the Individual Worker’s Motives and Needs How- ever useful or significant the material is gen- erally, the worker is not likely to be motivated unless one can show its usefulness and impor- tance for a problem or situation that is meaning- ful to him or her. Showing how the supervisee could have improved on the last interview if he or she had had a surer grasp of the dynamics of behavior will do more to increase motivation than lectures on the general importance of such knowledge.

When the training is close to the job of the worker, it is more specific to the worker’s prob- lems and more directly perceived by the worker as meeting his or her needs and satisfying his or her concerns. This has been found repeatedly in studies of in-service training in child welfare (Brittain and Potter 2009).

3. Tie Areas of Low Motivation to Areas of High Motivation The worker may be highly motivated to help the client but indifferent to the content the supervisor is attempting to teach (e.g., evaluating social work practice). If the supervisor can demonstrate that monitor- ing practice outcomes permits the worker to be more helpful to the client (Worthen and Lam- bert 2007), the worker may then be motivated to learn ways to do it.

One needs to be aware of the variety of the possible motives for learning. Motivation is “an internal process initiated by a need that leads

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worker may be right, in which case the supervi- sor has nothing to teach him or her.

If the supervisor, however, is convinced that the worker’s perception of his performance is wrong and that there is much the worker needs to learn, the supervisor would first have to stimulate dissatisfaction with the worker’s per- formance. The supervisor may want to confront the worker with the gap between what he or she is doing and what he or she can do, needs to be done, or wants to be able to do. Dissatisfac- tion with current performance is a necessary prerequisite before the worker is ready to learn new and better ways of working with the client. The worker is more likely to be motivated when he or she is somewhat uneasy (Stoltenberg and McNeill 1997).

Consequently, the supervisor should make a deliberate but compassionate effort to create some desire for, or curiosity about, the learning he or she has to offer. Rather than being passive in the face of lack of motivation, the supervisor acts as a catalyst for change, creating tension that needs to be resolved. The worker’s equi- librium needs to be disturbed if receptivity to learning is to be stimulated.

At times, the “supervisor must awaken anxiety by penetrating the rationalization and defenses that bind it. If the supervisor avoids conflict for purposes of keeping the supervisory relationship untroubled and outwardly smooth, he will have abdicated his responsibility to the supervisee and will have compromised his trustworthiness” (Mueller and Kell 1972:30–31).

Motivation for learning follows the general principle that all behavior is purposive. People learn only when they want to learn or when they feel a need to learn. Although this justi- fies stimulation of a need, such a procedure may be unnecessary. The first assumption about an apparently unmotivated supervisee might well be that the supervisor is not sensitive enough to discern the motives that the worker has. It would initially be better to attempt to under- stand and use those motives that the learner himself brings to the situation. The supervisor

frequency, these factors are achievement (feel- ing pleased with something done in which one would take pride), recognition (good work was commented on and complimented), the work itself (the work was interesting, challeng- ing, varied), responsibility (freedom to do the work independently and autonomously), and advancement (the possibility of moving up to more responsible positions). These factors can be used to motivate learning (Weikel-Morrison 2002). For instance, there is greater possibility of meeting the need for achievement if the worker learns how to do the job more effectively; learn- ing to do the job increases the probability that the worker will be granted more responsibility and more opportunity to work independently; and learning to do the job enhances the pos- sibility of advancement.

Supervisors would do well to utilize any and all motives to optimize learning. If the worker wants a promotion or raise or a student wants a high grade, these motives can be tied to the need to learn the content as a requirement for achieving their goals.

Motivation increases receptivity to learn- ing and makes energy available for learning. It thus sets the stage for learning and provides the teachable moment, but it does not in itself make for learning. The supervisor has to take advantage of the teachable situation to teach something of significance. Motivation needs to be provided with a learning opportunity and direction. The supervisor provides guidance to the learning that motivation seeks.

4. Safeguard, Stimulate, and Instill Motivation Because motivation is of such crucial signifi- cance, the supervisor needs to safeguard and stimulate motivation where it exists and instill motivation where it does not. Motivation indi- cates a readiness for learning. A worker who lacks motivation to learn certain content may have no felt need for it. The worker is satisfied with what he or she is doing and in the way he or she is doing it. The worker has no problem that requires additional learning for its solution. The

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permit the supervisor to measure progress. As Seneca said, “No wind is favorable if you do not know your destination.” People learn best if the objectives of learning are clearly identi- fied, if they know what to look for, and if they have a sense of priorities. However, Shulman (1991:166) reported: “When I ask participants in my supervision workshops to spell out their sense of their role . . . most tell me they never had a supervisor who was clear about purpose and role.”

2. Respect the Worker’s Rights, Within Limits, To Determine His or Her Own Solutions The structure, although supportive in its clarity, should not be so rigid that it becomes restric- tive. Supervisory rigidity contributes to poor supervisory experiences (Nelson and Fried- lander 2001; Quarto 2002). Some flexibility needs to be permitted the supervisee so as to prevent psychic energy from being diverted from learning to deal with rising hostility and resentment at infantilization. This is par- ticularly true in adult education because the learner operates with considerable freedom and autonomy in other significant areas of his or her life. Here, however, the worker is par- tially dependent, as is every learner who needs to turn to others to teach what he or she does not yet know. As a generally independent adult, the learner is more apt to resent this necessary dependency. The supervisor should then per- mit the greatest amount of independence that the learner can profitably use without danger to the client. Respect for the worker’s auton- omy and initiative ensures that psychic energy necessary for learning will not be dissipated in defense of autonomy.

3. Establish a Safe and Secure Atmosphere Establish an atmosphere of accepting, psy- chological safety and a framework of security (Shulman 2010). Learning implies a risk of mistakes and a risk of failure. It implies, too, a confession of ignorance. A worker who fears censure and rejection for admitting failure or

might need to recognize that in some cases the problem is not that the worker is unmotivated but that he or she is differently motivated. The problem is not lack of motivation but differ- ence in motivation. Discovering the nature of these different motivations, the supervisor might be able to exploit them in the service of motivating learning.

Principle 2: People Learn Best When They Can Devote Most of Their Energies to Learning Energy needed to defend against rejection, anxiety, guilt, shame, fear of failure, attacks on autonomy, or uncertain expectations is energy deflected from learning. Using the following techniques, the supervisor can maximize the amount of energy available for learning.

1. Provide Structure Providing structure means clearly establishing the time, place, roles, limits, expectations, obligations, and objectives of supervision (Freeman 1993). Providing struc- ture mitigates anxiety by focusing learning. If workers are anxious because they are uncertain of what is expected from them in the role of supervisee, then they are not fully free to devote full attention to learning (Costa 1994). There- fore, the nature of the supervisory relationship should be clear. The frequency of supervisory meetings, the length of such conferences, the respective responsibilities, expectations, and obligations of supervisee and supervisor in preparation for, and in the conduct of, such conferences should be clearly established, mutually understood, and mutually accepted. Such details provide the comfort of an unam- biguous structure.

Clarity relates to learning objectives as well (Ching 1993; Talen and Schindler 1993). The supervisor needs to know, and to share with the supervisee, some idea of where he or she hopes the learner is going—what the worker will know and be able to do after learning what the supervisor hopes to teach. Objectives give meaning to each discrete learning unit and

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it was that I was supposed to be thinking about. (Herrick 1977:95)

Learning does not merely result in adding knowledge and skills to those already avail- able to the learner. Learning involves the risk of change in attitudes, values, and behavior as the new learning modifies the perception of the world and of people. The risk of change is anxi- ety provoking. People often fear what the con- sequences of change might be for them. If the supervisor is empathic in regard to the anxiety created by change resulting from learning and is supportive, there is less of a need to devote psychic energy to defend against change and to bind associated anxiety.

However, acceptance involves expectations. Psychological safety does not mean a permis- siveness that ignores the demand for adequate performance on the part of the worker. The supervisor must make firm demands on the worker for learning what he or she needs to learn. However, those demands should be made in a friendly way, out of a desire to help rather than to hurt. They do create tension. However, such tension is necessary to motivate the super- visee to learn.

The supervisor has to be consistently helpful to the supervisee rather than consistently popu- lar. This means challenging error, calling atten- tion to ignorance, and pointing to mistakes and deficiencies in performance. The supervisor has to offer a judicious balance between stimulus and support. The supervisor is responsible for maintaining the balance between a degree of tension that motivates and challenges and a degree of tension that immobilizes. The super- visor should use the tension that derives not from the fear of failure but from the discrep- ancy between what the worker knows and what he wants to know. It involves making demands with the utmost possible respect, compassion, and understanding. It would be foolish to pre- tend that balancing these contradictory and vaguely defined variables is anything but the most difficult of tasks.

ignorance will devote psychic energy to defense against such anticipated attacks. The supervi- sor should be the supervisee’s mentor rather than tormentor. An atmosphere of acceptance permits a freer involvement in risk-taking and a greater psychic concentration on learning rather than on self-defense. Learning takes place best in an interaction that permits, if it does not condone, mistakes and recognizes the ambiguity and indefiniteness of the available answers.

The effects of the supervisor’s attitude of acceptance on the worker’s performance were described by a worker:

I didn’t feel that I was getting criticized for what I was doing. So a lot of my feelings of anxiety and discomfort began to dissipate as I was not getting criticism from him: therefore, I wasn’t criticiz- ing myself—as harshly anyway. And I was feel- ing more comfortable. As I began to feel more comfortable—the more comfortable I felt, it’s like the more ready I was to take that more critical look at what I had done. The more sure I felt that I wasn’t a complete asshole, that I wasn’t blowing it right and left, that I was OK in the room—I wasn’t going to permanently damage anybody or any of that—and that the person I was presenting was really myself and not something that I was trying to do for my absent supervisor, the more ready I became to ask questions of myself and what I was doing in technique and all that. It wasn’t laden with all the feelings and all the anxiety and all that. (Herrick 1977:136)

The impact on the supervisee of a supervi- sor who communicates nonacceptance was described by a supervisee:

I would just get angrier and angrier inside and I would get tighter and tighter and more closed, and whatever it was that we were supposed to be talking about around my client no longer became important because the dynamics that were going on between the two of us were so heavy that I couldn’t even think about whatever

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the fact that at least the supervisor knows the answer to some of his or her questions—and is willing to share this knowledge with the worker, if necessary. If the supervisor does not know or seems unwilling to share this knowledge, tension increases because it suggests to the supervisee that he or she faces the prospect of dealing with situations for which no adequate assistance is available. Inevitably, on some occa- sions, the supervisor might have to say, “I don’t know.” However, the supervisor then needs to add, “We will try to find out.”

Lack of knowledge in a situation that requires responsible action is anxiety provoking. Know- ing that someone knows and is ready to pro- vide the helpful knowledge diminishes anxiety. It might be noted that supervisor competence rather than omniscience is all that the super- visee does, and can, expect. However, the greater professional competence of the supervi- sor can help to meet the supervisees’ legitimate dependence needs. The supervisor has to be capable and ready to meet these needs (Ben- nett 2008; White and Queener 2003).

The negative effect on the supervisee when perceived legitimate dependency needs are thwarted was described by a supervisee:

And sometimes her tone would get condescend- ing: “Now, B., you’re bright. You can think of that.” For instance, if I was having difficulty with something and asked for some suggestions, that would be the sort of response she would give me. It was like, unless I did everything on my own, I wasn’t putting forth enough effort. I could’ve used at times more help from her—very direct help— rather than, “What do you think?” There were a couple times when we went back and forth—it’s amazing—where she’d say, “Well, what do you think?” after I asked for help; and I’d say, “I don’t know, what do you think?” And she would—very straight-faced—come back with, “Well, what do you think?” And I’d say, “Look, H., I really thought about it very hard; and I can’t come up with anything else. That’s why I’m asking you.” (Herrick 1977:154–55)

4. Acknowledge and Use What the Worker Already Knows and Can Do This technique decreases anxiety because it indicates to work- ers that they can draw on what they already know to meet the demands of supervision. Affirmation and use of the already-rich learn- ing the worker brings to the teaching-learning situation is an advantageous aspect of adult education.

5. Move from the Familiar to the Unfamiliar The unfamiliar provokes anxiety. If the supervi- sor can relate new material to familiar material, the new learning seems less strange and less dif- ficult to learn.

6. Demonstrate Confidence (If Warranted) in the Worker’s Ability to Learn Workers may have doubts about their abilities—doubts against which they need to defend themselves at some expenditure of psychic energy robbed from learning. Communication of a feeling of confidence in the worker’s ability, where war- ranted, helps to allay feelings that detract from learning. Confidence in the learner’s ability to learn is contagious. Communication of confi- dence increases motivation for, and interest in, learning.

At the same time, the supervisor has to accept, and make allowances for, the fact that learning is a growth process and takes time. One must expect nonproductive plateaus where little progress is being made. There needs to be time for reflection, absorption, and consolidation of learning. There is likely to be some regression in learning—much zigging and zagging. Like all growth processes, it is uneven and variable, and different kinds of content are learned at differ- ent rates of speed.

7. Know Your Content; Be Ready and Will- ing to Teach It The supervisor needs not only the wish but also the ability to be helpful. The worker does not know what he or she needs to know, which makes the worker anxious. The worker’s anxiety is tempered, however, by

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she cannot trust the supervisor’s judgment. It is therefore important to commend only what can be defended as objectively praiseworthy. The supervisor should be specific about the behavior that has elicited approval—not using a general statement such as, “You really indi- cated your understanding of Mr. P.’s behavior,” but rather a specific statement such as, “You really indicated your understanding of Mr. P.’s behavior when you said . . . in response to his comment about. . . .” Such specificity not only ensures that learning is attended by positive sat- isfactions because it is being rewarded but also makes conscious and explicit the behavior that the supervisor hopes to reinforce.

Pleasure and pain—reward and punishment— overlap with the question of motivation in learning. People are motivated to learn so that they can avoid the pain that comes from an inability to deal successfully with problems in job performance. They are motivated to learn so as to feel the pleasure of doing a job compe- tently and effectively, to avoid the punishment of being dependent, and to obtain the reward of acting autonomously. People are motivated to learn so that they can avoid the pain of criti- cism and guilt and be rewarded with praise and approbation from themselves and from “significant others,” including the supervisor. People are motivated to learn to avoid the dis- satisfaction that comes from the uncertainty of not clearly knowing what they are supposed to be doing or how to do it. Also, people are moti- vated to learn in order to feel the satisfaction in the security that comes from knowing, with assurance, what it is all about.

3. Praise Through Positive Feedback Such reinforcement is most effective if offered while the learning situation to which it applies is still fresh and vivid. This fact emphasizes the importance of regularly scheduled conferences at reasonably frequent intervals (once a week perhaps) so that the supervisor can offer his critical reaction to recently encountered expe- riences in which learning has been applied by

Principle 3: People Learn Best When Learning Is Successful and Rewarding These techniques help the worker repeat what is satisfying and avoid repeating what is painful.

1. Balance the Skills of the Worker and the Challenges of Practice Set conditions of learn- ing so as to ensure a high probability of success by optimizing the balance between the skills of the worker and the challenges of practice (Csikszentmihalyi and Csikszentmihalyi 1988). Intrinsically rewarding each successful experi- ence in one’s practice reinforces the behavior associated with the successful experience.

It would be inadvisable to present the worker with a learning demand that is clearly beyond his or her capacity to meet. If there is little chance of success, there is little motivation to try. Learners needs some assurance that they can succeed if they are going to risk trying. On the other hand, the task needs to be sufficiently challenging to engage the worker’s interest and prompt the worker to extend himself or herself. If a task is too easy, one is not likely to experi- ence a feeling of success in achieving it. Select- ing a learning task that is challenging but not overwhelming is a neat trick. It is, admittedly, much easier to describe than to do—particu- larly without any gauge by which to measure how much challenge a worker can hope to meet successfully.

2. Praise Professional Accomplishments Supervisors can increase positive satisfactions in learning if they praise, where warranted, success in professional accomplishment. Praise is a psychic reward that reinforces the behavior that prompted the commendation. Indiscriminate praise is counterproductive, however. The supervisee is an adult capable of independent critical assessment of his or her own performance. If the supervisor praises a performance that he or she recognizes as sub- standard, the supervisor loses credibility in the worker’s eyes and subsequent assessments are discounted. The worker might feel that he or

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social-work learning situations. The client who is motivated to use the service, has good e

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