Effective and ineffective supervisory behaviors of college supervisors

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Effective and ineffective supervisory behaviors of college supervisors as perceived by secondary school cooperating teachers
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Rothman, Louise Sundberg, 1940-
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Student teachers -- Supervision of -- Florida   ( lcsh )
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1981.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 148-158).
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by Louise Sundberg Rothman.
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Vita.

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EFFECTIVE AND INEFFECTIVE SUPERVISORY BEHAVIORS
OF COLLEGE SUPERVISORS AS PERCEIVED BY
SECONDARY SCHOOL COOPERATING TEACHERS









BY


LOUISE SUNDBERG ROTHMAN


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1981

























to Jane M. Sundberg












ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


It is with deep appreciation that the author would like to express

thanks to the following persons who have contributed their suggestions

and encouragement towards the completion of this dissertation. First,

Dr. Arthur J. Lewis, Professor of Instructional Leadership and Support

and committee chairman, for the many hours he spent sharing ideas,

reading the manuscript, and lending his support to its conclusion.

Dr. Charles A. Henderson, Associate Professor of Subject Specialization

Teacher Education, and committee member, was particularly helpful in

obtaining the sample used in the study. The other committee member,

Dr. Phillip A. Clark, Professor of Educational Administration and

Supervision, was helpful in suggestions made at the inception of the

idea used in this study. The author would also like to express appre-

ciation to Dr. William H. Drummond, Professor of Instructional Leader-

ship and Support, for the considerable time and help he gave the author

during the writing of the manuscript.

Special thanks are due to Dr. Eugene A. Todd, Professor and

Department Chairman of Subject Specialization Teacher Education, for

lending his support and encouragement from the inception to the con-

clusion of the dissertation. The author spent several years as a

teaching associate in this department. The experience gained was most

rewarding.

Finally, the author would like to thank Mrs. Marjorie Pace, who

typed this manuscript, and Dr. Leslie K. Rothman, husband of the

author, and sons, Torsten and Britt, for their patience in seeing

this dissertation to its conclusion.




















I suspect that the most important result of a systematic and

many-sided study of conflict would be the changes which such a study

could effect in ourselves, the conscious and unconscious, the willing

and unwilling participants in conflicts. Thus, the rewards to be

realistically hoped for are the indirect ones, as was the case with

the sons who were told to dig for buried treasure in the vineyard.

They found no treasure, but they improved the soil.


Anatol Rapoport














TABLE OF CONTENTS


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . . .

PREFACE . . . .

LIST OF TABLES ................... ...

LIST OF FIGURES . . ... .


Page

iii

iv

viii

ix


ABSTRACT

CHAPTER


I. INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY . .


The Purpose of the Study
The Problem .
Need for the Study .


Rationale for the Study of Conflict


in the


College Supervisor-Cooperating Teacher
Relationship . ..
Procedures . . .
Limitations of the Study . .
Definitions of Terms . .

II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE . .


Introduction . .
Studies Related to the Interpersonal
Relationship Between the Cooperating
Teacher and the Student Teacher .
Studies Related to the Role of the
College Supervisor and the Inter-
personal Relationship Between the
College Supervisor and the Student
Teacher . .
Studies Related to the Interpersonal
Relationship Among Members of the
Student Teaching Triad: The College
Supervisor, Cooperating Teacher and
Student Teacher .. ..
Studies Related to Communications Among


the College Supervisor, the Cooperating
Teacher, and Student Teacher . .


. . . 0 .


. .



























Page


A Survey of the Literature in Conflict
Communication Appropriate to the Focus
of Behaviors of College Supervisors
During Student Teacher Supervision 47
Review of the Literature in Education
Using the Critical Incident Technique. .. 60
Studies About Educational Objectives,
Educational Evaluation and Research 61
Studies About Educational Administration
and Supervisory Functions ... 65
Studies About Students . .. 67
Studies About Teachers . .. 68

III. METHODS AND PROCEDURES . 70

Introduction. . . 70
The Critical Incident Technique . 70
Studies About Student Teaching: The
College Supervisor, Cooperating Teacher
and Student Teacher . ... 76
The General Aim of the College Supervisor .. 79
Design of the Critical Incident Instrument
Used for Reporting Critical Incidents .. 81
The Specifications and Criteria Used in
Designing the Critical Incidents in
Supervision Instrument . ... 82
Method of Subject Selection and Data
Gathering . .. 87

IV. RESULTS . .... .. 90

Introduction . .. 90
Descriptive Data of Sample ........ 90
Procedure for Analyzing the Critical
Incident Reports . .. 92
Answers to the Research Questions ... 97
The Effective and Ineffective Behaviors
of College Supervisors . 97
The College Supervisor Effects on the
Functioning of the Cooperating Teacher. .. 113
The Needs of the Cooperating Teacher 122
The Influence of the Relationship on the
Production of Student Teacher Learning
Experiences . . 124
The Role of Conflict During Times of
Interpersonal Interaction Between the
College Supervisor and the Cooperating
Teacher . ... 129











Page


The Role of Interpersonal Conflict in
the Judgment of Behaviors of College
Supervisors and the Functioning of the
College Supervisor-Cooperating Teacher
Relationship . ... 131
Summary . .. 133

V. SUMMARY AND IMPLICATIONS . ... 135

APPENDIX . . .. 142

BIBLIOGRAHPY . . ... ... 148

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . .... .159














LIST OF TABLES


TABLE PAGE

4-1 COOPERATING TEACHERS BY ACADEMIC DEGREE,
SEX, AND NUMBER WHO COMPLETED CRITICAL
INCIDENT FORMS . . .. 93

4-2 COOPERATING TEACHERS BY RANGE AND MEDIAN
OF AGE, YEARS TEACHING, AND NUMBER OF
STUDENT TEACHERS SUPERVISED . 94

4-3 FORTY-SIX SECONDARY SCHOOL COOPERATING
TEACHERS' PERCEPTIONS OF COLLEGE SUPERVISORS'
BEHAVIORS .. . 101

4-4 EFFECT ON THE SECONDARY SCHOOL COOPERATING
TEACHER'S FUNCTIONING OF THE COLLEGE SUPERVISOR'S
BEHAVIORS . . 114

4-5 ACTIVITIES OF COLLEGE SUPERVISORS THAT SUPPORTED
THE EXPRESSED NEEDS OF COOPERATING TEACHERS RANKED
BY FREQUENCY OF STATEMENTS FROM MOST TO LEAST 123

4-6 ACTIVITIES OF COLLEGE SUPERVISORS THAT INFLUENCED
THE RELATIONSHIP ON THE PRODUCTION OF STUDENT
TEACHER SUCCESSFUL OR UNSUCCESSFUL LEARNING
EXPERIENCES RANKED BY FREQUENCY OF STATEMENTS
FROM MOST TO LEAST . ... 126


viii

















LIST OF FIGURES


FIGURE PAGE

4-1 EFFECTIVE INCIDENT IN SUPERVISION 98

4-2 INEFFECTIVE INCIDENT IN SUPERVISION 99

















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the
Graduate Council of the University of Florida in Partial
Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy


EFFECTIVE AND INEFFECTIVE SUPERVISORY BEHAVIORS OF
COLLEGE SUPERVISORS AS PERCEIVED BY
SECONDARY SCHOOL COOPERATING TEACHERS

By

Louise Sundberg Rothman

March, 1981

Chairman: Dr. Arthur J. Lewis
Major Department: Instructional Leadership and Support

The purpose of this study was to identify through the use of the

critical incident technique, supervisory behaviors of college super-

visors perceived as effective or ineffective by secondary school

cooperating teachers. The results of the study were used to identify

some appropriate and some inappropriate ways for college supervisors to

respond to the situational needs of cooperating teachers during the

period of student teacher supervision. The investigator utilized

insights gained from studying the literature on conflict in inter-

personal communication in analyzing and interpreting the data.

The subjects selected for the study were Florida secondary school

cooperating teachers from all program areas who had supervised or were

currently supervising a student teacher. Forty-six cooperating teachers

identified forty-one effective and thirty-four ineffective critical

behaviors of college supervisors. In addition, the cooperating teacher











indicated how the identified critical behavior of the college super-

visor affected his or her functioning as a cooperating teacher. Nine

activities of college supervisors that supported cooperating teachers'

needs during student teacher supervision were extracted from the

critical incident reports. Nine statements of successful influence and

five statements of unsuccessful influence of college supervisors upon

the learning experiences of student teachers were written.

The most effective behavior of college supervisors identified by

cooperating teachers was the college supervisor's participation in a

conference with the cooperating teacher and/or student teacher about

some aspect of the student teaching experience. The most ineffective

behavior of college supervisors was identified by cooperating teachers

as the lack of or few visits made by college supervisors to the school

to observe and supervise student teachers. The results also indicated

that effective behaviors of college supervisors elicited cognitive

changes in cooperating teachers' insights about student teaching super-

vision more than twice as often as did the ineffective behaviors of

college supervisors while the ineffective behaviors of college super-

visors elicited more direct action by cooperating teachers.

Two major areas of interpersonal conflict between college super-

visors and cooperating teachers were identified. These areas were in

conflicts over goals of student teaching and conflicts over the role

or task expectations of the college supervisor. The findings also

indicated that competition between the college supervisor and cooperating

teacher was not a cause for conflict but was a result of conflict. One

result of interpersonal conflict between college supervisors and












cooperating teachers was that cooperating teachers resolved conflict

in three ways and managed conflict in five ways. Resolution of conflict

was achieved most often by the cooperating teacher's refusal to parti-

cipate in the student teaching program. Management of conflict was

made most often by cooperating teachers recognizing that they would

have to work alone with and take responsibility for the professional

development of the student teacher.

Based on the results of this study, it was recommended that college

supervisors re-establish and maintain stronger ties with schools that

participate in the student teaching program, make weekly visits to the

school and hold weekly conferences with members of the student teaching

triad. Expectations and professional goals for the student teacher

should be agreed upon in conference with members of the student teaching

triad prior to the beginning of the student teacher's assignment. It

was also recommended that future research in supervision be conducted

in the area of conflict communication between college supervisors and

cooperating teachers. Training for college supervisors in human relations

and communication skills was also suggested in order to strengthen and

provide support for continuous collaboration by college supervisors and

cooperating teachers in the professional development of student teachers.


xii
















CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY


The Purpose of the Study

The major purpose of this study was to identify through the use of

the critical incident technique supervisory behaviors of college super-

visors perceived as effective or ineffective by selected secondary

school cooperating teachers. The results were used to identify some

appropriate and some inappropriate ways for college supervisors to re-

spond to the situational needs of cooperating teachers during the period

of student teacher supervision. The researcher utilized insights gained

from studying the literature on conflict in interpersonal communications

in analyzing and interpreting the data.

The following questions were asked in this study:

1. What were the effective and ineffective supervisory
behaviors of college supervisors as perceived by
secondary school cooperating teachers using the critical
incident technique?

2. How did the behaviors of college supervisors as perceived
by cooperating teachers as being effective or ineffective
affect the functioning of the cooperating teacher during
student teacher supervision?

3.. How did the college supervisor become aware of and
respond to the needs of the cooperating teacher during
the period of student teacher supervision?

4. Was the supervisory relationship established between the
college supervisor and cooperating teacher influential
in determining the success or lack of success of learning
experiences provided to the student teacher during
student teaching?









2


5. In what ways did conflict occur during times of inter-
personal interaction between the college supervisor and
the cooperating teacher?

6. If the perceived effective and ineffective behaviors of
college supervisors were a function of the college super-
visor-cooperating teacher supervisory relationship, what
part if any did interpersonal conflict play in those
judgments?

In a study by Yee (1969), student teaching at selected off-campus

school sites was considered by student teachers to be the most important

learning experience of all the experiences offered in their total pro-

fessional preparation. In order to understand the situation in which

student teaching is conducted, the reader is reminded that three persons

play key roles in student teaching experiences: the student teacher,

the cooperating teacher, and the college supervisor. The student

teachers are participating in an educational experience to learn how to

teach by using their background of theory and content together with their

practical knowledge of the classroom. The cooperating teachers, while

continuing to have the responsibilities and duties for their own class-

room, take on the primary responsibility for directing the learning

experiences of the student teachers. The college supervisors represent

the college or university in the off-campus preservice student teaching

experience. Periodic visits to the school site to monitor, observe,

confer, and evaluate the student teacher are traditional functions for

a college supervisor.

The college supervisor and the cooperating teacher are professional

educators who have the primary responsibility of supervising the teaching

and learning experiences of the student teacher. Because of the nature

of the cooperating teacher's role at the school site, and the amount of












personal and professional time that the cooperating teacher is able to

spend with the student teacher, it is assumed that the cooperating

teacher will effectively assist the college supervisor by providing

information to him or her about the classroom teaching performance of

the student teacher. If the cooperating teacher is to perform this role,

then a cooperative working relationship between the two supervisors

should be developed within the framework of the mutually conceived task

of supervising the student teacher.

In providing information to the college supervisor about the

classroom teaching performance of the student teacher, it is assumed

that the cooperating teacher interprets to the college supervisor events,

problems, or concerns about the student teacher and the student teacher's

experiences. Much of the communication that passes between the college

supervisor and cooperating teacher is of a positive nature as the two

supervisors cooperate together in establishing successful experiences

for the student teacher. Some communication that passes between the

college supervisor and cooperating teacher, however, may be the cause or

the result of conflicts that develop between the two supervisors. Con-

sequently, the college supervisor needs to be cognizant of how the

cooperating teacher views both the cooperative and conflictive parts of

the supervisory relationship in order to develop an understanding of

how this relationship may affect the situational needs of the cooperating

teacher during joint ventures of supervision.1



It should be noted that this position is also reversed. The
cooperating teacher needs to be cognizant of how the college supervisor
views this relationship and how behaviors may affect the situational
needs of the college supervisor during student teacher supervision.
This study, however, is only concerned with the first position cited in
the text above.











The knowledge obtained by the college supervisor about the super -

visory relationship should aid in the interpretation of and response to

the needs of cooperating teachers during the period of student teacher

supervision. It is assumed by the investigator that an understanding

of the needs of cooperating teachers by college supervisors during

periods of student teacher supervision should lead to a better under--

standing of the role of supervision. This partnership in supervision

should help the student teacher to achieve a more successful off-campus

learning experience.


The Problem

The college supervisor of student teaching has served as a link

between the schools and colleges of education ever since the beginning of

off-campus student teaching. Although this relationship was described

as weak (Smith, 1965), redundant (Moser & Bebb, 1970), and non-significant

(Morris, 1974), in dealing with the performance and adjustment of student

teachers, some studies reviewed (Bennie, 1964, 1972; Frenzel, 1977; Neal,

Kraft & Kracht, 1968) supported the importance of and the need for a

college supervisor to provide a strong link between the college of

education and the school. With the evidence established that conflicting

views about the need and importance for a college supervisor of student

teachers did exist, the writer reviewed the literature on human communi-

cation processes and generalizations (Burgoon & Ruffner, 1978; Littlejohn,

1978; Steinfatt, 1974), in order to further select areas in conflict

communication theory that could be applied to the study of existing

supervisory relationships between the college supervisor and cooperating

teacher. Several theories of interpersonal communication were further











reviewed. The area of conflict in interpersonal communication was

selected for further study and application to the findings that were

obtained in the study on the effective and ineffective supervisory

behaviors of college supervisors.


Need for the Study

*Preservice teacher education has been undergoing significant changes

in recent years (Ryan, 1975). State departments of education have

proposed and in some states instituted new guidelines and laws that

will significantly change the emphasis of teacher education from on-

campus to off-campus types of learning experiences. For example, a

year's internship for Florida teacher certification is required for educa-

tion majors in Florida after July 1981. Consequently, the partnership

between college and school will be affected. As the student teacher

begins to spend more time in off-campus activities, it appears that one

requirement for an effective program will be a link of trust and mutual

cooperation between the college and school. Lieberman (1977) recommended

that linkage efforts are needed to connect ". .. people, institutions,

agencies, and the like in such a way that they exchange information and

resources (both human and material) to help solve their problems" (p.

150). Only through such effort can those interested in school improvement

be influential in developing collaborative relationships.

Collaborative relationships, however, are difficult to achieve.

Inlow (1956), for example, viewed the functions that a college supervisor

performed in a student teaching supervisory role as myriad and complex.

Other studies have been made delineating the responsibilities of












supervisor, and a number of roles and behaviors have been identified as

contributing toward a successful or unsuccessful student teaching

experience for both the student teacher and cooperating teacher (Hackley,

1976; Johnson, 1964; Neal, Kraft & Kracht, 1967). While most studies

focused on the relationships between the student teacher and cooperating

teacher or the student teacher and college supervisor, few examined the

interpersonal relationship between the college supervisor and the

cooperating teacher except as part of a larger study including student

teachers and other school and college administrators.2

Role studies of college supervisors indicated that the experienced

college supervisor of student teachers was expected to be able to respond

to the uniqueness of each student teacher's site situation and to adjust

supervisory techniques to compensate for problems that arose in the

student teacher's learning environment. This learning environment,

situated in an institutional setting, was a school. While supervising

student teachers in a number of different school settings, the college

supervisor would encounter a number of situations. Some situations would

be unique to a specific school. Other situations would have general

application across most school sites. Occurrences within the school site

therefore, needed to be interpreted and integrated into meaningful

learning experiences for the student teacher.

In order for the college supervisor to help translate these

situations into meaningful experiences for the student teacher, the



2
Three excellent sources that direct themselves to the issues of
student teaching: The roles, responsibilities, and the problems of
those key persons involved, are The Association for Student Teaching Year-
book, Volumes 1-47, The Association for Student Teaching Bulletin, No.
1-30, and the Association for Student Teaching Research Bulletin, No. 1-7.











college supervisor needs knowledge of the variety of situational factors

occurring within the student teaching environment. Such awareness would

enable the college supervisor to move from situation to situation with

an understanding of specific and general weaknesses and strengths of

each student teacher's situation. Grumet (1978) defined this situation

as an environment in which action rather than intention or observation

took place as a result of direct human intervention within that environ-

ment. Situations were active with people working at their centers.

According to Grumet's definition, the student teaching environment was

not considered synonymous with a student teaching situation until human

action occurred. The college supervisor and cooperating teacher,in ask-

ing questions about their relationship, transform a neutral environment

into an active situation. Grumet concluded that the way questions were

posited would help to shape the answers that were received. This in turn

aided the interpretation of events and concerns by those persons directly

involved in student teacher supervision.

Dewey (1938) interpreted events or concerns not as isolated singular

objects, but as part of a contextual whole. A situation was an "environ-

ing experienced world" where observations of events or concerns of human

beings were part of the environment. Observations were made in order

to find out ". .. what that field is with reference to some active

adaptive response to be made in carrying forward a course of behavior"

(p. 67).

Coupled with the need to understand and interpret events that occur

within situations, it is also desirable that the college supervisor and

the cooperating teacher establish a collegial relationship, in other

words, a communication link of trust, understanding, and friendliness.











Traditionally the communication linkage between these two has been

strained and has served as a platform for criticism of each other's

base of operation, source of power, and role responsibilities (Corrigan

& Garland, 1966; Hytrek, 1973; Pfeiffer, 1964). The college supervisor's

and cooperating teacher's goals of supervision are often not in accord.

Hawes and Smith (1973) stated that the prospective goals or intentions

of persons directed and explained their behavior. If the goals of

individuals were not complementary or were in conflict with one another,

the subsequent behaviors of the individuals would also be in conflict.

Thus the supervisory task was made more difficult due in part to the

nature of the diverse supervisory practices or norms in student

teaching situations. Both the college supervisor and the cooperating

teacher brought to the student teacher's learning environment experiences

and attitudes about teacher education, each representative of his or

her educational institution. Mutual agreements or understandings as to

the needs for cooperation were strained or lacking because most schools

and colleges did not have a defined educational goal for student teachers

(Huddle, 1973). Often the student teaching program was viewed as a

vehicle to help prospective teachers complete their preservice education

and to qualify for a teaching position. Because of this view, the need

for mutual cooperation and influence between the school and college was

not considered to be an important one. By the very nature of the

organizational boundaries that encompass a public or private school site,

college supervisors and the cooperating teachers have little influence

outside their own institutions and the student teacher becomes torn

between allegiance to the college and the school (Smith, 1965). Both

hosts and guests go their own way, tread lightly so as not to offend,












and are polite to all in one another's company. Few barriers to communi-

cation are overcome when such situations occur. Human energy applied to

the task of preparing the novice teacher to teach in a classroom setting

loses its focus and goal when the partnership is strained, broken or

nonexistent.

Another supervisory problem reported concerns the number of hours

cooperating teachers and college supervisors spend working with the

student teachers. Several studies found that cooperating teachers spent

many hours per week working directly with the student teacher while the

college supervisors contact was limited to one or two hours per week

(Ashby, 1973; Bennie, 1964; Frenzel, 1977). Less time was spent by

the college supervisor discussing the student teacher's experience with

the cooperating teacher. Too often the cooperating teacher was ignored

during the college supervisor's visit, further weakening communication

contacts between the two supervisors.

The number of contact hours that the cooperating teacher has with

the student teacher would enable the cooperating teacher to evaluate

most aspects of the student teaching experience including incidents that

translated into effective or ineffective behaviors of college supervisors

during student teaching supervision at a school. The focus of this

study was upon the identification of those incidents of effective and

ineffective behaviors of college supervisors as perceived by cooperating

teachers, that affected the supervisory relationship between the college

supervisor and the cooperating teacher. It was realistic to suppose

that some of the interpersonal communication that passed between members

of the supervisory team was rooted in conflicts that arose from incompatible

interpersonal interaction between the college supervisor and the cooper-

ating teacher.












Deutsch (1969, 1973) included in his definition of conflict the

incompatibility factor that created conflict situations. Such in-

compatibility could be between persons, groups, or nations. Conflicts

caused by the factor of incompatibility could have either constructive

or destructive consequences. Deutsch found that when constructive

consequences of conflicts emerged the participants were satisfied with

the outcome of the conflict. Conversely, destructive consequences of

conflicts emerged when participants were dissatisfied with the outcomes

and a feeling of loss was a result. Lying somewhere on the continuum

between the two poles of constructive and destructive consequences of

conflict were the consequences of conflict that satisfied or dissatisfied

one party to a degree more than the other party. Total satisfaction or

dissatisfaction was easier to identify and measure, however, in simple

situations than in more difficult in complex social situations. Yet

Deutsch believed that it was not impossible to compare conflicts in

terms of their constructive or destructive outcomes, and by highlighting

these differences of outcomes, the processes by which the outcomes were

derived would also be emphasized.

In the present study under investigation, it was assumed that the

cooperating teacher could identify supervisory behaviors of college

supervisors that contributed to an incompatible interpersonal communica-

tion situation or a conflict. It was also assumed that the cooperating

teacher would be able to identify those conflicts that had destructive

consequences for members of the student teaching triad. Secondly, it

was assumed that the cooperating teacher would identify situations of

interpersonal communication in which compatibility and cooperation

existed between the college supervisor and cooperating teacher. Although












the identification of effective incidents or situations of behavior

was viewed as an important contribution to the study of the interpersonal

relationship between the two supervisors, the major collateral focus to

the study was to relate, if found, critical incidents of behavior to the

research findings in the literature on conflict in interpersonal communi-

cation in order to explain why such incidents occurred and how those

identified critical incidents affected the interpersonal relationship

between the college supervisor and the cooperating teacher.


Rationale for the Study of Conflict in the College
Supervisor-Cooperating Teacher Relationship

Several assumptions are made about the nature of conflict between

college supervisors and cooperating teachers that served as the conditions

for the study on conflict in interpersonal communication. The first

assumption is that conflict exists wherever there is human interaction.

Kelley (1979) stated that conflict was inevitable and could not be

suppressed. Citing research from the literature, Kelley made several

suppositions that further supported the need to study conflict in super-

vision. Like Deutsch (1969, 1973), Kelley believed that conflicts could

have constructive or destructive outcomes. Conflicts could also

initiate change which could be beneficial to all parties intent on

maintaining the status quo. Lastly, conflict increases whenever there

is an increased interdependence between individuals, agencies, or

institutions. Because of the very nature of the adult triad, the college

supervisor, the cooperating teacher, and the student teacher, and the

nature of student teaching supervision by two persons representing two

different institutions, interdependence between members of the student

teaching triad is inevitable.











The second assumption is that conflicts in supervision do occur

between the college supervisor and cooperating teacher. Such evidence

was produced by reviewing the literature on student teaching supervision.

One study in particular conducted by Lipton and Lesser (1978), concluded

that while tensions inherent in supervision could not be eliminated,

there were means by which the student teaching triad could reduce the

amount of conflict that existed between the triad members. The authors

identified a number of generalized areas of conflict between supervisors.

Although specific critical behaviors of college supervisors and cooperating

teachers were not specified, the areas of conflict identified served as

further evidence that critical behaviors of college supervisors can be

identified by cooperating teachers.

Lipton and Lesser (1978) identified the following areas of conflict

in the college supervisor-cooperating teacher relationship. (1) There

is an interaction in a "triangle of adults" none of whom are generally

regarded as effective autonomous leaders or creative thinkers. Yet two

of the adult members are viewed as authority figures. (2) There is a

difference of philosophy about student teaching between the school and

the university. This difference is not necessarily undesirable because

an atmosphere of harmony between the two institutions could possibly

lead to a closed system that discourages any form of change in educa-

tional practices. (3) The philosophy of the college supervisor and

cooperating teacher toward the goals of student teaching are often in

conflict. On the psychological level, competition to be best liked

and approved by the student teacher and other fringe members of the

student teaching triad, e.g. university and school administrators, can

result. (4) There appears to be conflict between the college supervisor












and cooperating teacher over the perceived prestige and status of the

university duties versus the duties of school personnel. It is believed

that unresolved issues of prestige, role, and favoritism often have a

great impact on the student teacher in the assigning of grades and future

job opportunities. (5) Conflict between the triad members exists in

both covert and overt types of communication.

Lipton and Lesser (1978) concluded that conflicts could not be

eliminated but suggested several alternatives that could help reduce

tensions. The alternative suggestions were made after the authors noted

that ego strengthening of the triad would not be possible. Instead

the authors suggested that the members of the triad select each other

and then be permitted to change triad members if the new relationship

did not work out. A second suggestion made was to reduce the power of

influence by assigning a pass/fail grade to the student teacher. Another

means of reducing potential conflict was to have the college supervisor

observe the student teacher by video-tape, entering the classroom only

for sporadic visits. Greater role differentiation for the college

supervisor and cooperating teacher were suggested, giving primary

training duties to the cooperating teacher, and consultant-counselor

tasks tothe college supervisor. Lastly, it was suggested that the

student teacher should be viewed as a neophyte professional,with

responsibilities and autonomy provided as early as possible in the

student teacher's training program.

The third assumption made for this study of conflict in inter-

personal communication is that it would be beneficial for the college

supervisor to know and understand the nature of conflict between the











two supervisors. Tjosvold (1978) cited several benefits for the

understanding of conflict between teachers and school administrators

that has application to the relationship between the college supervisor

and cooperating teacher. Effectively managed, conflict can increase a

commitment to a shared purpose. If ineffectively managed, conflict can

undermine the effectiveness of purpose between parties. While

Tjosvold focused mainly on role differentiation between teachers and

school administrators, both groups he observed had competitive and

cooperative interests. Relating such observations to the study of the

relationship between the college supervisor and cooperating teacher, it

can be stated that cooperation between the college supervisor and

cooperating teacher exists when there is a goal to promote student

teacher competence. Competition results because of the sharing of the

benefits and burdens between the two supervisors. Knowing the benefits

of conflicts should allow the college supervisor to participate in more

effective decision making by collecting more information about the

situation, by exploring alternatives to bring about a more satisfactory

relationship, and by exchanging ideas, opinions and feelings, thereby

reaffirming the commitment to supervision. Supervisors need to under-

stand that the mutual influence of the college supervisor and cooperating

teacher is viewed as a more desirable goal than a goal where a hierarchy

of supervisory influence prevails.

The college supervisor communicates in general and specific ways

with the cooperating teacher about situations, problems, and issues

concerning the student teacher assigned to a cooperating teacher for

a specified time of student teaching. A major role that the college

supervisor assumes in working with the cooperating teacher and student











teacher is that of developing and maintaining good interpersonal

relationships with members of the student teaching team and the

cooperating school. The attitudes that the college supervisor brings

from the college to the school site could very well influence the types

of communication that pass among the student teaching team. Stratemeyer

and Lindsey (1958) concluded that much of the communication involved the

seeking of information or the solving of problems pertaining to the

student teacher's situation. With better understanding on the part of

college supervisors and cooperating teachers of the needs and concerns

for each other, it is reasoned that the student teaching experience

could be significantly improved for the college supervisor, the cooperating

teacher, and the student teacher.


Procedures

The critical incident technique developed by John C. Flanagan (1954)

and others was the method of research used but modified for the purposes

of this study. The critical incident technique is a set of procedures

for collecting self-reported observations of effective or ineffective

behaviors about specific jobs in which persons are engaged. For the

purposes of this study, a critical incident is an observable human

activity that is sufficiently complete in itself to permit inferences

and predictions to be made about the person performing the act (Flanagan,

1954). Moreover, this human activity is an indication of unusual

competence or lack of competence on the part of the persons) engaged in

the activity (Good, 1973). Critical behaviors are those identified

effective or ineffective behaviors that appear to have the most influence

on the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of achieving the aim or purpose

of the job or task.











The subjects selected for the study on critical behaviors of

college supervisors were secondary school teachers who had supervised

or were currently supervising a student teacher sent from one of three

major state universities in Florida. All the participants were presently

employed in the Florida school system and were asked by university area

coordinators or assistant principals to volunteer for the study.

One hundred and ninety-two cooperating teachers were given the

critical incident forms to report effective or ineffective behaviors of

college supervisors during student teacher supervision. The questions on

the critical incident forms were developed to elicit from cooperating

teachers the critical behaviors of college supervisors. Once the forms

were returned to the investigator, the contents were read and analyzed

in order to provide the data used to answer the questions posited in

this study.


Limitations of the Study

The following limitations of the study were established

(1) The data to be collected were limited to those effective

and ineffective supervisory behaviors of college supervisors as

perceived by cooperating teachers using the critical incident technique.

At the time that the data were collected, the subjects who volunteered

were cooperating teachers who had supervised a student teacher assigned

to them through a preservice teacher education program from a university

or college. The sample of volunteers consisted of cooperating teachers

in the state of Florida.












(2) Cooperating teachers who participated in the study

supervised student teachers at the secondary school level (Grades 7-12)

for a minimum of one quarter, or nine weeks. Each student teacher was

assigned to a college supervisor for the same period of time.

(3) The two types of institutions that participated in the study

were Florida public schools where the cooperating teachers were employed,

and three state universities that sponsored and supervised the student

teachers.

(4) The critical behaviors of college supervisors were those

behaviors which were identified by cooperating teachers as critical to

the interpersonal relationship between the college supervisor and cooper-

ating teacher and which were perceived by the cooperating teacher to

affect their functioning as a cooperating teacher. Although many

critical behaviors of college supervisors were directed toward the

student teacher, those behaviors were not considered important to the

study unless the cooperating teacher was affected by the college super-

visor-student teacher interpersonal relationship.


Definitions of Terms

The following terms are central to this study and therefore

require definitions:

College Supervisor a designated person who represents the institution
of higher learning in the task of supervising a student teacher in a
public or private school. The major responsibility of the college
supervisor is to observe the student teacher in a classroom setting, to
confer with the student teacher about his performance, and to evaluate
the student teacher's performance.













Cooperating Teacher -- the classroom teacher who volunteers or is
assigned to aid and direct the teaching experiences of a student teacher
in addition to the regular duties assigned to the classroom teacher in a
public, private, or laboratory school. The major task of the cooperating
teacher is to help the student teacher plan appropriate lessons, collect
instructional materials, and to suggest ways to present the materials
to the pupils. Another function of the cooperating teacher is to evaluate
the student teacher.

Student Teacher the college student engaged in a practice teaching
experience usually termed student teaching under the guidance and super-
vision of a college supervisor and cooperating teacher in a planned
period of educational experiences in which the student teacher moves
from the role of observer-helper, to full participant in performing the
duties of a classroom teacher.

Dyad -- two persons who are involved in social interaction. For the
purposes of this study, a dyad is identified as any two of the following
three persons; college supervisor, cooperating teacher, or student teacher
engaged in some form of social interaction between each other.

Triad -- three persons who are involved in social interaction. For the
purposes of this study, a triad will be identified as the college super-
visor, cooperating teacher, and the student teacher engaged in some form
of social interaction among each other.

Situation -- a contextual or environmental condition or circumstance in
which there exists a component of human intervention or interaction where
experiences and interpretations of events takes place.

Incident any observable human activity that is sufficiently complete
in itself to permit inferences and predictions to be made about the
person performing the act. To be critical, an incident must occur in a
situation in which the purpose or intent of the act seems fairly clear
to the observer and where its consequences are sufficiently definite to
leave little doubt concerning its effects (Flanagan, 1954, p. 327).

Critical Incident -- some occurrence involving a person which is taken
to indicate unusual competence or lack of competence on his part; has been
used as a basis for defining job requirements and for developing pro-
ficiency tests (Dictionary of Education, 1973, p. 154).

Conflict -- some incident that occurs between the college supervisor and
cooperating teacher in which the cooperating teacher perceives that
incident as creating an incompatible situation between himself and the
college supervisor.
















CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

Introduction

The literature is replete with scholarly concerns for a meaning-

ful student teaching experience as part of the preservice teacher

education program. Roles, behaviors, attitudes, concerns and problems

of key individuals engaged in the student teaching collaborative effort

have been studied and recommendations for change in this preservice

teacher education component have been made. Despite the large numbers

of student teaching studies available, Heitzmann (1977) reported that

much of the research on student teaching has been conducted by doctoral

students in graduate schools of education. Several factors are stated

to support his thesis. Many faculty members of colleges of education

view the college supervisor as a low status faculty position. Because

the college supervisor's work is more field oriented and less research

oriented, such activities do not carry the weight for merit increases

or faculty advancement. Furthermore, many faculty are reluctant to

return to the classroom after teaching a homogeneous group of college

students. Accordingly, doctoral students are frequently used to super-

vise student teachers and those who accept the assignment of supervision

find that they have a population available for their doctoral disserta-

tion research.

A large number of studies in preservice teacher education student

teaching focus on the student teachers. Stress, anxieties, problems,











attitudes, beliefs, successes and failures are fully reported in the

literature (Anderson, 1960; Coates & Thoreson, 1976; Fuller, 1969;

Garrard, 1966; Halpert, 1966; Harrow, 1973; Sorenson & Halpert, 1968).

Fewer studies,however, are conducted in the areas of studying the inter-

personal relationship between the student teacher and the cooperating

teacher, the student teacher and the college supervisor, or the coopera-

ting teacher and the college supervisor. Only one study, by Lipton and

Lesser (1978), related directly to the study of conflict in the teaching

triad. In order to understand the nature of the interpersonal relation-

ship between college supervisors and cooperating teachers, it was

necessary to review the literature on the relationships that exist

between the members of the student teaching triad; the college super-

visor, cooperating teacher, and the student teacher.

The recent professional literature appropriate to the present

study being conducted is reviewed under six headings. The first section

reports studies related to the interpersonal relationship between the

cooperating teacher and the student teacher. The second section des-

cribes studies related to the role of the college supervisor and the

interpersonal relationship between the college supervisor and the

student teacher. The third section contains studies related to the

interpersonal relationship among members of the student teaching triad.

The fourth section reports studies related to communication among the

college supervisor, the cooperating teacher, and the student teacher.

The fifth section is a review of the literature on conflict communica-

tion that was judged by the investigator to be appropriately related

to this study on the effective and ineffective behaviors of college

supervisors. The sixth section contains a review of the literature in

education using the critical incident technique method.













Studies Related to the Interpersonal Relationship Between
the Cooperating Teacher and the Student Teacher

At the time of the Steeves (1952) study, the most important person

in the preservice professional life of the student teacher was the

cooperating teacher to whom the student teacher was assigned. However,

the only criterion used in the selection of cooperating teachers was

reported to be the availability and willingness of teachers to take on

the extra duties of this role.

Although the influences on student teachers by other key individuals

wereidentified by Karmos and Jacko (1977) and Manning (1977), the

cooperating teacher remained,according to Lowther (1970),the most signi-

ficant influence upon the beliefs, attitudes and behaviors of the student

teacher.

In a study of the most successful and least successful experiences

in student teaching as perceived by the student teacher, Lowther (1970),

concluded that the interpersonal relationship established between the

student teacher and cooperating teacher was a major factor in determining

thesuccess of the student teaching experience. The need for more investi-

gation into the interpersonal dynamics of the student teacher--

cooperating teacher relationship was cited. According to this study

four important questions remained unanswered: (1) What constitutes a

good or bad interpersonal relationship between the student teacher and

cooperating teacher? (2) What are the outcomes of a good or bad rela--

tionship? (3) Can variables be identified that contribute to the

structuring of the student teacher-cooperating teacher relationship

along with each participant's role? (4) Why is it difficult for the










cooperating teacher to provide feedback on teaching performance to the

student teacher? Lowther's study found that too often student teachers

were given little or no feedback on teaching performance, were given

little personal or professional support, and were unable to satisfy the

cooperating teachers' expectations. Student teachers viewed those

experiences where there was personal satisfaction gained on the student

teacher's part in working with the pupils as more successful than those

experiences related to achieving the instructional objectives.

Nicholson (1971) used the critical incident technique to identify

and categorize behaviors of cooperating teachers that student teachers

viewed as critical to their success or failure in student teaching. More

behaviors were identified in the affective than the cognitive domains

of teaching behaviors. Nicholson concluded that there exists a rela-

tionship between effective teaching by the student teacher and the super-

visory behavior of the cooperating teacher.

Hackley (1976) found twenty-three effective behaviors and fifteen

ineffective behaviors of cooperating teachers as perceived by student

teachers in both the affective and cognitive domains of teaching be-

haviors. These behaviors were then translated into twenty behavioral

criteria to be used for the selection and development of effective

secondary school cooperating teachers. Although many effective behaviors

of cooperating teachers were related to the classroom instructional

component of student teaching, a number of effective behaviors were

identified as interpersonal behaviors between the cooperating teacher

and the student teacher. Effective interpersonal behaviors of coopera-

ting teachers included: the ability of the cooperating teacher to

provide confidence and support to the student teacher, to criticize the












student teacher constructively and in private, to treat the student

teacher as a colleague and not as a student, to display and translate

to the student teacher a professional attitude toward teaching, and to

help the student teacher overcome the frustrations of teaching. Examples

given byHackley of ineffective interpersonal behaviors of cooperating

teachers included communicating a lack of faith in the student teacher,

increasing the insecurity of the student teacher, interrupting the

student teacher at inappropriate times, rejecting the student teacher's

ideas about instructional techniques and materials, and criticizing the

student teacher excessively and in front of other persons.

In support of the Lowther (1970) and Nicholson (1971) studies,

Campbell and Williams (1973) found that a successful student teaching

experience is determined by the quality of the relationship between the

student teacher and the cooperating teacher, not by the school, class,

or grade level assigned. They identified fourteen problems commonly

encountered by student teachers with the cooperating teachers to whom

they were assigned. Two major deterrents to a successful student

teaching experience were identified: inconsistent levels of expectations

for the student teachers, and the reluctance of the cooperating teacher

to "let go" of the class in order to allow the student teacher the

opportunity to use different teaching methods and learning materials.

Heitzmann (1977) reviewed eighty studies on student teaching and

concluded that the student teaching experience was the decisive factor

for continuing in or terminating the choice of teaching as a career. It

was the cooperating teacher who promoted creativity and high morale,

and established a mature relationship and understanding between the two












partners as to expectations, accomplishments and goals. The role of the

cooperating teacher was viewed as that of a key leader, who suggested,

guided, demonstrated, conferred, counseled, and evaluated the student

teacher during a stressful period of adjustment. Teaching skill develop-

ment to the student teacher, rather than using the student teacher as a

source of free labor or as a personal assistant, was viewed by McAteer

(1976) as the most important function of the cooperating teacher's role.

Elkin (1958) identified effective and ineffective behaviors of

cooperating teachers as perceived by student teachers and cooperating

teachers and found major differences in how the two groups perceived

the role of the cooperating teacher. Cooperating teachers viewed their

role as one of induction of the student teacher into the mechanics of

teaching and lesson preparation while student teachers viewed the major

roleof the cooperating teacher as one of encouraging the student

teacher to assume increased responsibility for classroom instruction

by providing the opportunity for the student to grow in professional

responsibilities. The personal relationship that developed between

the cooperating teacher and student teacher appeared to be a significant

factor for the success or failure of the student teacher's performance.

Price (1961) found that the attitudes held by student teachers

changed after the student teaching experience and moved in the direction

of attitudes held by the classroom teacher. Correlation between the

cooperating teacher and student teacher classroom performance indicated

that student teachers appeared to acquire many of the teaching practices

of their cooperating teachers. This study supported McAulay's (1960),

conclusion that colleges of education method class techniques and

materials were not used by a majority of beginning first year teachers.













All teachers, however, used the materials they had prepared in the

classroom in which they had had their student teaching experience. It

must be noted that the cooperating teachers who participated in this

study identified as successful, teachers who were themselves strong

positive influences on their student teachers.

The effect of the cooperating teacher's personality on the student

teacher was not considered in the studies reviewed above. However,

Yee (1969) tested the hypothesis that cooperating teachers are a signi-

ficant source of influence and concluded that student teacher-held

attitudes about their pupils reflected the influence of their coopera-

ting teachers. Although congruent influences characteristic of a positive

relationship between the attitudes of cooperating teachers and student

teachers were most common, the study also revealed that a number of

incongruent influences operated. Negative influences of cooperating

teachers also contributed to attitudes held by student teachers not in

accord with cooperating teachers.

Mahan and Lacefield (1978) reported two studies that extended the

knowledge about the effects of year-long student teaching experiences

with multiple role models (cooperating teachers) upon student teacher

value orientation toward education and schooling. It was concluded

that the values held and expressed vocally and/or concretely by coopera-

ting teachers were a powerful influence upon the student teachers' value

orientation toward teaching. The studies revealed that student teachers

would adjust their attitudes and values to minimize disparity between

the cooperating teachers and themselves. This shift would occur toward

the first assigned cooperating teacher and would shift again toward the











values and beliefs held by the second assigned cooperating teacher. In

both studies the assumption was made that the cooperating teachers'

experiences would change little as a result of the interaction with and

influence of the student teacher assigned to them. It was concluded that

many cooperating teachers viewed the cooperating teacher-student teacher

relationship as one of the teacher-learner. Cooperating teachers were

usually older, more highly trained, and more experienced than student

teachers. While both parties were influenced by the dyad relationship,

the student teacher was influenced to a more significant degree by the

cooperating teacher than by vice versa.

Communication links between the cooperating teacher and student

teacher were studied by Edmund and Hemink (1960). They found that

cooperating teachers and student teachers agreed most frequently on

areas of successful student teacher experience. There existed negligible

differences between areas of least success. However, the low percent

of agreement about the least successful student teaching experiences led

the investigators to conclude that poor communication links existed

between the cooperating teacher and the student teacher. More signi-

ficantly, little or no attention was given by the subjects to the student

teacher's success or failure in teaching course content. Evidence of

poor communication and low agreement of success were also found by the

investigators in the areas of class discipline, lesson planning, and

other in-class related activities.

Soares and Soares (1968) in a study focusing on the nature of

the student teacher's self concept during student teaching found that

although there was agreement that student teaching was the most meaning-

ful preservice teacher education experience, an unrevealed facet of













student teaching was that the experience appeared less significant than

it could or should be. Results from the study indicated that student

teachers did not seem to gain as much as they should from their associa-

tion with the cooperating teacher when measured against three alterna-

tive image factors; how the student teacher viewed himself as a teacher,

how the student teacher viewed the college supervisor's image of him as

a teacher, and how the student teacher viewed the cooperating teacher's

image of him as a teacher. The results indicated that the image of the

cooperating teacher's opinion of the student teacher as a teacher was the

most important factor for the student teacher's professional development.

Soares and Soares' (1968) study supported Thompson (1963) in his

findings which identified anxieties experienced by student teachers.

One-third of the subjects in the Soares and Soares study were elementary

school student teachers and two-thirds of the subjects were secondary

school student teachers. The results showed that over three-quarters

of the sample identified anxieties that were concerned with the student

teacher's relationship with the cooperating teacher. The student

teachers indicated that they were given little information by their

individual cooperating teacher about the expectations for the student

teacher to meet.

Southall and King (1979) conducted a survey of college supervisors'

perceptions of critical incidents; situations that occurred which could

have or did have an impact upon the student teacher's completion or

success in the student teaching experience. The authors found that lack

of communication between the cooperating teacher and student teacher













was the most common cause of critical incidents during student teaching.

The second most common cause for critical incidents to occur was per-

ceived by the college supervisor to be the student teacher's inability

to live up to the expectations of the cooperating teacher. This failure

was reported to affect the relationship between the student teacher and

cooperating teacher. The third most often perceived cause or critical

incident was the student teacher's not being prepared to teach, or not

knowing methods and techniques of teaching. The major implication drawn

from the results of the study was the suggestion that college supervisors

must be skilled in dealing with interpersonal relationships, particularly

in facilitating and encouraging communication between the cooperating

teacher and student teacher.

Lowther (1968) attempted to answer the question of the degree of

quality in the cooperating teacher's supervisory performance by using

student teacher descriptors of the most helpful and least helpful

activities of the cooperating teacher. A questionnaire was developed

on which the student teachers described the most and least helpful

activities. There were 480 most helpful activities and 325 least

helpful activities cited. Four categories of most helpful activities

were identified: types of behavior allowed student teachers in

the classroom, counseling and advice, support and understanding

of the student teacher's concerns, and performance evaluation. Least

helpful activities were identified as the following: the small

amount of performance evaluation, the small amount of help and counsel

offered, poor or rigid supervision, the lack of advice and help in the

teaching environment, and the small amount of actual teaching time












allotted the student teacher. Low communication linkage between the

cooperating teacher and student teacher as to the needs and professional

help desired by the student teacher was evident by the responses.

Simms (1975) suggested that the lack of communication and pro-

fessional help provided to the student teacher could be due to the feel-

ings of inadequacy felt by the cooperating teacher. Although most

cooperating teachers viewed themselves as adequate classroom teachers,

they perceived their ability to supervise a student teacher and to work

with sponsoring personnel from a university as inadequate. The coopera-

ting teachers stated that leadership on the part of the university in

sponsoring programs, and special training sessions for working with

student teachers were weak or non-existent. Moreover, content and

methods of instruction in some professional education courses were

designed to prepare student teachers to teach a student body that no

longer existed in the schools. According to Bosse (1973), cooperating

teachers stated that their perceived inability to work with a student

teacher was a result of the implementation policies of the student

teaching program by the colleges and universities. Earp (1975) con-

cluded that participatory collaborative supervision (teams of student

teachers and cooperating teachers) caused significant gains in the

cooperating teacher's positive attitudes toward their supervisory jobs

and on their evaluation of fellow teachers, student teachers, and class-

room supervisors as sources of new instructional ideas.

It is important to note that the influence of interpersonal

behaviors between cooperating teachers and student teachers was

reciprocal. A majority of the studies noted previously by Yee (1969)












studied cooperating teacher attitudes and influences on the student

teacher. Rich (1971) found that influence was reciprocal with the

student teacher becoming both a learner and a change agent during the

student teaching period. Seven categories describing student teachers

as providers of beneficial experiences for pupils, student teachers,

cooperating teachers, and cooperating schools were established and

defined by cooperating teachers who served as subjects in the study.

Educational experiences were identified as a two-way process in which

the flow of new ideas, outlooks and approaches to educational learning

and teaching outcomes not only moved from the cooperating school and

the cooperating teacher to the student teacher, but moved from the

college or university through the student teacher to the cooperating

school and the cooperating teacher. The two categories of educational

experiences that cooperating teachers ranked as the most important

contribution by the student teacher were the contributions of new

knowledge and the co-functioning or human relations of cooperating

teachers and student teachers in the classroom. This study, however,

appeared to contradict the later findings cited previously of Mahan

and Lacefield (1978) about the influence of the cooperating teachers'

values on the cooperating teacher-student teacher dyad.

A review of the literature of studies related to the interpersonal

relationship between the cooperating teacher and student teacher indi-

cates that the cooperating teacher is the major influence upon the

learning outcomes of student teaching by the student teacher. The

interpersonal relationship that develops between the cooperating teacher

and the student teacher has a significant impact upon the perceived












positive and negative attitudes that a student teacher holds toward

teaching. The studies also reveal that effective and ineffective

behaviors of cooperating teachers as perceived by student teachers

contributed to positive and negative attitudes toward teaching held by

the student teachers.

Studies Related to the Role of the College Supervisor and the Inter-
personal Relationship Between the College Supervisor
and the Student Teacher

College supervision of the student teacher is acknowledged as an

important factor in the student teaching experience. Numerous studies

have been conducted and articles published on the role and function of

the college supervisor and the variety of participatory arrangements

among colleges of education with public and private schools. Varied

supervisory practices among college supervisors and the degree of their

commitment to student teaching experiences have been scrutinized, debated,

praised, and criticized (Stratemeyer & Lindsey, 1958). Problems

occurring during student teaching, and concerns of college supervisors

about the student teaching experience have been reported by Clarke (1961)

and Pfeiffer (1964).

Blanchard (1968) identified the professional problems of college

supervisors and categorized the problems through a review of the litera-

ture on supervision. Four of the six problem areas that concerned

college supervisors related directly to the student teacher: (1) the

selection, assignment and induction of the student teacher into the

school, (2) guiding the student teacher in student teaching activities,

(3) evaluating the student teacher, and (4) follow-up guidance of the

student teacher. The fifth problem area concerned the college supervisor's

relationship with the cooperating teacher and other aspects of the student











teacher's school setting, and the sixth problem area dealt with the

college supervisor and college faculty membership. On a questionnaire,

college supervisors identified three problems in each of the six problem

areas. Ten concerns representing 110 problem statements were recognized

by more than twenty-five percent of the respondents. Eight of the ten

concerns related directly to some aspect of supervision,working with

student teachers, or evaluating student teachers. The two remaining

concerns focused on the adequacy of college supervisors' supervision,

curriculum theory, and practice in teacher education.

Strebel (1936),in his survey of the state of college supervisory

practices forty years ago, wrote of the same concerns that college

supervisors hold today. He found that while college supervisors were

expected to evaluate student teachers in the cooperating school, the

colleges of education had little or no control over the teacher education

programs and practices in those participating schools. Student teachers

were expected to adapt to the curriculum, methods, and philosophy of

the cooperating school. There was little consistent effort to coordinate

the supervision of the student teacher by the college supervisor and the

cooperating teacher which resulted in confusion on the part of the

student teacher and an overlapping of supervising duties on the part of

the college supervisor and cooperating teacher. Calling for closer

collaborative efforts by colleges and schools, Strebel noted their need

to coordinate functions, to interpret the major outcomes of student

teaching, and to delineate supervisory roles and functions for the college

supervisor and cooperating teacher.













Some educators have attacked the college supervisors's position

as redundant, and have suggested better use of the college supervisor's

time by training cooperating teachers through inservice education to

assume major responsibilities of the student teacher (Moser & Bebb, 1970).

Most studies reviewed, however, supported the need for the continuous

support and services of the college supervisor in the student teaching

program (Johnson, 1964). Bennie (1964) analyzed the effectiveness of

college supervisors and found that a random selection of first year

teachers reported that the college supervisor had given more help to them

as a student teacher than did the cooperating teacher to whom they had

been assigned. Categories of areas of most help to the student teacher

were identified. The most important were those of evaluating student

teacher performance, helping in planning long range instruction, writing

lesson plans and lesson objectives, helping the student teacher to

adjust to the teaching role, and helping the student teacher to under-

stand the purposes of education. Regular conferences with the student

teacher were viewed as the most valuable activity of the college

supervisor. The first year teachers also rated classroom visitations as

a high priority although this activity was utilized on a regular basis

by the smallest number of college supervisors. The first year teachers

stated that the college supervisor gave the least help in the planning

aspects of teaching and in the personal adjustment of the student teacher

to classroom teaching.

Neal, Kraft, and Kracht (1967) used a free response questionnaire

to gain answers from student teachers, cooperating teachers, college

supervisors, and school administrators to the question of why a university











should provide personnel to supervise student teachers. Eleven roles

for the college supervisor were identified which supported the need for

college personnel to form a liaison or a cooperative linkage between

college and school. Other roles focused on establishing a helping rela-

tionship between the college supervisor and student teacher; working

with the cooperating teacher to define role responsibilities; providing

continuity and structure to the student teacher program; evaluating the

program and student teacher; and acting as a resource person for the

student teacher, cooperating teacher, and school administrators. Although

the liaison role was viewed as the most important function of the college

supervisor, the college supervisor's traditional role of giving direc-

tion and critical evaluation to the student teacher was not identified

as an important role by any of the four groups in the study.

Other studies on the role and function of the college supervisor

identified varied tasks that may be assigned to this position. Clearly,

the label of a jack-of-all-trades can be used in describing the eclectic

approach to supervision. Building good relationships (Edwards, 1961),

counseling (Smith, 1960), supervision and evaluation of student teachers

(Ashby, 1973; Frenzel, 1977; Kunde, 1973; Morris, 1974), supportive

roles (Freed, 1976), and a "teacher education consultant" (J.A. Johnson,

1974), were all important role functions identified for college super-

visors of student teachers.

Establishing good interpersonal relationships between the college

supervisor and student teacher was cited frequently as a major criterion

for effective supervision. Effective and ineffective behaviors of college

supervisors as perceived by student teachers were revealed in two studies











as important in developing a positive interpersonal relationship

between the college supervisor and student teacher. One study (Carr,

1967) dealt with the situational and personal variables that influenced

the interpersonal relationship between the college supervisor and

student teacher at the elementary school level. The second study

(McElroy, 1972), identified twenty-six effective and twenty-eight

ineffective practices of college supervisors of secondary student

teachers that were important in accessing student teachers' teaching and/

or attitudes toward teaching.

The McElroy (1972) study is reviewed more extensively because the

results of that study apply to the establishment of an effective inter-

personal relationship between the college supervisor and the student

teacher. The research technique, the critical incident technique used

by McElroy, will be discussed in Chapter III because the technique was

used to obtain the outcomes of the present study.

In his study on the effective and ineffective practices of college

supervisors as perceived by secondary school student teachers, McElroy

(1972) found a number of common factors that could help identify effec-

tive and ineffective behaviors of college supervisors. Effective be-

haviors were those behaviors identified as practices where the college

supervisor provided suggestions and information, where they offered

praise and support, and where they provided the opportunity for the

student teacher and the college supervisor to discuss all aspects of

the student teaching experience. Ineffective behaviors of college

supervisors were those identified by student teachers when the college

supervisor failed to praise the student teacher, were derelict in their












duties, and when they did not allow student teachers the opportunity

to discuss the student teaching experience.

McElroy (1972) collected 734 usable incidents of college super-

visors' behaviors which he used to classify the critical behaviors of

college supervisors into four areas. The four areas were (1) methods

of supervision, (2) content of supervision, (3) interpersonal communi-

cation in supervision, and (4) qualifications of the college supervisor.

The critical incidents from which critical behaviors were drawn and

categorized under one of the four areas listed above, were then used

to identify the effective and ineffective practices of college super-

visors. These practices constituted the final step in establishing

categories for fifty-four different types of critical behaviors or

practices of college supervisors.

In the third area, labeled by McElroy (1972) "interpersonal

communication in supervision," seven categories of critical behaviors were

identified. The first category dealt with incidents when the college

supervisor intervened in conflicts between the student teacher and the

cooperating teacher by attempting to re-establish communication.

Student teachers cited such practices as effective because they helped

to relieve the tension between themselves and the cooperating teacher

and also encouraged the student teacher to do the best possible job

despite conflict with the cooperating teacher.

The second category dealt with the college supervisor defending

the actions of the student teacher to the cooperating teacher and the

pupils. Such practices by the college supervisor increased the con-

fidence of the student teacher and helped to change the situation so












that student teachers no longer had to take action which needed to be

defended. The third category dealt with incidents in which the college

supervisor listened to the problems of the student teacher. Such

practices by college supervisors were reported by student teachers to

aid them in facing up to their problems and to realize that their

problems were not unique.

The last four categories under the area of "interpersonal communi-

cation in supervision" identified ineffective behaviors of college

supervisors. The first of these categories of ineffective behaviors

were recorded incidents in which the college supervisor did not listen

to the problems of the student teacher. Student teachers reported that

such behavior discouraged them by making the student teachers believe

that they were on their own and could not expect any support from their

college supervisor. The second category dealt with incidents where the

college supervisor did not talk to the student teacher. Little meaning-

ful conversation existed, and conferences between the two were not

important to the student teacher's learning experience. The third

category dealt with incidents when the college supervisor told the

student teacher that his problems were not important. Student teachers

reported that as a result of such college supervisor behavior, they

stopped talking with the college supervisor and only listened to any

comment that the college supervisor chose to make. The last category

recorded incidents where the college supervisor failed to encourage the

student teacher to continue teaching when he became depressed or indi-

cated a desire not to continue teaching. Those student teachers

reported that they hoped that the college supervisor would have encouraged












them to continue teaching but instead they accepted the college super-

visor's recommendation to stop.

A total of fifty-nine critical behaviors were recorded in the

seven categories of area three, "interpersonal communication in super-

vision," out of a total of 734 critical behaviors reported for all

categories in the four areas. McElroy's (1972) summary of the findings

in the area of interpersonal communication indicates that the college

supervisor is seen by student teachers as one who will come to their

defense when it is justified, will encourage student teachers and listen

to their problems and will help to reduce conflict when it arises between

the student teachers and cooperating teachers. The importance of communi-

cation between the student teacher and the college supervisor is viewed

as an essential link in the supervisory functions of the college super-

visor.


Studies Related to the Interpersonal Relationship Among Members
of the Student Teaching Triad: The College Supervisor,
Cooperating Teacher and Student Teacher

Ideally, the college supervisor, cooperating teacher, and student

teacher should be viewed as members of a team whose common goal is the

professional educational development of the student teacher.

Student teaching, as the most intensive professional
laboratory experience in the teacher education program,
is intended to provide prospective teachers the oppor-
tunity (1) to discover their abilities and needs, (2) to
clarify and test theoretical concepts, and (3) to
increase their understanding and skill in a practical
situation. It is for the student a learning experience.
For this reason the chief function of all those who work
with the student teacher is to guide him in his learning
through various activities. (Stratemeyer & Lindsey, 1958,
p. 93)











It would appear that communication between the three partners is

the weakest link in the interpersonal relationship of the triad members.

The college supervisor needs to know what the cooperating teacher

expects of him in terms of administrative and supervisory duties and

the ways the college supervisor can carry out the liaison role (Hytrek,

1973). Too often the college supervisor is criticized for not fulfill-

ing the expected role. The cooperating teacher and student teacher

expect the college supervisor to bring to the student teaching triad

relationships a fund of knowledge that does not exist.

With so many unfulfilled expectations, unless the supervisor
is very adept at public relations and impression management,
it is not surprising to find a great deal of "triadic
imbalance." (Diamonti, 1977, p. 484)

Because expectations of the college supervisor appear unfulfilled, the

student teacher sees the cooperating teacher more often as having the

greater influence in the supervision of the student teacher.

One way to overcome the imbalance within the triad is the proposal

by Deakins (1977) for the formation of on-site supervisory teams of

cooperating teachers and college supervisors who are viewed to be repre-

sentatives of the real and theoretical worlds respectively. Deakins

suggests that cooperating teachers commonly misinterpret the teaching of

methods to represent the theoretical world of the university of which

little or no use of knowledge and skills gained can be incorporated into

the classrooms. Deakins challenged whether these attitudes toward the

perceived theoretical world of the university actually had any basis.

More often cooperating teachers incorporated knowledge and skills gained

in their own undergraduate preparation. Deakins concludes that coopera-

ting teachers need to look on the university as a community and academic












support site where their own professional growth is viewed as continu-

ing education through the association of supervising student teachers.

Bennie (1966) described the college supervisor's role, and stated

that cooperating teachers needed to overcome their suspicions relating

to the supervision of student teachers. Much of the doubt resulted from

authoritarian past practices of college supervisors coupled with coopera-

ting teachers' insecurity in working with a college "expert." The per-

sonality of the college supervisors along with their ability to maintain

good public relations between the college and the school, were identi-

fied as vital criteria for the selection of college supervisors for

student teachers.

Competitive rather than cooperative relationships were found by

Yee (1967, 1968) in studies of the interpersonal relationships and

behaviors in the student teaching triad. Attitudes of each triad member

were obtained by inventories and questionnaires specially prepared for

the study. The results revealed that over time, as the triad members

worked longer and became more familiar with each other, coalitions of

dyads were formed. Dyads formed with more positive balance occurred

between the college supervisor and cooperating teacher while the most

negative dyads arose between the college supervisor and student teacher,

or the cooperating teacher and student teacher.

The studies also revealed that triad relationships were more often

competitive than cooperative. In those triads that exhibited competi-

tiveness, members perceived each other as working against interdepend-

ence with respect to common goals of student teaching and supervision.

Competitive triad members saw themselves as representing different levels

of power within student teaching and could not be cooperative as a result













of this perception. Competitive relationships may have evolved because

student teaching programs and practices did not provide purposeful

opportunities for triadic interaction.

Influence was found by Yee (1967, 1968) in his two studies to

be a key factor in working against triadic cooperativeness. The college

supervisor is most often identified as the key person in the triad who

had the greatest potential to influence the outcomes of the behavior of

the triad. Obtaining more knowledge on leadership styles of the college

supervisor and the cooperating teacher is suggested in order to upgrade

the professional development of the members of the student teaching triad.

Cross (1969) found that as student teachers perceived positive

professional support from the cooperating teacher, college supervisor,

and school administrators, their perceptions of the total experience

were improved. Cross concluded that ". the approval and encourage-

ment of positive behavior and the ability to sustain confidence and to

advocate growth support is viewed as a dimension of helping that has a

positive effect on the becoming process of teaching" (p. 1). Cross

also concluded that professional support was a product of the inter-

personal relationship between colleagues and was not influenced by

extraneous variables measured in the study; class size, urban-suburban

school settings, grade level assigned to student teacher, sex of

student teacher, the student teacher's perceptions of pupils' reading

levels, or the student teacher's perceptions of the pupils' inter-

personal relations structure.

Wheeler (1977) examined each member of the triad to determine the

probable effect on college seniors, cooperating teachers, and college













supervisors of the student teaching experience on three affective

dimensions; open-mindedness, the self-concept, and teacher-student

rapport. Wheeler examined each member of the student teaching triad's

influence on the three affective dimensions on the other members. The

results showed that college seniors who had participated in student

teaching were more closed-minded about the ability of secondary school

pupils for self control in the classroom than were college seniors not

participating in student teaching. However, the participation of cooper-

ating teachers and college supervisors as members of the student teaching

triad did not affect their open-mindedness, self concept, or student-

teacher rapport with the triad. The college supervisor was cited as

the most frequent probable source of influence in change occurring

within the three affective dimensions among the triad members. The

college supervisor, lacking information about the personal and profes-

sional deficiencies of the student teacher, appeared to foster closed-

mindedness of the student teacher and to decrease the student teacher's

learning potential. Wheeler stated that the college supervisor's role

was so influential that open-minded individuals with positive self

concepts and warm teacher-student rapport should be selected for this

role and contacts between the members of the triad should be increased,

not reduced.

Studies Related to Communications Among the College Supervisor,
the Cooperating Teacher, and Student Teacher

A number of studies of key personnel in student teaching cited

problems of communication as a variable contributing toward a poor

interpersonal relationship between members of the student teaching triad,












and failures of meaningful student teacher experiences. Investiga-

tions into student teacher-cooperating teacher communication were

cited by Lipsey (1972), Lowther (1964), Poole (1972), Southall and

King (1979), and Stillers and Kniep (1973). The studies indicated

that a communication gap exists and was evidenced by the student

teacher's reluctance to ask questions of the cooperating teacher or to

participate more than minimally in the classroom. Student teachers

were hesitant to ask for help in lesson planning, in providing stimu-

lating lessons for the pupils, and in developing subject content.

Cooperating teachers were found to be reluctant in providing feedback to

student teachers on teaching performance, and often were criticized

for interrupting class when the student teacher was teaching. A sum-

mary of the findings indicated that human interaction in a supportive

situation was the most important yet the most difficult goal to achieve.

Coupled with the evidence previously cited by Edmund and Hemink (1960),

the findings indicated that cooperating teachers and student teachers

did not communicate effectively, and many times did not agree on the

evaluation criteria for the student teacher's performance.

Communication studies involving student teachers, cooperating

teachers, and college supervisors were conducted by Ellis (1975),

Lock (1977), and Stagg (1968). Clear, two-way lines of communication

between the college and the school, and between the various members

of the student teaching triad were found to be lacking in regard to

what each institution and each triad member was trying to accomplish and

how they were trying to achieve their goals. The lack of supervisory

feedback on the student teacher's performance, lack of clarity about the












cooperating teacher's expectations, and unclear communication about

regulations or policies of the school and college were all cited as

specific communication problems.

Dickson (1953),using a free response questionnaire,identified

problems of human relations common in the student teaching situation.

Student teacher-cooperating teacher dissatisfaction toward the college

supervisor appeared to arise from a misunderstanding of the role of the

college supervisor in providing opportunities for student-supervisor

contacts. Dickson found that ineffective lines of communication between

cooperating teachers and college supervisors created hostility, insecur-

ity, and anxiety on the part of the cooperating teacher. However, the

cooperating teacher and college supervisor appeared mutually anxious to

feel wanted and secure with each other. Feedback from cooperating

teachers indicated that college supervisors often did not communicate to

cooperating teachers that a job was well done. College supervisors many

times failed to mask their critical feelings concerning cooperating

teachers and their teaching situations. This failure stimulated antagon-

ism which resulted in an unfriendly and non-cooperative human relationship.

Moreover, the college supervisor's desire for the student teacher to

achieve a successful teaching model was seen as being thwarted by the

insecurity of the cooperating teacher. As a result, college supervisors

expressed hostility and disagreement toward cooperating teachers over

supervision of the student teacher.

In this same study, it was found that cooperating teachers rejected

college supervisors' ideas and displayed hostility or disagreement when

the cooperating teachers felt that the college supervisors were criticizing












the methods of teaching as being too traditional or the cooperating

teachers' work with student teachers as being unsatisfactory. Cooperating

teachers also expressed negative feelings toward student teachers who

adopted superior attitudes toward cooperating teachers. Yet in cooperating

teacher-student teacher dyads that developed into a close interpersonal

relationship, both members expressed negative feelings toward college

supervisors who did not recognize the close alignment. In such instances,

the dyad more often would reject the ideas of the college supervisor.

Moreover, the failure of the college supervisor to provide democratic

leadership in the student teaching situation and maintain open lines of

communication led to increased hostility, insecurity, and anxiety on

the part of the student teacher and the cooperating teacher.

Rousseau (1970) cited findings that showed college supervisors

used different verbal behaviors with teachers of different status. In

conferences between college supervisors and student teachers, it was

found that the college supervisor gave more praise, asked more informa-

tion from, and was more verbally indirect with student teachers than in

conferences held between college supervisors and cooperating teachers.

In these conferences, the college supervisor gave more information to the

cooperating teacher, talked more directly with the cooperating teacher

and gave less praise.

College supervisors rated student teachers more successful when the

student teacher perceived himself as a good communicator according to

Hochel (1973). Five areas were identified as effective communication

skill areas; small group communication, public speaking, listening,

effective use of words (language), and subject matter content. Using











the "Index of Self-concept as a Communicator" (ISCC), to examine the

relationship between student teachers' self-concepts of communication

ability and the selected criteria of communication areas listed above,

Hochel concluded that a positive and significant relationship existed

between the self-concept of communication ability and evaluations of

student teaching effectiveness. Student teachers who perceived them-

selves as good communicators were judged by their supervisors as being

able to function effectively in a student teaching situation. One

implication which was drawn from the study was that the way in which

one sees himself or herself as a communicator, could determine the

success of that communication.

Methods of communicating were studied by Tannenbaum (1977),who

concluded that college supervisors trained in Transactional Analysis

facilitated more open communication in conferences with student

teachers. Tannenbaum also found that open communication patterns in

conferences were characterized by a strong dominance of adult to adult

level transactions which accounted for over ninety percent of open

communication in the conference period. Kimsey (1969) developed a

model, a system of categories which could be used to identify and

classify actions taken, operations performed, and topics discussed

during the college supervisor-cooperating teacher supervisory confer-

ence. By analyzing conference tapes, the investigator established

sets of categories in three dimensions which enabled the verbal

behavior of supervisors to be described quantitatively. The quantitative

findings were then interpreted as to the functions or objects of the

conference. It was hypothesized that a knowledge of the behavior











variables identified in the conference would be useful in improving

the interpersonal relationship between college supervisors and cooperating

teachers. This knowledge would help the two supervisors work more

effectively together.

A review of the literature on communication and human interaction

between members of the student teaching triad indicated that one of the

weakest links in the student teaching experience is the inability of

college supervisors, cooperating teachers and student teachers to communi-

cate with each other. The three members found it difficult not only to

express their problems and concerns openly to each other, but found it

difficult as well to provide positive feedback to fellow members of the

triad.

The student teacher is viewed as the major reason for the student

teaching triad to exist. It may be assumed that the student teacher

will be most affected by the outcomes of the patterns of human relations

that were formed. An understanding of the quality and quantity of

behaviors that passed between members of the student teaching triad was

an important step toward helping each member of the student teaching

triad to achieve a positive interpersonal relationship with the other

members. Therefore, a review of the literature on conflict communica-

tion was made to help provide some explanation about why conflict

existed and in what ways conflict manifested itself between the college

supervisor and the cooperating teacher.


A Survey of the Literature in Conflict Communication Appropriate
to the Focus of Behaviors of College Supervisors During
Student Teacher Supervision

A review of the literature on conflict communication indicated

that the area of conflict communication was very broad and diverse in












theoretical constructs and the conceptualization of the application of

conflict theory. Ellis and Fisher (1975) stated that the study of the

role of communication was necessary to understand the nature of con-

flict. However, the researchers concluded that while conflict had been

examined as central to the most important social problems: Interpersonal,

intergroup, and interorganizational relations, war, peace, ideological,

labor, management, and negotiations, it appeared that there had been a

lot of research activity, but little knowledge generated about conflict

communication.

The literature on conflict communication was reviewed by this

writer in a number of areas. However, the studies on typology of

conflict reviewed by Burgoon and Ruffner (1978) and Deutsch (1973),

and those on theoretical models (Hawes & Smith, 1973; Hilyard, 1973;

Littlejohn, 1978; Pearce, 1974; Steinfatt, 1974), did not lend them-

selves to the focus of the study undertaken by this writer. However,

other areas of conflict communication were judged to be significant

to the focus of this study, and the literature in these areas will be

reviewed in order to make significant application of conflict communi-

cation to the findings of this study.

According to a majority of the studies reviewed, there is a

general agreement by researchers in communication theory that conflict

in one form or another exists wherever there is human interaction or

interdependence among individuals, groups, organizations and institu-

tions, and nations. Moreover, it is believed that a society advances

when conflict is recognized as a healthy part of human interaction and

when the communication process is valued as a means for managing











conflict (Burgoon & Ruffner, 1978; Ellis & Fisher, 1975; Kelley, 1979).

Nor is conflict to be considered bad or evil (Jandt, 1973).

The importance of communication to the process of understanding

the nature of conflict was noted by Johnson (1974). Through the com-

munication process individuals can work to resolve problems, provide

information and feedback concerning their position and intentions,

reason and bargain together, influence other individuals, and work at

settling differences. However, the basic problem to understanding

conflict communication was noted by Johnson to be the need to properly

or clearly define the concept of communication either within a con-

ceptual definitional or an operational definitional framework, for

". .. without clarification of the concept 'communication,' no theory

of effective communication in conflict situations can be built" (p. 77).

Harpole (1974) stated that

Conflict is one of the most basic aspects of human inter-
change. It is also one of the most complex since it
involves both reason and emotion, shared interests and
differences, and varying levels of information among the
persons or groups in conflict. In all interpersonal and
intergroup conflict, however, communication is a key to
the resolution or management of the differences (p. 353).

A major problem confronting conflict communication theorists

is the definitional problem (Littlejohn, 1978). Deutsch (1969)

defined conflict as incompatible activities within people, groups, or

nations. Burgoon and Ruffner (1978) defined conflict as incompatible

activities which gave rise to threats or frustrations over nonshared

goals or perceptions of those goals. According to Coser (1956),

conflict was ". a struggle over values and claims to scarce status,

power, and resources in which the aims of the opponents are to













neutralize, injure, or eliminate their rivals" (p. 8). Hilyard (1973)

defined conflict as a process of reducing alternatives in the process

of making choices. The difficulty in studying conflict was in the

recognition that actions of individuals, groups, or institutions did

not necessarily provide sufficient identification as to whether or not

a situation was one of conflict or cooperation. In another study

using information processing as a way to predict the ability of an

individual to perceive and rate the severity of conflict, Saine (1974)

cautioned that the ability to identify conflict and the ability to

access the extent that conflict existed, were two different cognitive

processes. Thus, the judgment of conflict occurrence did not imply

a correct judgment of the severity of that conflict. In conclusion,

Saine used the results of the study to show that information processing

theory is a suitable context in which to place the perception of

conflict severity.

In another way of looking at the definitional problem of conflict,

Watkins (1974) outlined an analytic model of conflict which included

six essential conditions of conflict that provided an operational

definition of the concept, conflict.

1. Conflict requires at least two parties capable of invoking
sanctions on each other.

2. Conflicts arise due to the existence of a mutually desired
but mutually unobtainable objective.

3. Each party in conflict has four possible types of action
alternatives:
a. to obtain the mutually desired objective,
b. to end the conflict,
c. to invoke sanctions against the opponent,
d. to communicate something to the opponent.












4. Parties in conflict may have different value or perceptual
systems.

5. Each party has resources which may be increased or diminished
by implementation of action alternatives.

6. Conflict terminates only when each party is satisfied that
it has won or lost or believes probable costs of continuing
the conflict outweigh probable costs of ending the
conflict. (p. 1-2)

Watkins (1974) further stated that the conflict situation was an

important context in which to view the communication act. He identi-

fied within the analytic model certain terms that were important in

understanding the context of the conflict. These terms were threats,

policies, messages, credibility, and reliability.

Harris and Smith (1973) defined conflict as a struggle over

scarce status, power and resources where conflict behavior was termed

a strategy of bargaining, and the resolution of the conflict was

viewed as a negotiated resolution. However, a conflict could occur even

when shared mutual goals existed. This situation introduced a new con-

cept of mixed-motives where competition and cooperation existed within

the same conflict situation. Three types of conflict and communication

settings in which conflict resolution could be achieved were identified

by the researchers. Tacit communication occurred when participants were

engaged in achieving a mutual goal. Agreement or success in achieving

that goal depended upon the interacting factors of the cultural frame-

work within which the participants moved and the knowledge of the

other's probable response. Anticipation or knowledge of this response

influenced the resolution of the conflict. Implicit communication

occurred when there was an intent to perform some act which resulted in













bargaining in order to resolve the conflict situation. Thus influence

and persuasion could result in a resolution that would involve variables,

for example, of trust, defection, agreement, negotiation, or commit-

ment in order to resolve the conflict. The final type of conflict and

communication was explicit communication; the ideal type manifested by

expressed confidence between participants and correct interpretations

of acts or motives, or the imperfect type-where attitudes of distrust

and misinterpretation of acts or motives existed between the parties

in conflict.

Hawes and Smith (1973) presented in a paper on the diverse assump-

tions of conflict theories, three questions to be considered in viewing

the underlying assumptions of conflict as a process in communication.

The questions posed in the research undertaken dealt with definitional,

operational and theoretical model assumptions. This important work

was cited as a major study in several literature reviews by researchers

in conflict communication. Therefore the key elements of the first

two questions, the conceptual-definitional and the operational-procedural

questions are reviewed. The third question dealt with theoretical

models, which was outside the focus of the study undertaken.

The contributions of Hawes and Smith (1973) to the study of

conflict and communication are organized under three key questions

whose dimensions provided an organizational way of viewing the

constructs of conflict. The first question deals with the three

dimensions of the conceptual-definitional question of conflict.

These dimensions are goals, strategies, and time. The dimension

of goal conflict, is stated as "goals direct behavior." Thus









53

conflict exists when the goals of two or more persons are not comple--

mentary. Goals are defined as prospective goals where persons have

intentions about goals and behave to achieve their predefined goals,

or retrospective goals which are goals that do not define behavior or

direct or explain a person's action but only become meaningful after

the behaviors of the person are revealed or understood. The researchers

stated that although a choice between prospective and retrospective

goals did not have to be made, the differing positions of the goal dimen-

sion would create differences in the way the conceptual-definitional

question was answered. Those differences in turn could lead to differ-

ences in research results.

The second dimension of the conceptual definitional question of

conflict are identified by Hawes and Smith (1973) to be one of strategy.

Two different theories of strategy are reviewed by the researchers;

resolution of the conflict by compromise, mediation, or conciliation,

which usually include the question of cooperation versus competition,

or a second and more recent definition of strategy, the management of

conflict.

Although not couched as a definitional question, the need to dis-

tinguish between conflict and competition was made by Burgoon and

Ruffner (1978),who defined competition as a mutual rivalry, the purpose

of which is to obtain a non-divisible goal. Although conflict could

introduce an element of resolve, competition suggests a win-lose type

of situation.

The difference between conflict and competition was the thesis of

Deutsch's (1969, 1973) studies on the productive and destructive out-

comes of conflict. The major difference between conflict and












competition according to Deutsch was that conflict could occur within

either a cooperative or competitive context. In competition, the goal

attainment is viewed possible for one of the parties in conflict, but

not for the otherss, while cooperation results in some type of goal

attainment for all parties. The consequences of cooperation or competi-

tion in resolving or managing conflict situations is widely discussed

by Deutsch because of the researcher's interest in the constructive and

destructive outcomes of conflict. Conflict resolution is influenced by

the context within which the conflict occurred. The major question

posed by Deutsch was how to resolve the conflict so that the outcome

is perceived by those engaged in conflict to be productive or effective.

After summarizing the effects of cooperation and competition, Deutsch

noted that competition in conflict is not always destructive and that

many competitive conflict situations end in encouragement by one or

more parties to cooperate.

The dimension of conflict resolution versus conflict management

was raised by Hawes and Smith (1973) as part of the definitional ques-

tion. Conflict management assumes that all resolutions of conflicts

are not necessarily productive means to an end. In their review of

several studies in the area of conflict management, the researchers

showed that a number of theorists in conflict communication believed

that resolution, although viewed as an ideal end, could suppress new

and important information and ideas. Moreover, the discussion of

problems and conditions is not necessarily explored by conflict

resolution, and submerged feelings of resentment, hostility, or un-

expressed alternatives to the solutions can result. Harpole (1974)













stated that recent research has focused on conflict management as a

strategy for viewing a construct of conflict. Early theories of

conflict that emphasized resolution only, failed because researchers

considered all types of conflict as negative conflicts. Few serious

human conflicts can be resolved with any assurance of finality.

Conflict management indicated,according to Hawes and Smith (1973),

that the finality or resolve associated with conflict resolution was

not always in the best interests of the parties in conflict and that

at times, a state of diminished intensity or maintenance was more

desirable than resolution. Burgoon and Ruffner (1978) offered a number

of strategies for more effective managed conflict. The use of any one

of the seven identified strategies necessitates an understanding of

the types of conflict that are present, and the level on which the

conflict situation is operating. Roark (1978) cited four approaches to

conflict management and presented three models of management that could

provide for constructive outcomes for conflict situations. The models

are based upon the idea that conflicts produce opportunities for change

where relationships can be realigned, boredom and stagnation alleviated,

and interaction between the principals in conflict can undergo con-

tinuous reassessment. Roark placed conflict issues on a continuum of

real or realistic conflicts to imaginary conflicts. Information and

perceptions held by the parties about the conflict issue determined

the position of the conflict along the continuum.

The third dimension of the conceptual definition question of

conflict discussed by Hawes and Smith (1973) is the time dimension.

Time deals with the question of conflict either as a continuous

process, or as a process that was interspersed with episodes. The













studies reviewed by the researchers on the time question indicated

that the perception of time as an episodic phenomena means that within

the framework of time, there are disruptions that needed to be elimina-

ted or terminated by a return to a stable, harmonious state. Other

researchers, however, believe that conflict is a continuous condition

that is normal and integrating in numerous human associations. The

latter position is supported for example by some who believe ". ..

that world conflict is inevitable, if not inherent, and that peace is

nothing more than an idealized hypothetical state" (p. 425).

These three dimensions of the conceptual-definitional question

of conflict, goals, strategies, and time, were viewed by Hawes and

Smith (1973) to be the key dimensions of conflict that arranged in

various sets, can contribute to the answer pertaining to the conceptual -

definitional question of how one perceives the constructs of conflict.

Continuing their discussion on the assumptions underlying

conflict communication theory, Hawes and Smith (1973) identified five

dimensions of the second key question which was how to address the

problem of operationalizing the concept of conflict. The operational-

procedural question deals with five dimensions; rules, act, outcome,

abstractness, and salience.

The rules dimension refers to the way conflict tasks or activities

are structured. The structure in turn gives rise to various degrees of

conflict behavior. In operationalizing conflict, behaviors, it was

stated, would vary along a cooperative competitive continuum, with

various ratios of cooperation and competition needed to complete the

activity successfully. In summarizing the rules dimension, the researchers












stated that the activity selected to be completed by the participants

influences the type of communication behaviors that pass between them.

The act dimension refers to the type and amount of communication

that the conflict activity requires. Activities may take on a variety

of forms of verbal and non-verbal, active or inactive types of behavior.

The third dimension to the question of operationalizing the pro-

cedural question of conflict was the outcome dimension. This dimension

deals with the end result of the activity. Activities can have correct

or problem-solving outcomes and creative or discussion outcomes in which

there is not one correct answer and the outcomes of the conflict are

reached through the process of interaction with the other participants.

The assumption to be considered according to Hawes and Smith (1973)

is that the end result of an activity can generate different forms of

behavior outcomes for the parties in conflict.

The abstractness dimension of conflict is the fourth dimension and

deals with the abstract or concrete quality of the activity responsible

for the conflict behavior where information processing being undertaken

by the participants can require degrees of abstract or concrete informa-

tion processing. In turn, this processing can generate different types

of conflict.

The final dimension of the operational-procedural question about

conflict is the dimension of salience, or the amount of involvement

each participant is perceived to have in the activity. The extent to

which each participant feels that he or she is a close participant or

a distant observer to the activity can generate different forms of

conflict behavior.












In summary, the five dimensions identified as rules, act, outcome,

abstractness, and salience were, according to Hawes and Smith (1973),

important assumptions that had to be considered in the question on how

to operationalize the concept of conflict.

The conclusions of the Hawes and Smith (1973) study relating to

assumptions stated in question form about theoretical constructs in

conflict communication theory indicated that it would be difficult to

obtain any easy or simple description about conflict and communication.

Littlejohn (1978) held that an understanding of conflict in communica-

tion would best be served by holding a multitheoretical view. He

concluded that the study of conflict involves many complex relation-

ships that differ in degree and intensity as differing assumptions are

entered into the theoretical framework of conflict-communication.

Hilyard (1973) summarized the application of inter-relatedness in devel-

oping conflict models, by stating that more than the behaviors and/or

attitudes identifying focal conflict must be considered. It is not

enough to study just the reciprocal grievances of the parties in con-

flict but it is also important to study the interpersonal relationship

of those in conflict within the socio-cultural rules or contexts.

Barnlund (1968) in an extensive review of the literature in role

theory, discussed the relationship of role ambiguity and conflict and

cited three sources of tension that were produced by the lack of role

definition. The lack of role definition for many persons in conflict

is ascribed to the notion that persons occupy ambiguous positions and

that the resulting role uncertainty can produce emotional stress.

Persons who occupy new positions also might not know what is expected of

them due to ignorance or inexperience in the role behavior that belongs to













a specific task. Thus the interpersonal functions and standards of

conduct can be unclear. For example, some researchers made a dis-

tinction between role expectations. These expectations were the

anticipation of certain conduct or role performance, and the actual

performance of a role based on the occupant of a certain status.

Another consideration in trying to sort out the ambuiguity of roles

was the recognition of multiple role performances associated with a

single position as opposed to previously held assumptions that roles

are singular in nature.

Barnlund (1968) cited three sources of role tension or strain.

Role confusion results when there is a lack of consensus or a mis-

understanding of the appropriate acts associated with the role assigned

to the individual or group. Role collision occurs when there is compe-

tition between two persons occupying the same role. Role incompatibility

is the result of inconsistent behaviors demanded of the same person at

the same time. Barnlund suggested resolutions to the problems of role

conflict by the simplistic means of delegating power and functions, of

blocking further expansion of responsibility, or of avoiding all but

the simplest contacts in human relations. However, Barnlund concluded

that role conflict could not be avoided. The consequences of avoidance

would lead to further reduction of role efficiency.

Tjosvold (1978) noted in a study on role differentiation between

teachers and school administrators as it pertained to the academic prep-

aration of each group, that conflicts over role differentiation could in-

crease competition; each group thought its ideas were more valid although

teachers avoided clarifying their opinions and professed conformity to

the administrators' opinions. Moreover, school administrators viewed












themselves in a superior role to teachers, leading to the conclusion

that the role system could intensify conflicts over goals. The study

shows that both teachers and administrators have competitive and

cooperative interests. Effectively managed, role conflict can increase

the commitment to a shared goal, but ineffectively managed, task conflict

can undermine the effectiveness of purpose of the task.

This investigator believes that the areas of conflict communication

reviewed in the preceding literature will contribute to a more thorough

understanding of the findings on ineffective behaviors of college

supervisors as perceived by cooperating teachers. The areas in conflict

communication on the definitional problem and the questions on the

conceptual definition and the operational-procedural question, conflict

over roles and goals, the management of conflict, and conflict within

the cooperative-competitive context, are appropriate areas related to

the focus of this study.


Review of the Literature in Education Using
the Critical Incident Technique

A review of the literature in educational research indicated that

the critical incident technique has been used to measure critical

behaviors of persons and critical requirements of activities in a

number of areas of education. Therefore it was judged by the investi-

gator of the present study that a thorough review of the literature using

the critical incident technique could be appropriately included in the

literature review.

Studies conducted in the areas of elementary, secondary, and

higher education using the critical incident technique are reviewed









61

under four headings: Studies conducted in identifying educational

objectives, educational evaluation, and research; studies conducted

in the areas of educational administration and supervision, and

personnel; studies involving students; and studies conducted in the

areas of teaching.


Studies About Educational Objectives, Educational Evaluation and
Research

As early as 1947, Flanagan (1947a, 1947b) proposed that the

critical incident technique was an appropriate method to systematically

collect and analyze data that could be used to establish goals,

policies, and objectives in education. More specifically, the purpose

in using the technique was to establish critical requirements for

successful behavior in certain adult activities which would be used as

goals in education. By establishing criteria that would measure success-

ful behavior, Flanagan believed that it would be possible to develop in

the broader sense, a science of education.

Several years later, Flanagan (1950) explored the use of the critical

incident technique in developing a list of educational objectives. He

outlined the steps in developing a set of critical requirements needed

to gather data on educational objectives. Five types of adult activities

appropriate to the establishment of educational objectives were outlined

and the five conditions to determine critical requirements were sum-

marized. Lastly, four areas where the critical incident technique had

not been used in assisting in the definition of educational objectives

were identified and discussed. These areas were (1) human knowledge

and the arts, to explore the possibility of establishing a definition

of a well-educated, cultured individual, (2) citizenship, to explore the










62

establishment of a definition of a good citizen, (3) parental

behavior, to explore the development of children, and (4) friendship,

to explore attitudes of likes and dislikes of individual behavior.

Flanagan hoped that the collection of such data as are summarized in the

categories above, would help in curriculum development and educational

evaluation. The development of educational objectives would enable

educators to make decisions concerning what the schools should teach,

what learning outcomes were desirable, and what individual behaviors

were essential to take ones place as an adult in the community.

Corbally (1956) reviewed the use of the critical incident

technique for its advantages and disadvantages in educational research

particularly in studies that measured behavior. Corbally stated four

cautions for the investigator when using the critical incident

technique for studies in education. (1) The critical incident technique

should be used only in situations where the job or task to be studied

is not so complex nor the number of variables so great as to invalidate

the technique. (2) The aims and outcomes of a particular task in

education must be clearly recognizable to the respondent or observer

participating in the study. The selection and training of the observers

who will report critical incidents is important in order to minimize

the problem of inadequate reporting. (3) The investigator should

remember that the technique does not measure behaviors as to their

degree of criticalness, only that a reported behavior is critical or

non-critical, effective or ineffective. (4) The investigator should

remember that the method depends on the subjective judgment of competent

observers as to the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of a particular

behavior. Although the objectivity of data collected is viewed most












desirable in statistical analysis, the use of subjective methods

of data collection needs to be encouraged and improved upon. In a note

of caution Corbally warned the investigator to carefully define and

clarify terms that may appear confusing to the respondent or observer.

Continuing in his discussion, Corbally discussed the advantages of

the critical incident technique for research in education. Studies

concerned with behaviors particular to the areas of teaching and

administration are cited as the most promising areas for the use of

the critical incident technique. The advantages of the technique in

educational research are in its use as a means of gathering data about

behaviors in actual situations that can be immediately translated to

practitioners in the field. However, it was noted by Flanagan (1954)

that raw data collected by the observers did not automatically supply

solutions to the problems or activities that were being investigated.

Mayhew (1956) discussed the results of and the implications for

the use of the critical incident technique in educational evaluation.

Summarizing the use made of the critical incident technique in helping

to establish a communication measurement instrument in the Cooperative

Study of Evaluation in General Education (Dressel & Mayhew, 1953),

three areas of dissatisfaction by the teacher respondents participating

in the cooperative study were reviewed. College teachers of communica-

tion skills collected incidents and episodes of college students

speeches or written themes that were judged effective or ineffective

incidents of communication. Thirteen hundred incidents of communication

were collected and categorized into effective and ineffective categories

of communication. It was reported that three problems arose during the











collection of incidents by the communication teachers. A number of

incidents were not reported objectively but were reported with personal

evaluative comments made by the teacher. It was difficult for the

communication teachers to establish criteria for writing, speaking or

communicating effectiveness. Collection of incidents from both the

written and spoken word of the students proved difficult for some

teachers trained in speech communication only. Mayhew concluded in his

summary of other studies of students conducted by the Cooperative Study

Project in critical thinking, critical analysis, dignity and worth of

individuals, and personality, that three general difficulties in

collecting critical incidents existed. These difficulties were:(1)

The respondents reported more ineffective than effective incidents of

behavior. It appeared that ineffective behaviors were more outstanding

or had more impact on the observers than effective behaviors. (2)

Respondents tended to write personal evaluative judgments of behavior

rather than descriptive behaviors. (3) Many reports were not incidents

that were judged truly critical; an effective or ineffective incident

that made the difference between success or failure in communication.

It was thought that such difficulties could be overcome with more care-

ful planning and with clear directions to the respondents. Lastly,

Mayhew cited five areas in education in which the critical technique

could be applied in determining categories of affective traits, success-

ful behavior, cognitive behavior, student behavior in non-academic areas,

and student grades.

Leles (1968) used the critical incident technique to collect data

in order to develop an operational theory of educational professionalism.

By obtaining an operational definition of professionalism, Leles believed

that it would be possible to clarify those performances of educators












who would perform effective educational services and meet education's

social obligations to society.

Leles used the critical incident technique in order that his

definitions of educational professionalism might be derived from educa-

tors at work, rather than from professional organizations or literature

reviews. Thirteen categories of professional concerns were identified

from 129 reported critical incidents. Limitations to the study were

discussed. A number of incidents reported turned out to be personal

gripes of individuals involved in unsatisfactory interpersonal relation-

ships with other educators. Such reports were excluded from the study.

A recommendation was made at the conclusion of the study to have the

reporting of critical incidents follow a more structured format rather

than leaving the reports open-ended.

The studies reviewed in the category about educational objectives,

evaluation and research using the critical incident technique offer

suggestions for further research and discuss important advantages and

disadvantages for the use of the technique in education. The use of the

technique includes a statement of the aim of the activity, a care-

fully worded questionnaire, and subjects well prepared and informed

on the procedure for gathering critical incidents. The studies show

that terms needed to be clearly defined and that procedures to record

incidents in an objective rather than in evaluative language are essen-

tial to the validity of the critical incident technique.


Studies About Educational Administration and Supervisory Functions


The critical incident technique has been used in administration

studies involving large numbers of respondents and pieces of data.












Most studies were made to measure the effectiveness of a certain job

performed by persons in educational administration or supervision.

Flanagan (1954) reported on Barnhart's 1952 study of establishing

critical requirements for school board membership. Measurements of

effective roles by school board members were made by Whalen (1953)

and Wright (1975). The latter study analyzed critical incidents in

the interpersonal relationship between district school superintendents

and school board members.

Critical requirements of public school principals were established

by Cooper (1956) and recommendations were made for the selection, evalua-

tion, and preservice and inservice training of principals. Clark (1963)

identified seven major behavior areas of secondary school principals

by collecting incidents of effective and ineffective behaviors of

secondary school principals as perceived by superintendents, secondary

school teachers and secondary school principals. Of the three groups

of respondents, superintendents and teachers most often agreed on the

three most effective behaviors of principals in order of importance.

Lee (1975) found that perceptions of the supervisory functions of

principals differed between teachers and principals. Principals

recorded fewer perceived ineffective supervisory behaviors than

teachers.

Behaviors of curriculum directors perceived by teachers, princi-

pals, and curriculum directors as most effective and ineffective

revealed that the curriculum director viewed his role differently than

did teachers and principals (Dean, 1966).












Peterson (1975) collected 112 critical incidents of experienced

and inexperienced college and university presidents and discussed the

implications for new and experienced presidents in higher education

institutions.

Studies of effective and ineffective behaviors of school super-

visors were conducted by Foster (1959) and Colbert (1967). Foster

found considerable agreement about the critical competencies of elemen-

tary school curriculum supervisors and identified specific effective

supervisory behaviors of this group. Foster also established the

reliability of the classification system of supervisory behaviors.

Three-quarters of the behaviors judged by independent jurors were

placed in the same categories of behaviors. Colbert's study identified

effective and ineffective behaviors of supervisors by secondary school

teachers. Colbert reported that the analysis of data derived from

classifying incidents of supervisory behavior indicated that teachers

were able to agree upon effective and ineffective supervisory behaviors.


Studies About Students

The critical incident technique was used primarily for studies

involving college students. Critical incidents in the lives of

female college students living in two different cultures were collected

by Espin (1974). Incidents of motivational effects of college students'

grades were reported by Norton and Wims (1974) and the predicted per-

formance of dental students was reported by Flanagan (1954). Flanagan

also reported on a study conducted on the interpersonal behaviors of













high school students perceived by their peers to be behaviors judged

likeable or unlikeable in a friendship relationship. A study previously

reported (Mayhew, 1956) used college students as subjects to identify

effective and ineffective incidents of communication.

Studies About Teachers

Several critical incident studies about teachers and teaching

were reported by Flanagan (1954). The studies reported by Flanagan

explored the use of the critical incident technique in measuring

teacher effectiveness and teacher competence. Jensen (1951) collected

reports on teacher behaviors and from the reports formulated a set of

teacher behaviors that appeared to contribute to effective or ineffec-

tive teaching. It was suggested that the use of specific examples of

teacher behaviors recorded by persons in teaching or preparing to teach,

would yield sufficient empirical data to define what constituted good

or bad teaching. From approximately 1,500 observations of critical

incidents in teaching of elementary and secondary teachers, a list

of critical requirements for teaching was classified in three general

categories: personal qualities, professional qualities, and social

qualities of good and bad teaching. It was suggested by Jensen that

the critical incident technique could be used at the local school

level to aid educators in developing valid criteria for teacher

evaluation and inservice growth.

Ingram and Blackhurst (1975) identified teaching and advising

competencies of special education professors and related their import-

ance to educational accountability for special education faculties and

programs.












Hamrick (1969) explored the philosophical position of classroom

teachers by developing and testing within a theoretical framework how

teachers act or make decisions with respect to the purposes of educa-

tion, the nature of the curriculum, the functions of teaching, and the

role of the school in society. Teacher responses to critical incidents

of decision making were classified into categories of progressive,

essentialist, perennialist, existentialist, and expedient views toward

education.

Corsini and Howard (1964) used critical incidents identified as

classroom crises to study the difficult interpersonal classroom situa-

tions that elementary teachers could expect to encounter. The reporting

of critical incidents was expected to aid teacher, parents, and admin-

istrators in recognizing crisis situations and responding to them

effectively.

















CHAPTER III
METHODS AND PROCEDURES


Introduction


The purpose of this chapter is to present the methods and pro-

cedures used to identify the effective and ineffective supervisory

behaviors of college supervisors as perceived by secondary cooperating

teachers. The discussion is organized under five sections. The first

section is an introduction to and a discussion of the critical incident

technique used as the method to identify the effective and ineffective

supervisory behaviors of college supervisors. The next section is a

review of the studies conducted in the field of student teaching that

used the critical incident technique. The third section is a discussion

of the general aim of supervision. The method used to establish the

aim of supervision is also outlined. The fourth section contains a

description of the design of the critical incident instrument used for

the purposes of this study. The last section is a presentation of the

method used for the selectionof the participants in the study and a

description of the procedures used to gather data and to analyze the

data.


The Critical Incident Technique

The critical incident technique is the method chosen to gather

data about the effective and ineffective supervisory behaviors of

college supervisors of student teachers as perceived by secondary school












cooperating teachers. The critical incident technique developed by

Flanagan (1954) and others forms a set of procedures for collecting

self-reported observations of behavior that are determined to be

effective or ineffective in accomplishing the aim or purpose of an

activity, job, or event. Fox (1969) stated that unlike the question-

naire or interview which is used when the researcher expects to gather

a broad range of data or information, the critical incident technique

is an objective measure that is used to gather empirical data about

actual incidents of a specific nature. The reporting of an incident

is in response to a highly structured question or a set of questions

posed by the researcher. Thus, the reported incidents should have

special significance to an activity or situation and should occur in

specific behavioral situations.

The critical incident technique consists of a set of pro-
cedures for collecting direct observations of human behavior
in such a way as to facilitate their potential usefulness
in solving practical problems and developing broad psychologi-
cal principles. The critical incident technique outlines
procedures for collecting observed incidents having special
significance and meeting systematically defined criteria.

By an incident is meant any observable human activity that
is sufficiently complete in itself to permit inferences and
predictions to be made about the person performing the act.
To be critical, an incident must occur in a situation where
the purpose or intent to the act seems fairly clear to the
observer and where its consequences are sufficiently definite
to leave little doubt concerning its effects. (Flanagan, 1954,
p. 327)

The critical incident technique is viewed as a method for objectively

reporting especially effective and ineffective incidences of behaviors of

people and their activities in specific situations. McElroy (1972)

in establishing the rationale for using the technique in a major study

of college supervisor behaviors as perceived by student teachers, stated












that the descriptions of situations made by the observer were incidents

where some form of action had taken place, where important decisions

had been made, problems solved, or conflicts resolved. The task of the

observer was to report behaviors of persons in situations that resulted

in effective or ineffective outcomes. These outcomes marked the success

or failure of the persons) in meeting the aims or purposes of the job

or activity.

For the purposes of this study, a critical incident is a report

made by a cooperating teacher who has supervised a student teacher or is

presently doing so, telling what the college supervisor said or did

during the period of student teaching that had either a positive or

negative effect, stating the effect of the action in terms of the aims of

supervision, and stating how the effects of the action affected the

functioning of the cooperating teacher. Thus the action of the college

supervisor could have made the difference between success or failure in

developing a positive supervisory relationship between the college

supervisor and the cooperating teacher during periods of student

teacher supervision.

It is not the intent of the observer to subjectively evaluate or

judge the behaviors of persons other than to report the specific

behaviors as being effective, ineffective, successful, unsuccessful,

critical or non-critical. To insure objectivity of the observations,

Flanagan (1950, 1954) outlined specific steps that needed to be fol-

lowed before the data could be collected. (1) The behavior reported

must be observed by the respondent and the situation in which the

respondent recorded his observations must be clearly defined. (2) A











general aim or purpose of the activity which is being observed must be

defined for the respondent in sufficient detail so as to leave no

question as to the appropriateness of the situation and its effect on

the general aim. (3) The respondent must have a clear definition of

important aspects of the behavior or activity under study in order for

levels of effective and ineffective behavior to be determined in the

activities reported. (4) The respondent must be qualified to make

and report judgments about the behaviors in the activity under study.

(5) The respondent needs to be knowledgeable or trained about the methods

of reporting to insure accuracy in reporting specific behaviors.

There are a number of advantages cited for the use of the critical

incident technique in the study of effective and ineffective behaviors

(Fox, 1969). The technique is particularly valuable in collecting

large amounts of data pertaining to a narrow area in which the researcher

is interested. Anonymity of the subjects and respondents is observed.

McElroy (1972) stated that reports made with a minimum amount of pre-

conceived assumptions or influences about the personal traits of the

subject helped to eliminate subjectivity in reporting. Observers need

only to report a specific behavior as effective or ineffective in the

accomplishment of a job or activity and to separate those behaviors

viewed as critical toward contributing to a specific task or activity

from those behaviors that have little effect on the activity. When the

critical incident instrument design is highly structured, the researcher

is able to collect reports of reality that have great depth and detail.

Mayhew (1956) concluded that the significance of the technique ". ..

lies chiefly in providing empirically derived classifications of

behavior which can then be used either as a framework for subsequent









74
measurement or as material out of which evaluation instruments can

be developed" (p. 598).

Burns (1956) cautioned against the indiscriminate use of the

critical incident technique in establishing success criteria in studies

in education. A researcher employing the critical incident technique

needs to understand that the data collected using the critical incident

technique can reveal through description, the perceptions of the observer

and can contribute to studies where perceptions of observed external

behaviors are desired. The data collected using the critical incident

technique, however, cannot be used to explain why such perceived

behavior, e.g.,verbal or non-verbal takes place, nor can the researcher

make inferences about the internal motives of the subject's behavior.

Behavior is described as existing. To describe the behavior

other than as an existence, said Burns (1956), is to place a value

judgment upon the behavior. Thus the critical incident technique is

a method used to verify not evaluate behavior phenomena. While Burns

argued against subjective evaluation in the treatment of the data, most

researchers using the critical incident technique discussed caution

in placing value judgments upon observed behaviors. They did not,

however, rule out the analytical nature of such reports of specific

behaviors (Flanagan, 1954; Jensen, 1951).

Most researchers employing the critical incident technique, used

critical incidences to report accurately the behavior of the subject

engaged in a specific job, role, or task. Only a simple judgment

needs to be made by the observer according to McElroy (1972). This

judgment permits the observer to state whether a specific behavior is













effective or ineffective in a particular job performance. In the

present study, the investigator asked the observer, the cooperating

teacher, to report the consequences of the college supervisor's behavior

upon the functioning of the cooperating teacher during periods of

student teacher supervision.

A description of the consequences of the college supervisor's

behavior upon the functioning of the cooperating teacher, should help

to form the basis for deciding whether a specific behavior of the

college supervisor is to be judged effective or ineffective, critical

or non-critical to the task of supervising student teachers. If the

observed behavior does not result in the cooperating teacher reporting

a consequence for such behavior, the behavior is not judged as having

an especially effective or ineffective impact upon the functioning of

the cooperating teacher.

It is believed by this investigator that based upon the works of

Deutsch (1969, 1973) who had studied the characteristics of destructive

and constructive conflicts and the conditions that give rise to such

outcomes of conflicts, that the critical incident technique can be used

to yield incidents of conflicts between college supervisors and

cooperating teachers as one consequence of ineffective behaviors of

college supervisors. This belief is founded in the assumption that

cooperating teachers will identify ineffective behaviors of college

supervisors as behaviors that had conflict consequences for the inter-

personal relationship between college supervisors and cooperating

teachers.












Studies About Student Teaching: The College Supervisor,
Cooperating Teacher and Student Teacher


Most of the studies about student teaching identified specific

behaviors of one or more members of the student teaching triad as

effective or ineffective in job or role performance. Critical job

requirements for elementary school cooperating teachers were identified

by Farbstein (1965). Those specific behaviors of secondary school

cooperating teachers that would aid in their selection and professional

development as cooperating teachers were identified by Hackley (1976)

and discussed in more detail in Chapter II.

Elkin (1959) collected descriptions of effective and ineffective

behaviors of secondary cooperating teachers and identified those

critical behaviors which contributed to the success or failure of

supervising student teachers. The perceptions of role responsibilities

of the cooperating teacher were viewed differently by student teachers

and cooperating teachers in Elkin's study.

Helpful and hindering behaviors of cooperating teachers identified

by student teachers as being critical to their successful completion of

student teaching, were collected by Nicholson (1971). These incidents

were used to establish the criteria for the development of a student

teacher checklist for on-the-job performance. Conclusions reached by

the investigator indicated that the role and behaviors expected of

cooperating teachers might be too complex and numerous to entrust the

supervision of student teachers to one person.

The Southall and King (1979) study of college supervisors' per-

ceptions of critical incidents that could have or did have an impact upon










77

the student teacher's completion or success in the student teaching

experience was reviewed in Chapter II. The authors devised ten cate-

gories as possibilities for critical incidents. College supervisors

categorized each critical incident that they identified as contributing

to a stressful student teaching experience. College supervisors also

identified themselves as generalist or specialist supervisors. A total

of sixty-one college supervisors participated in the study and categor-

ized 661 critical incidents in the ten categories. The results indicated

that the three major problems perceived by college supervisors as hinder-

ing the completion or success of the student teaching experience were

the lack of communication between cooperating teacher and student

teacher, the inability of the student teacher to live up to the cooper-

ating teacher's expectations, and the student teacher not being prepared

or not knowing methods and teaching techniques.

Carr (1967) in a study designed to identify and define those

factors that influence the interpersonal relationship between college

supervisors and student teachers, reported that more effective inter-

personal relationships existed between the two groups when the college

supervisor spent more time with the student teacher in both observation

and conference situations. Incidents of effective supervision were

identified in situational and personal variables attributed to the

college supervisor.

Practices of college supervisors perceived by student teachers to

be effective and ineffective in improving their teaching and attitudes

toward teaching were studied by McElroy (1972) and discussed in

depth in Chapter II. In a two-part study of supervisors of student












teachers, Nicklas (1960) collected effective supervisory techniques

of college supervisors and cooperating teachers identified by members

of the student teaching triad. The results indicated that there was

general agreement among the triad members that conferences, demonstra-

tive teaching, and compliments of student teacher performance were

effective supervisory behaviors. Negative practices included classroom

disruptive behavior, excessive criticism, and withdrawal of help to

the student teacher.

The studies reviewed in education using the critical incident

technique indicated that the method can be used to study effective and

ineffective interpersonal behaviors, job performance and role require-

ments, educational objectives and evaluation, and attitudes and

philosophical positions of persons in education. The validity and

reliability of the critical incident technique as a method of research

was established in a number of studies (Flanagan, 1954; McElroy, 1972).

The advantages and limitations for the use of the critical incident

technique were discussed and the use of the critical incident technique

in appropriate studies in education was suggested.

The present study under investigation will contribute to another

dimension of studying behaviors of the student teaching triad. Identi-

fying those effective and ineffective supervisory behaviors of college

supervisors by cooperating teachers during supervision of student

teachers should aid in establishing an effective professional relation-

ship that will enable college supervisors and cooperating teachers to

cooperatively supervise student teachers.












The General Aim of the
College Supervisor

As reported by Flanagan (1954), "A basic condition necessary for

any work on the formulation of a functional description of an activity

is a fundamental orientation in terms of the general aims of the

activity. No planning and no evaluation of specific behaviors are

possible without a general statement of objectives" (p. 336). Flanagan

added that the stated general aim of an activity should be written as a

functional description of the activity that is observed. In conclusion,

the general aim is a brief description made by authorities knowledgeable

about the area under study which expresses in simple objective terms

the aim or purpose of the activity.

From the brief descriptions gathered, a definition for the aim of

the activity is obtained and used to convey a uniform idea of the aim

to the observers recording the behaviors of persons engaged in the

activity. Defining the aim or purpose of the activity, job, or event

in this way, enables the observer to record specific behaviors that are

relevant only to the general aim. Thus the observer decides how

important an observed behavior is to the general aim and if the observed

behavior has a degree of criticalness that will have a positive or

negative effect on the activity.

McElroy (1972) in his study identifying behaviors of college

supervisors perceived as being effective or ineffective by student

teachers, reviewed the supervision literature for descriptions of the

general aim or purpose of supervision. Agreement was found among the

authorities in supervision that the aim of supervision was to improve












instruction. A questionnaire developed by Flanagan (1954) was used

in the McElroy study to obtain general statements of the aim of super-

visors by selecting participants in the study. The general aim state-

ment was then revised and agreed upon by those participants. The

statement of the general aim of the college supervisor used in the McElroy

study became: "The general aim of the college supervisor of secondary

student teachers is to improve the teaching and attitude toward teaching

of the student teacher" (p. 187). This definition appears to be con-

sistent with definitions of the aim of supervision appearing later in the

literature. Blumberg (1974) identified the goals of supervision in

education as "the improvement of instruction, and the enhancement of the

personal and professional growth of teachers." (p. 11) Lewis and Miel

(1972) viewed supervision as a monitoring function "enhancing the quality

of instruction" (p. 43).

After reviewing the literature on the aim of supervision that was

appropriate to the study, this investigator wrote an aim of supervision

statement which would be written on the two critical incident question-

naire forms as a statement of critical behavior of a college supervisor

during student teacher supervision. This statement read: "The aim of

supervision is to help the professional development of the student

teacher." The placement of this aim statement on the two forms of the

critical incident questionnaire will be discussed more fully in the

discussion on the specifications and criteria used in designing the

critical incidents in supervision instrument.












Design of the Critical Incident Instrument
Used for Reporting Critical Incidents

The design of the questionnaire used to gather reports of

critical incidents follows the specifications of the form laid down

by Flanagan (1954) and the criteria applied to the designing of the

questions used to collect critical incidents by McElroy (1972). Two

forms were used to gather critical incidents in supervision. Form I

was designed to be used to record effective incidents in supervision,

and Form II to record ineffective incidents in supervision. Each form

contained the following items: the general aims statement, a state-

ment delimiting the situation to be observed, and ten questions

relating directly to the incident that was observed by the cooperating

teacher. The third part of the instrument was a brief biographical

data questionnaire with the request that each respondent complete the

questions anonymously.

Accompanying the Critical Incidents in Supervision questionnaire

and biographical form was a short letter addressed to the cooperating

teachers requesting their participation in the study. A second page

provided the respondent with a definition and explanation of a critical

incident and the directions for completing Form I entitled "Effective

Incident in Supervision," and Form II entitled "Ineffective Incident

in Supervision." The directions were written by the investigator

in order to leave as little doubt as possible with the respondent

regarding the procedures to be used in recording critical incidents.

Flanagan's (1954) definition of a critical incident stated an incident

is critical if it makes a 'significant' contribution, either positively












or negatively, to the general aim of the activity" (p. 338). In the

present study under investigation, the discussion of the "criticalness"

of an incident was presented in the directions to the participants.

Included in the directions were the rules for reporting critical

incidents.

The Specifications and Criteria Used in Designing the Critical
Incidents in Supervision Instrument

The first specification for Forms I and II of Critical Incidents

in Supervision is a statement of the general aim of the job or task

that was under observation. The purpose of a general aim statement

when using the critical incident technique is to give the observer

a brief but clear definition of the job or activity in which specific

behaviors will be observed and recorded (Flanagan, 1954). In the

present study under investigation, the general aims statement, written

by the investigator, was written as a description of an effective

critical incident on Form I. The aims statement on Form I, Effective

Critical Incident in Supervision read as follows:

An effective critical incident in supervision is an
action by the college supervisor that helps the
professional development of the student teacher.

The aims statement on Form II, Ineffective Critical Incident in

Supervision was written identical to Form I except the word hinders

was substituted for the word helps. The general aims statement was the

first item to be placed on Forms I and II in order for the respondents

to continuously refer to the aim of the task or activity statement they

were recording as a critical incident in supervision.

The second specification needed prior to collecting the incidents

of observed behavior as reported by Flanagan (1954) was to be ". ..










a delimitation of the situation to be observed. This specification

must include information about the place, the persons, the conditions,

and the activities" (p. 338).

The delimitation of the situation statement immediately followed

the aims of supervision statement on Form I and Form II. The statement

read as follows on Form I.

Think of an instance when you were engaged with the
college supervisor in supervising a student teacher.
This instance may have resulted in a positive exper-
ience for you.

The statement on Form II is identical to Form II except that the word

negative was substituted for the word positive.

The purpose of the statement delimiting the situation to be

observed by the cooperating teacher was to provide structure to the

situation in which the cooperating teacher was asked to record the

behaviors of college supervisors. This statement delimiting the

situation required the cooperating teacher to record observations

occurring when the cooperating teacher and college supervisor were

engaged in the supervision of a student teacher. A second part of the

delimitation of the situation statement further limited the conditions

of recording of incidences by stating that such a behavior had to result

in a positive or negative experience for the cooperating teacher. This

would eliminate the tendency for cooperating teachers to record

incidents that were judged as neutral in affecting the supervisory

relationships.

The third specification in designing the critical incident instru-

ment used in the present study was the wording of the questions stated

on Form I and Form II. Flanagan (1954) reported that a slight change

in the wording of a question could produce substantial change in the









84
type of incident reported. McElroy (1972) listed nine criteria to

be used as a guide in constructing the questions for the critical

incident instrument. The questions designed for the present study

were written to elicit from the cooperating teacher specific critical

behaviors of college supervisors. These behaviors were ones that were

perceived by cooperating teachers as being effective or ineffective and

thereby affecting the functioning of the cooperating teacher during

periods of student teacher supervision. The ten questions that appear

on Form I: Effective Incident in Supervision, and Form II: Ineffective

Incident in Supervision,are identical. A brief description of the ten

questions that were designed for the study under investigation follows.

Questions one through four on Form I and Form II were written to

further delimit the situation to be observed by the respondent. Ques-

tion one asked the cooperating teacher, the observer, to record when the

incident occurred. This question was left open-ended because some

respondents might not be able to give specific dates and times if so

asked, and would therefore leave the question blank. Question two

asked the observer to describe what happened prior to the incident that

was perceived as being effective or ineffective by the cooperating

teacher. This question allowed the cooperating teacher to describe

the events) leading up to the incident. Question three asked the

respondent to further delimit the prior events) by recording the

physical location of the incident's occurrence. Question four asked

the respondent to name the persons involved in this incident but to

identify them only by title, not by proper name. By giving only the

title of those persons involved in the incident the anonymity of the









85

persons would be preserved. This question was also included in order

to identify persons other than the cooperating teacher and college

supervisor who were involved in the incident.

Question five requested the respondent to describe briefly but

exactly what the college supervisor said or did that resulted in the

incident that was being recorded. The question did not ask the respon-

dent to place any judgment upon the action taken or statement made by

the college supervisor other than the judgment that such action or

statement resulted in a positive or negative experience for the coopera-

ting teacher. In this way, it was expected that an evaluational feeling

of the cooperating teacher would be greatly limited.

Questions six and seven asked the respondents to record what they

perceived as the attitude of the college supervisor when the incident

took place and what the consequences or outcomes of the incident were

ror the cooperating teacher as a result of the incident. The recording

of the perceived attitude of the college supervisor at the time of

the incident's occurrence was viewed as important in some situations

where the attitude of the college supervisor contributed to an outcome

that might have been different if such an attitude had not existed.

Question eight was a behavioral question in that it asked the

cooperating teacher to state how the consequences of the effective or

ineffective behavior of the college supervisor affected the cooperating

teacher's functioning as a supervisor of a student teacher. In order

to eliminate as much bias, opinion or evaluation judgment as possible

on the part of the cooperating teacher, the respondents were asked to

underline in the report of the consequences of the incident, that part












of the incident that affected their functioning as a cooperating teacher.

The report of the consequences of the incident as asked in question

eight could then be used by the investigator to state ways in which

the situational needs of cooperating teachers could be met by college

supervisors.

Questions nine and ten asked the respondents to state their

reaction to the incident recorded and to state how they felt toward the

college supervisor in relation to the incident. These questions

were designed to obtain a behavioral description of attitudes toward

the college supervisor and the incident and to further clarify why

specific incidents were judged as being effective or ineffective. The

questions would also give clues as to the perceived interpersonal

relationship that existed between the cooperating teacher and college

supervisor during student teacher supervision.

The ten questions were designed to form the critical incident

instrument. The intent was to obtain descriptions of events or activities

leading up to the critical incident, to effect the recording of the

effective or ineffective incident by stating what the college supervisor

said or did that was perceived as critical by the cooperating teacher,

and to determine the consequences of the incident upon the functioning

of the cooperating teacher during student teacher supervision.

The last section of the critical incident instrument was a brief

biography to be filled out by the participants in the study. The

instructions for the biographical questionnaire as stated previously

asked the respondents to remain anonymous. The purpose for the bio-

graphical questionnaire was to provide personal and professional












information to enable the investigator to obtain a profile about the

respondents participating in the study.

Method of Subject Selection and Data Gathering

The subjects selected for this study were secondary school

cooperating teachers who had supervised or were currently supervising

a student teacher. All the subjects were teachers in the state of

Florida and the student teachers assigned to them came from the colleges

of education of three Florida state universities.

The selection of cooperating teachers was made informally on a

volunteer basis. Several methods for requesting participation by the

cooperating teachers were used. In a number of secondary schools, the

assistant principal for curriculum was contacted by the investigator.

The study was explained to the assistant principal and request for

participation was made. The assistant principals agreed to identify

the teachers who had supervised student teachers, and to distribute

the instrument packet to each teacher who agreed to participate in the

study. The assistant principals were requested by the investigator to

obtain participation from all subject areas, physical education, art,

music and vocational programs, as well as special education programs.

Feedback indicated that this request was honored.

In two of the secondary schools, the investigator was asked to

meet with the teachers who had volunteered to participate in the study.

These meetings took place after school during the teachers' planning

period.

The cooperating teachers were asked by the assistant principal

and the investigator to return the completed instrument packets to the









88

assistant principal's office at their earliest convenience. The

investigator made several trips to each school to insure that all

completed packets were picked up.

Two other groups of persons assisted in the distribution of the

instrument packets to the cooperating teachers. The area coordinators

for the student teachers from one university, and the director of

student teaching at another university were contacted by phone and

letter with the request to distribute the instrument packets to second-

ary school cooperating teachers who supervised student teachers sent

from the participating universities. The contact with the individual

schools was made by the area coordinators and the director of student

teaching. Because of the time and distance involved, the investigator

could not go personally to these schools to pick up the completed

instruments. A self-addressed stamped envelope was provided with each

packet in order for each cooperating teacher to mail the completed

instruments directly to the investigator.

A total of 192 instrument packets, each containing a letter to the

cooperating teacher, directions for recording critical incidents, Form I

to record an effective incident in supervision, Form II to record an

ineffective incident in supervision, and a biographical data page,were

delivered or sent by mail to the contact people identified above. Seven

weeks were allowed for the distribution and collection of the critical

incidents instruments.

At the end of seven weeks, each contact person was approached by

phone or letter in order for the investigator to obtain help in

gathering data from respondents who had not completed the critical