Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

“A different frame around the conversation”: A narrative inquiry into the reflective practice of early induction administrators charged with instructional supervision
by Roberts, Zachary, Ed.D., Mills College, 2010, 179; 3404270
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this qualitative research was to describe and analyze the ways in which newly inducted supervisors (in the first three years of their work) tasked with clinical supervision, cognitive coaching, and similar forms of developmental instructional supervision were engaged in a ‘reflective dialogue’ between their supervisory beliefs and experiences, and how they made sense of their work – including the author, and thus it was designed to function as a study of the author's own reflective practice as well. The rationale for this study lay in an original framework that synthesized supervisory theory and practices, reflection in-and-on action, and dimensions of adult development.

The research methodology was developed within the tradition of narrative inquiry, which has a strong theme of autobiographical participation and works at the edges of various qualitative methodologies. Three participating administrators in a variety of independent (private) K-12 educational settings in California’s San Francisco Bay Area completed a Supervisory Belief Inventory and a survey on their Educational Platforms, which were then discussed as part of a single, extensive interview. Analysis was performed using a variety of conceptual tools located at various points of the holistic-categorical and form-content continua. From these emerged a layer of interim research texts, out of which the final research text was constructed.

The findings identify four themes consistently expressed by the participants, including the impact of one's past on how one experiences the present, the importance of building relationships, knowing and questioning one’s perspective, and the on-going construction and re-construction of narratives, which allows supervisors to navigate their experiences. The implications of this research for supervisors are two fold; the first is the need for a meta-cognitive understanding of how one understands the role of narrative construction in how one makes meaning, and the second is the usefulness and limits of reflection in aiding narrative construction. The implications of this research for researchers includes the process of reaching and navigating choice-points, realizing and responding to errors in analysis, and considerations about how the process of writing and re-writing a research text is itself construction of a narrative.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ketelle, Diane
Commitee: Brown, Debra L., Stroud, Regina S., Zirkel, Sabrina
School: Mills College
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 71/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration
Keywords: Early induction administrators, Instructional supervision, Narrative inquiry, Reflection, Reflective practice
Publication Number: 3404270
ISBN: 978-1-124-01009-0
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