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Supervision Models


Myself as a Learner | My Philosophy of Supervision | Historical Overview | Characteristics & Behaviors | Philosophical Basis | Supervision Models | Related Sites | References

The Four Families of Clinical Supervision

The clinical supervision concept is intended to be a cyclic process. This implies that supervision process is not a one time "drop in" event, but rather, the teacher and supervisor will work together through a series of cycles to enhance the teachers abilities.

Original Clinical Models. Goldhammer (1969) and Cogan (1973)

The original models proposed by Goldhammer and Cogan offer a blend of empirical, behavioral, phenomenological, and developmental perspectives. These approaches emphasize the importance of collegial relationships with teachers, cooperative discovery of meaning, and development of unique teaching styles.

Artistic/Humanistic Models. Eisner (1979) and Blumberg (1974)

The perspectives of Eisner and Blumberg are based on aesthetic and existential principles. These approaches forsake step-by-step procedures and emphasize open interpersonal relations and personal intuition, artistry, and idiosyncrasy. Supervisors are encouraged to help teachers understand the artistic and expressive richness of teaching.

Technical/Didactic Models. Acheson and Gall (1980) and Hunter (1984)

The approaches to clinical supervision proposed by Acheson and Gall and by Hunter draw heavily on findings from process-product and effective teaching research. These approaches emphasize techniques of observation and feedback that reinforce certain "effective" behaviors or predetermined models of teaching to which teachers attempt to conform.

Developmental/Reflective Models. Glickman (1985), Zeichner and Liston (1987), Costa and Garmston (1994), and others

The models of Glickman, Costa and Garmston, Zeichner and Liston, Garman, Smyth, and Waite are sensitive to individual differences and the social, organizational, political, and cultural contexts of teaching. These authors call on supervisors to encourage reflection among teachers, foster growth, and promote justice and equity.


The initial model of clinical supervision outlined by Goldhammer (1969) included five steps (the pre-observation conference, observation, analysis and strategy, supervision conference, post-conference analysis). Cogan (1973) elaborated on Goldhammer's work and described a clinical model of supervision consisting of eight steps (establishing the teacher-supervision relationship, planning with the teacher, planning the strategy of observation, observing instruction, analyzing the teaching-learning process, planning the strategy of the conference, the conference, and renewed planning). Both designs have been simplified even further by Acheson and Gall (1987) to include the following three steps: a planning conference, classroom observation, and a feedback conference. The following chart outlines the steps from these models.

Cogan (1973)

Goldhammer (1969)

Acheson & Gall (1987)




1. Establishing the teacher-supervision relationship


2. Planning with the teacher

1.  Pre-observation conference 

1. Planning conference

3. Planning the strategy of observation



4. Observing instruction

2. Observation

2. Observation

5. Analyzing the teaching-learning process

3. Analysis and strategy


6. Planning the strategy of the conference

4.  Supervision Conference

3. Feedback conference

7. The conference

5. Post-observation conference


8. Renewed planning


Adapted from Pajak (2000)

Stroot, S., Keil, V., Stedman, P., Lohr, L., Faust, R., Schincariol-Randall, L., Sullivan, A., Czerniak, G., Kuchcinski, J., Orel, N., & Richter, M. (1998). Peer assistance and review guidebook. Columbus, OH: Ohio Department of Education.