Supervision is one of the functions of management. It is the act or process of directing a person or group of people.
It is generally classified according to the behavior of supervisors towards their subordinates. These are also called techniques of supervision.
- Autocratic or Authoritarian: Under this type, the supervisor wields absolute power and wants complete obedience from his subordinates. He wants everything to be done strictly according to his instructions and never likes any intervention from his subordinates. This type of supervision is resorted to tackling indisciplined subordinates.
- Laissez-faire or free-rein: Under this type of supervision, maximum freedom is allowed to the subordinates. The supervisor never interferes in the work of the subordinates. In other words, full freedom is given to workers to do their jobs. Subordinates are encouraged to solve their problems themselves.
- Democratic supervision: This is also known as participative or consultative supervision. Subordinates are encouraged to give suggestions, take initiative and exercise free judgment. This results in job satisfaction and improved morale of employees.
- Bureaucratic supervision: Under this type certain working rules and regulations are laid down by the supervisor and all the subordinates are required to follow these rules and regulations very strictly. A serious note of the violation of these rules and regulations is taken by the supervisor. This brings about stability and uniformity in the organization. But in actual practice, it has been observed that there are delays and inefficiency in work due to bureaucratic supervision.
Supervision in Education
- Inspection: This is the first supervision in the sense that the teacher becomes alert about his duties and responsibilities after being sure that his duties can be inspected all of a sudden when he is in the classroom. So this type of supervision activates the teacher to have proper readiness to deliver good teaching in the classroom. Besides, some teachers don’t discharge their duties properly after knowing all these things. And it has been seen that they are penalized for not taking the class in time. On the contrary, sincere teachers are rewarded for rendering proper duties and responsibilities. This type of supervision is acceptable in almost all the developed countries of the world till now because of its balanced and positive effect on all the elements which are closely associated with it.
- Absolute Freedom: This type of supervision is not suitable in the modern context as it stresses the autocratic attitude of the teacher in teaching in one point and no inspecting authority to inspect his teaching. However, it is a type of supervision that was used in the United States of America once upon a time.
- Compulsion Type: It leads to the creation of misunderstanding in the human relationship between the inspecting person and the teacher. But it can be seriously said that the inspecting officers who are good and humble and have balanced personalities don’t exercise their autocratic attitude in supervision. This tendency among good inspecting officers enables the teacher to teach properly.
- Training and Direction: It is appreciated in the modern educational system because of its positive and lasting impact on the teaching performance of teachers. To this supervision as students or pupils are the central points in the teaching-learning process, the teaching program should be following the needs of every child. For this, the teachers should be given in-service training on the latest developed methods of teaching for different subjects. After that, the supervision work should be done. This type of supervision develops a great deal of interest, self-confidence, and creativity among teachers to teach their subjects.
- Democratic Leadership: It says that there will be no improvement of teaching and learning only through teachers. Rather the high-level officers as the supervisory personnel have to participate in the teaching program actively and help the teachers by giving suggestions for improvement if any in private. For this, the supervisory personnel has to become aware of the problems and issues that arise in the field of teaching and learning and will try and help the teachers to solve them.