Vol. 27 (2020): Special Issue: Action Research

Does Clinical Supervision Work? The Stories of Two Teachers Empowered to Adopt Student-Centred Teaching Strategies in the Classroom Through a Clinical Supervision Intervention

Alicia Massiah
Secondary School Teacher Graduate of University of the West Indies Diploma in Education Programme (Educational Administration)
Freddy James
Lecturer in educational administration, The School of Education, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine

Published 2020-12-30


  • Clinical Supervision,
  • Student-Centered Teaching Strategies,
  • Professional Development,
  • Reflective Practice,
  • Action Research


This paper reports on an action research study that implemented a clinical supervision intervention with two secondary school teachers in the education district of Victoria in Trinidad and Tobago, to improve their instructional skills in using the Think-pair-share and Jigsaw student-centred teaching strategies in their classrooms. The paper tells the stories of the teachers’ transition from resisting - not seeing the need to change from their teacher-centred strategies - to embracing and valuing student-centred strategies they were exposed to during the intervention. The participants had at least ten years’ teaching experience but no formal initial teacher preparation for teaching. The data collection instruments used were an interview, a Likert scale teaching survey, a questionnaire, reflective journals and observation. Data were analysed by organising and categorising into themes for each research question and constructing teacher narratives from the data. Results of the study illuminated the tensions and contestations the teachers underwent as they perched on the threshold of becoming a different kind of teacher, and how they made the transition. The results also indicated that clinical supervision can improve teachers’ pedagogical and instructional skills, and the use of student-centered teaching strategies can create meaningful learning experiences that can lead to increased student engagement and achievement. The researchers conclude that clinical supervision is an effective professional development mechanism that resonates at the chalkface of education, that is, in the classroom.