Mapolisa and Tshabalala
Greener Journal of Educational Research Vol. 3 (7), pp. 354-362, September 2013
ISSN: 2276-7789 © 2011 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 070313700
Instructional Supervisory Practices of Zimbabwean School Heads
*1Tichaona Mapolisa, 2Thembinkosi Tshabalala
1National Programme Leader for the Bachelor of Education in Educational Management in the Faculty of Arts
and Education at the Zimbabwe Open University.
2Senior Lecturer and National Programme Leader for the Master of Education in Educational Management in the Faculty of Arts and Education at the Zimbabwe Open University.
2Email: tshabalalathembinkosi @ yahoo.com, Cell phone: +263 776 425 222
*1Email: tichmap @ gmail.com / tichmapolisa @
Cell phone: +263 733 608 577 or +263 775 987 351
Schools in developing countries
including Zimbabwe face a host of problems related to the
twin concepts of poor classroom instruction and low student
achievement. According to (Boaduo, 2011a, Glanz, 2010),
developing countries face common problems in providing
sufficient education of high quality to their learners.
Typically these challenges breakdown to matters of
instructional supervision, teaching behaviours and general
low learner performance. Given this context, it becomes
necessary to construct new frameworks in the following
aspects: teacher effectiveness, progressive models of
supervision and effective leadership styles (Pajak, 2008).
According to Boaduo (2011b), the search for instructional
supervisory strategies that can deal with the lesson
delivery capacities of teachers and poor performance of
students of developing countries should be intensified. This
study was therefore principally directed at investigating
the instructional practices of Zimbabwean school heads of
schools. The study adopted the descriptive survey design.
The target population comprised of all teachers in primary
schools in three of Zimbabwe’s educational provinces of the
Midlands, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South. The
random sample procedure was employed. A total of seven
hundred and forty eight (748) respondents were used of which
three hundred and ninety-two (392) were female and three
hundred and fifty-six (356) were male. The main findings
indicated that the majority of heads did not understand the
concept of instructional supervision. The study, further,
revealed that teachers had negative attitudes towards
instructional supervision; that heads of schools engage in
the most current and pressing issues like financial
management, sporting and grounds development at the expense
of instructional supervision. The recommendations are that
heads should use effective models of instructional
supervision and commitment to long term process of staff
development including the prioritization of their operations
so that the bulk of their time is taken up by instructional
supervision related activities to improve the worth of their
Keywords: Instructional supervision, Leadership, Heads, Teachers, Models of supervision.
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