Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Principals and other supervisors are usually charged with the responsibility of promoting staff development through teacher supervision. In view of the conflicting views held by teachers, supervisors and researchers regarding the merits of classroom observation, the purpose of this study was to determine the effects of classroom observation by principals on conference climate and the classroom performance of teachers;This study was conducted during the 1981-82 school year in seven elementary and secondary schools. The teachers in each school were divided equally into three experimental groups, each representing a different combination of observations and conferences;The effects of the treatments were assessed using an adaptation of Kiesler's Impact Message Inventory to measure conference climate and two instruments developed by the researcher to measure cognitive dissonance. The data also were analyzed with the teachers grouped by sex, experience, self-concept and proficiency;No statistically significant differences existed between the three approaches to teacher supervision on any of the variables measuring conference climate for cognitive dissonance. However, teachers whose classrooms were visited tended to value specific effective teaching practices more than did those teachers whose classrooms were either visited infrequently or not at all. Further, not all teachers were affected the same by classroom observations. For example, teachers who were rated in the top third of their faculties by their principals had a more positive view of the conference climate when they were not observed. On the other hand, teachers with lower self-concepts changed their opinions regarding the importance of certain effective teaching practices more when their classrooms were observed than did their counterparts in the other groups. These and other findings suggest that a differentiated approach to teacher supervision may be most effective.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Timothy Robert Westerberg



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127 pages