The Roles of the University Supervisor: Perceived Importance and Practical Implications


  • Anne Grundstrom Nerenz

  • Anne G. Nerenz (Ph.D. candidate, University of Wisconsin, Madison) is a graduate teaching assistant and student teacher supervisor in the Department of French and Italian, and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.


ABSTRACT The literature on student teacher supervision has suggested five major supervisory roles, including the Teacher, Counselor, Curriculum Specialist, Coordinator, and Evaluator. In order to determine the relative importance of these roles, a survey was developed and administered to university supervisors, cooperating teachers, and student teachers. In this survey, respondents rated the relative importance of specific behaviors representative of each major role. Overall, the Teacher role was seen as the most important, followed by the Coordinator, Counselor, Curriculum Specialist, and Evaluator roles. However, the three groups of respondents differed somewhat in their perceptions of these supervisory positions, with the university supervisors viewing the Counselor role as the most important, followed by the Coordinator and then the Teacher roles. Implications of these results for supervisory practice are discussed.