School leaders' perceptions of clinical supervision: a case study of a Kenyan secondary school

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Zeenat Shariff

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Mweru Mwingi


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Conventional supervision of classroom teaching in the Kenyan context is checklist boss oriented with prescriptive feedback that rarely gives teachers a chance to dialogue. This has made most teachers in this context view supervision as witch- hunting. In contrast is clinical supervision. Borrowed from medical practice, clinical supervision has found its place in education to recognize teachers as professionals who need to grow in practice through reflective conversation with competent supervisors. Although studies that have been conducted in developing countries, including Kenya, have examined the adequacy of supervision, these studies have not explicitly focused on school leaders’ perceptions of clinical supervision. Yet, how school leaders perceive supervision will influence how they conduct it. Thus, this study sought to explore school leaders’ perceptions of clinical supervision in a Kenyan secondary school. The study employed a qualitative case study design with four research participants. Data was collected through interviews and document analysis.

Findings reveal that the school leaders perceived clinical supervision to mean evaluation of classroom teaching. For this reason, their feedback delivery tended to be prescriptive and judgmental. Further, the study established that the school leaders have not been adequately prepared with the necessary knowledge, attitudes, and skills to conduct clinical supervision.

The study recommends that school leaders would benefit more if they reflected on their perceptions and acquired knowledge and skills on how to conduct clinical supervision such as: conferencing skills, reflection, scripting, probing and questioning skills. Therefore, the ministry of education should equip school leaders as well as Quality Assurance Standards Officers with the necessary knowledge and skills on how to conduct clinical supervision through training.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library