Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department or School

Teacher Education

Committee Member

Wendy Burke, PhD

Committee Member

Iman Grewal, PhD

Committee Member

Jennifer Kellman-Fritz, PhD, LMSW

Committee Member

Lynn Malinoff, Ed.D


Reflective supervision is ongoing professional development, often utilized by the social work field that originates from infant mental health supervisory practices. Reflective supervision increases one’s capacity to become aware and manage the strong emotions that are inherent in direct service work and understand relational dynamics within families and between professionals and family members. Using the 3 central tenets of collaboration, reflection and regularity, the goal of reflective supervision is to develop and maintain effective service delivery by understanding the practitioner’s positionality. This study utilized the practice of reflective supervision with five educators over a 10-week period of time. The goal of the study was to explore and understand the reflective relationship and the impact of the reflective practice on educators, and to illuminate the parallel process to the students and learning environment. Five tenets of reflective supervision in education environments emerged from this qualitative study: (a) historical meaning making; (b) perspective taking; (c) finding voice and choice; (d) inviting a different perspective; and (e) reconnecting, revisiting and re-reflecting. The positive impact on the educator’s reflective capacity, reduction of secondary stress responses, and professional growth, along with the reinforcement of the parallel process, illustrate the powerful role that reflective supervision can play in educational environments. The findings call for increased opportunities for intentional reflective practice in the field of education and the overall view of education to be viewed through a human service lens.