An evaluation of supervisory feedback in the principal evaluation process

Ahmed Mohammed Alkaabi


This qualitative study found that feedback aimed at improving the leadership practices of principals was limited, and there was no embedded professional learning dialogue wherein such feedback existed. The study explored how school principals perceived their supervisors’ feedback in the formative principal evaluation process and spotlighted constructive supervisory feedback as a key component in that process. While employing a qualitative case-study design situated within the context of the Al-Ain school district––supervised by the Abu Dhabi Education Council of the United Arab Emirates––the researcher collected relevant data from interviews, documents, and field notes. Six school principals participated in the study, and a thematic analysis of their comments yielded four themes that reflected the quality of their supervisors’ feedback to them: feedback in absentia, superficial or irrelevant feedback, negative or judgmental feedback, and constructive, individualized feedback. The findings of this study added to the body of leadership literature and set forth implications for the redesign of supervisory feedback to advance principals’ leadership practices and professional growth.


Feedback; Formative evaluation; Principal evaluation; School leaders; Supervisors


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