Education Drivers

Coaching

Research provides convincing evidence that teachers wield great influence over student outcomes. Our knowledge base tells us that how teachers teach is instrumental to their success. To leverage this fact, pre-service and in-service programs must use pedagogical techniques offering the greatest likelihood that teachers will master and apply these critical competencies on the job. Research shows that coaching is the most efficacious way to accomplish this goal. By far, coaching outperforms didactic instruction, the most commonly used technique. Coaching is essential to mastering complex skill sets required of every teacher. It improves treatment integrity of practices taught and, unlike other methods, makes more likely that the practices will actually be used in the classroom. Coaches instruct trainees in standards, demonstrate skills, and observe the application of these skills in real-world classroom settings. Coaches provide feedback to trainees, and, based on observation, instruct the trainees in how to improve their performance. Given the disappointing track record of current in-service programs, coaching offer schools a viable alternative for improving services.

Teacher Coaching Overview

Teacher Coaching Overview PDF

Cleaver, S., Detrich, R. & States, J. (2018). Overview of Teacher Coaching. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/teacher-evaluation-teacher-coaching.

Coaching teachers is an established professional development practice in schools and has been a focus of research (Wood, Goodnight, Bethune, Preston, & Cleaver, 2016). Teacher coaching is a method of professional development that incorporates providing feedback and support, often through modeling of a focused practice and classroom observations followed by reflection conversations (Raney & Robbins, 1989; Wesley & Buysse, 2006). The goal is to change teacher behavior with the ultimate goal of improving student achievement.

The purpose of this overview is to provide information about teacher coaching as it is used in schools, the research that examines this practice as a method of teacher professional development, and its impact on student outcomes.

Why is Teacher Coaching Important?

What teachers do in the classroom matters; teacher behavior and classroom practices impact student achievement (Chetty, Friedman, & Rockhoff, 2011). Professional development has been one way that districts have tried to impact teacher practice with the idea that it can shape teacher behavior in ways that impact student knowledge (Yoon, Duncan, Scarloss, & Shapley, 2007). Put another way, professional development may influence student achievement by increasing teacher skill, which improves teachers’ ability to make decisions that positively impact student achievement (Yoon et al., 2007).

When it comes to professional development, quality is important. Federal laws (e.g., No Child Left Behind, Every Student Succeeds Act) have outlined a need for high-quality professional development that improves teacher knowledge and provides effective instruction in research based strategies (U. S. Department of Education, 2001). Specifically, the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) maintains support for evidence based practices in the classroom, funding for effective strategies, and efforts to promote the use of evidence based practices to improve student achievement (ESSA, 2015). Under federal law, high-quality professional development is:

  1. Sustained, intensive, and focused around content,
  2. Aligned with standards and assessments,
  3. Designed to improve teacher knowledge,
  4. Designed to improve teacher use of evidence-based practices, and
  5. Evaluated for its effect on teachers and students (NCLB, 2002).

Even with the focus on professional development that has been in place since the 2000s, there is a range of professional development experiences, including one-day workshops, classes, and coaching. The New Teacher Project (TNTP) found that most professional development does not have the intended impact of improving teacher practice (2015). Coaching, however, stands out as a way to influence teacher practice (Wood et al., 2016). This is important because coaching, in general, is a common and increasingly practiced in schools (L’Allier, Elish-Piper, & Bean, 2011). There are different methods of teacher coaching that have shown to be effective.  

Methods of Teacher Coaching

There are various models of teacher coaching, including supervisory, side-by-side, remote coaching, and multi-level. Each one provides a different level of interaction between the coach and teacher, but all provide the same focus on observation, feedback, and reflection around a focus practice or behavior.  

Peer Coaching

            Peer coaching occurs when teachers are provided with observation, feedback, and coaching by a fellow teacher. The instruction may also involve modeling a focus practice as in a study that engaged teachers in peer coaching around teacher conducted shared reading with think aloud. Compared to teachers in the control group who did not receive coaching, teachers who worked with a peer coach changed their practice around think-alouds, which resulted in an improvement in student comprehension (Fisher, Frey, & Lapp, 2011). An important aspect of the peer coaching approach was the trust relationships established and maintained by teachers during the coaching work.

Side-by-Side Coaching

            Side-by-side coaching occurs when a coach provides in the moment feedback that is directly connected to a focus practice (Kretlow & Bartholomew, 2010). Side by side coaching is characterized by being led by another staff member, and provides an opportunity to learn together, reflection, cooperation, and a relationship that aligns the coach and teacher as equals (Akhavan, 2015).

Side by side coaching is often led by another teacher or staff member and may involve co-teaching the lesson to model implementation of the focus practice. After side by side coaching a meeting provides for feedback, strengths, and weaknesses. This type of coaching has been shown to be important to support teachers’ use of newly learned strategies (Kretlow et al., 2011), has demonstrated positive impacts on student learning (Fisher et al., 2011) and is positively received by teachers (Akhavan, 2015).

Remote Coaching

            Coaching can also occur remotely through the use of technology, such as web cams and online chat platforms. In remote or virtual coaching, a coach observes a teacher remotely through a video feed and provides either immediate feedback through a “bug-in-ear” device (e.g., Almendarez et al., 2012) or through a follow-up conversation (e.g., Vernon-Faegans, Keinz, Amendum, Ginsberg, Wood, & Bock, 2012). Specifically, video-conferencing has been effective when implemented alongside an evidence-based practice (Amendum, Vernon-Faegens, & Ginsberg, 2011; Ruble, McGrew, Toland, Dalrymple, & June, 2013; Vernan-Faegans et al., 2012).

For example, Targeted Reading Instruction, a reading intervention that uses one-on-one instructional reading skill lessons has teacher coaching as part of the intervention. Virtual or in-person coaching is used to provide feedback and problem solve around student concerns (Vernon-Faegans et al., 2012). Using this method, students who receive the intervention scored higher on reading skills than those that do not (Amendum et al., 2011; Vernon-Faegans et al., 2012).

In another study, when teachers of students with autism were coached in the evidence-based practice, Collaborative Model of Prompting Competence and Success (COMPASS), teachers who received coaching either face-to-face or online demonstrated greater fidelity to the practice than the control group (Ruble et al., 2013). Furthermore, students demonstrated greater goal attainment in the three target domains (communication, social skills, and independence) with large effect sizes for both the in person group (ES = 1.41) and the web based coaching group (ES = 1.12), suggesting that results can be achieved through either in person or online coaching.

Differentiating Professional Development: Multilevel Coaching

Multilevel Coaching is coaching provided within a model of Multi-tiered System of Supports (e.g., Response To Intervention) that provides professional development with follow up supervisory coaching or side-by-side coaching for teachers to support full implementation (Simonsen et al., 2014; Wood et al., 2016). Within this model, teachers are provided with an initial professional development (e.g., a one-time workshop). Then, based on their ability to implement the focus practice, teachers are provided with coaching (Schnorr, 2013; Simonsen, Macsuga-Gage, Briere, Freeman, Myers, Scott, & Sugai, 2014).

One study that examined teacher fidelity found that when teachers were provided with varying levels of professional development (in-service, supervisory coaching, and side-by-side coaching) based on the teacher’s initial treatment integrity of an instructional practice, not all teachers required coaching to produce positive changes in their practice (Schnorr, 2013). The focus of the professional development, including coaching, is to support teachers until they are all working at an acceptable level of fidelity, which may include providing some teachers with more coaching than others (Schnorr, 2013; Simonsen et al., 2014). In this model, teachers are provided with an initial training and their treatment integrity is recorded, if the teacher is not delivering the instruction at a high enough level of integrity, then they receive coaching until they reach the optimal level of integrity, which requires varying amounts of coaching depending on the teacher’s starting point and rate of learning.

Research on Coaching

Coaching has an established and growing research foundation including meta-analysis of research that brings multiple research studies together[RD1] [SC2] .

In one review, Kretlow and Bartholomew (2010) reviewed 13 studies conducted between 1989 and 2009 that involved teacher coaching. The review focused on 13 studies that specifically measured change in teacher practice using quantitative measures. The studies included 110 elementary-level teachers that received coaching (41 general and 69 special education teachers). All the studies incorporated a measure of teaching accuracy related to an evidence-based practice. All 13 studies found that the coaching increased the accuracy of teacher practice. Eight studies reported student outcomes, and of those, only three reported a positive change in student performance based on coaching provided. A lack of change in student performance may be because the studies were limited in length and it would take more time to see a change in student performance. Also, the student performance outcomes were limited (e.g., spelling tests, IEP goal completion) which may have contributed to the limited change in student performance.

In a recent meta-analysis, Kraft, Blazar, and Hogan (2018) examined 66 studies that involved teacher coaching across the grades (PreK-grade 12) and that had a causal design, such as a random controlled trial, or that included teachers who were and were not coached so that a comparison could be drawn. The studies also examined the effects of coaching on instruction and student achievement. The researchers combined the results from the studies for an effect size of 0.49 on instruction and 0.18 on student achievement[RD3] [SC4] (the[MOU5] [SC6] effect size is a way to show the difference between two groups, the smaller the effect size, the smaller the difference between groups that received, in this case, coaching and the group that did not). These effects were found for content-specific coaching, not for general coaching. And, coaching was equally effective across grade levels and for virtual compared to in-person coaching. (However, data provided for virtual coaching were less reliable.) In addition, they found that coaching must be provided in high doses to be effective.

Together, these reviews (Kraft et al., 2018; Kretlow & Bartholomew, 2010) support the use of coaching overall with a focus on content and that were intensive, or provided in high doses.

The Impact of Coaching on Teacher Practice and Student Outcomes

Teacher coaching has been shown to have an impact on teacher practice. In one study, teacher coaching had an impact on instruction in reading comprehension with a moderate effect size (0.64), meaning that teachers who received coaching delivered reading instruction that was much more aligned with the focus practice than teachers who did not (Sailors & Price, 2010).

Coaching has also had an impact on the classroom environment. In a study that focused on coaching teachers in Head Start programs, teachers improved in their classroom environment (e.g., the quality of the writing area) but not in their interactions (e.g., interactions that support language; Neuman & Wright, 2010; Powell et al., 2010). This indicates that teachers may change lower level behaviors, or those that require a one-time shift, like organizing a lesson, faster than higher level behaviors, or those that require processes and higher order skills, like questioning.

Furthermore, providing sustained coaching over time has shown to improve teacher practice, particularly when teachers have a low level of implementation fidelity when they use a new practice. In a study that trained teachers in a universal classroom management intervention (Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management system) with ongoing coaching, teachers who started with lower levels of fidelity of implementation received more coaching and demonstrated an increase in fidelity over time. In comparison, teachers who started with higher levels of fidelity but received less coaching demonstrated a decrease in implementation fidelity over time. This supports the practice of maintaining coaching with all teachers to support high levels of fidelity (Reinke et al., 2013).

Teacher practice can be improved through coaching (Kraft et al., 2018; Kretlow & Bartholomew, 2010), which is important because professional development on the whole does not always produce the intended changes (Guskey & Yoon, 2009). However, though coaching has a strong impact on teacher behaviors in the classroom, studies indicate smaller effects (0.18; Kraft et al., 2018) on the impact of teacher coaching on student achievement. The hypothesis that improving teacher fidelity of evidence based practices will influence student achievement outcomes is a focus of future research.

Implications for Practice

First, coaching must be implemented well to see the results found in research.

Kretlow and Bartholomew (2010) identified critical aspects of coaching that produced changes in teacher practice:

  1. Teachers were involved in a highly engaging initial training that incorporated modeling and small group practice.
  2. Teachers received follow up observations that were repeated and frequent. The number of observations ranged from two to daily for multiple weeks. This is key because teachers are not regularly observed after initial training (Yoon et al., 2007).
  3. Teachers received specific feedback that incorporated individualized observation data and self-evaluation.

Kraft et al. (2018) identified qualities of effective coaching. It provides:

  1. Individualized support, or coaching was provided through one-on-one coaching sessions,
  2. Teachers received intensive support with regular interactions (every two weeks),
  3. Coaching was sustained over an extended period of time, such as a school year,
  4. Teachers were coached on practices that they implemented in their own classrooms, and
  5. Coaching focused on specific skills.

Considerations for Implementation  

Teacher coaching is a method of adult learning, so efforts should be focused on implementing teacher coaching programs that are focused on teachers as adult learners. To that end, coaches should be able to:

  1. Focus on data to support instruction,
  2. Demonstrate adult learning practices to mirror classroom practice,
  3. Construct and apply knowledge and skills in classroom contexts,
  4. Focus on teacher content knowledge and leadership,
  5. Connect and align with the larger system, and
  6. Engage in data-driven decision making (measure, document, reflect, and adjust; Annenburg Institute for School Reform, 2004).

To be effective, Grabacz, Lannie, Jeffrey-Pearsall, and Truckenmiller (2015) identified that coaches should:

  1. Set clear goals for the coaching that provide teachers with an understanding of the outcomes for the coaching work,
  2. Model skills and provide teachers with opportunities to practice skills outside of the classroom (behavioral rehearsal) and within the classroom context,
  3. Provide feedback on skills either in the moment through bug-in-ear technology or hand signals, or immediately afterwards,
  4. Provide effective feedback that is timely, concrete, and specific (Veenman & Denneson, 2001), and
  5. Provide reinforcement and encouragement as teachers develop skill.

In their study of teachers that implemented a questioning technique in the classroom, specifically Question-the-Author (Beck, McKeown, Hamilton, & Kugan, 1997), Matsumura, Garnier, and Spybrook (2012) identified aspects of their model that may contribute to positive results:

  1. The coach had a clear role in the classroom and that role was well understood,
  2. The coaches received extensive training, and
  3. The focus strategy had a strong evidence base.

From this, it would be important to choose a focus practice that is an evidence-based practice or one that has a strong research base, and provide strong coaching around that practice.

            Planning coaching as professional development necessitates identifying coaches. In a survey of teachers who had received coaching, Akhavan (2015) identified characteristics of effective coaches:

  1. They had strong people skills and developed good working relationships with the teachers they worked with,
  2. They focused on teacher development,
  3. They had time to be available to each teacher, and
  4. They were able to help teachers use data to plan instruction.

            Finally, as school leaders make decisions around how to allocate resources, it is important to keep in mind that not all teachers may require intensive coaching. Providing multi-level coaching based on a teacher’s level of implementation may help maximize resources while producing the same results in teacher implementation (Simonson eta al., 2014; Wood et al., 2016).

Need for Future Research in Teacher Development

The primary need in research on coaching is research that connects teacher coaching efforts to improvements in student performance (Kraft et al., 2018; Kretlow & Bartholomew, 2010), which requires research that draws a causal connection between coaching and student performance (Borko, 2004; Yoon et al., 2007).

While changes in teacher practice are an established outcome from coaching, the level of treatment integrity on student performance is another area for further development. Specifically, studies, like those on multi-level coaching, that focused on improving teacher treatment integrity, often focused more on advancing teacher practice from low to high integrity may produce different results than when a high level of integrity is followed by a decrease in integrity. Future research that examines how teachers implement evidence-based practices over time and how the level of treatment integrity impacts student performance

Finally, there are questions around the type of coaching, the dosage, and the interactions that occur during coaching that influence student outcomes that can help inform coach practice (Wood et al., 2016).

Cost/Benefit of Teacher Coaching Compared to Professional Development

The cost of coaching will vary depending on the district and goals (e.g., the cost of an on-site staff coach will differ from a one-time project-based coach). One study (Knight, 2012) attempted to define the cost of coaching. The study found an average cost-per-teacher for coaching across three schools to range from $3,620 to $5,220, a cost that is six to 12 times more expensive than traditional professional development. However, considering that teachers do not generally use practices that are taught through one-time in-service sessions (Farkas, Johnson, & Duffett, 2003) it may be worth the extra cost to influence teacher practice.

Conclusion

Teacher coaching is one way to improve teacher practice, specifically related to evidence-based practices. When incorporated thoughtfully into a professional development strategy, coaching can provide the intensive support that teachers need to deepen their knowledge of a practice and improve their ability to implement it in the classroom. 

Citations

Akhavan, N. (2015). Coaching side by side: One-on-one collaboration creates caring, connected

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(2012). Pushing the horizons of student teacher supervision: Can a bug-in-ear system be an effective plug-and-play tool for a novice electronic coach to use in student teacher supervision? ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.

Amendum, S. J., Vernon-Faegans, L. V., & Ginsberg, M. C. (2011). The effectiveness of a

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Publications

TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
Teacher Coaching Overview

Coaching teachers is an established professional development practice in schools and has been a focus of research (Wood, Goodnight, Bethune, Preston, & Cleaver, 2016). Teacher coaching is a method of professional development that incorporates providing feedback and support, often through modeling of a focused practice and classroom observations followed by reflection conversations (Raney & Robbins, 1989; Wesley & Buysse, 2006). The goal is to change teacher behavior with the ultimate goal of improving student achievement.

The purpose of this overview is to provide information about teacher coaching as it is used in schools, the research that examines this practice as a method of teacher professional development, and its impact on student outcomes.

 

Cleaver, S., Detrich, R. & States, J. (2018). Overview of Teacher Evaluation. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/teacher-evaluation-teacher-coaching.

 

 

Data Mining

TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
What Teacher Training Methods Result in Changes in Classroom Practices?

This analysis compares the effectiveness of staff development methods that include, didactic presentation, modeling, practice with feedback, and coaching.

States, J. (2011). What Teacher Training Methods Result in Changes in Classroom Practices? Retrieved from what-teacher-training-methods.

Does Feedback Improve Performance?
This review is a summary of the effect size of the effectiveness feedback to improve both student and teacher performance.
States, J. (2011). Does Feedback Improve Performance? Retrieved from does-feedback-improve-performance.
Does professional development make a difference in student performance?
This analysis looks at a systematic review of teacher professional development on student achievement.
States, J. (2011). Does professional development make a difference in student performance? Retrieved from does-professional-development-make.
What areas do principals express as needing additional support?
This analysis examines principal's need for additional support and training based upon the North Carolina Working Conditions Survey.
States, J. (2014). What areas do principals express as needing additional support? Retrieved from what-areas-do-principals.

 

Presentations

TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
Installing Tier 2/3 Behavior Supports in Schools: The Principal's Role
This paper describes the development, content and delivery of a professional development course for Principals regarding their role in multi-tiered systems of school-wide positive behavior supports.
Eber, L. (2015). Installing Tier 2/3 Behavior Supports in Schools: The Principal's Role [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2015-wing-presentation-lucille-eber.
Now What? The Current State of Principal Preparation, Evaluation, and Support
This paper examines the current state of principal development in the context of best practices, including: evidence-based curriculum, well-trained instructors, effective coaching, and ongoing feedback and support.
Keyworth, R. (2015). Now What? The Current State of Principal Preparation, Evaluation, and Support [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2015-calaba-presentation-randy-keyworth.
TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
Coaching side by side: One-on-one collaboration creates caring, connected teachers

This article describes a school district administrator's research on optimal coaching experiences for classroom teachers. This research was done with the intent of gaining a better understanding of how coaching affects student learning. The author defines coaching as the assistance given to a teacher to improve on teaching practices in order to improve student learning. Considering types of coaching models implemented across the United States, the author's inquiry was based on three questions: (1) Is there a difference in student achievement between teachers who are coached and those who aren't?; (2) What is coaching like for teachers, and why does coaching make a difference?; and (3) What coaching model is best and why? The study found five important attributes that should be embedded in all coaching experiences. The coach needs: (1) people skills and a good working relationship with the teacher; (2) to focus on the personal development of each teacher versus rote implementation of programs; (3) time to be available to each teacher; (4) the ability to help teachers understand the use of data to plan instruction; and (5) to focus the coaching work in each school in a side-by-side setting.

Akhavan, N. (2015). Coaching side by side: One-on-one collaboration creates caring, connected

teachers. Journal of Staff Development, 36,34-37.

 

Instructional Coaching: Professional development strategies that improve instruction

Two key strategies are central to the Annenberg Institute's work on professional development systems: professional learning communities (small groups of teachers, administrators, community members, and others who work together to improve professional practice); and instructional coaching (school-based, educator-led professional learning for groups of teachers in specific content areas). This package includes two publications describing these strategies and what we have learned about using them effectively.

Annenburg Institute for School Reform. (2004). Instructional Coaching: Professional development strategies that improve instruction.Retrieved from: http://www.annenberginstitute.org/publications/professional-development-strategies-professional-learning-communitiesinstructional-coac

 

Proceed With Caution: Using Web-Based Resources for Instructing Students With and at Risk for EBD.

This article examines issues relating to the use of websites popular with educators. This article offers guidelines for maximizing the usefulness of such sites and for avoiding many of the pitfall educators may face.

Beahm, L. A., Cook, B. G., & Cook, L. (2019). Proceed With Caution: Using Web-Based Resources for Instructing Students With and at Risk for EBD. Beyond Behavior28(1), 13-20.

Effects of coaching on teachers’ use of function-based interventions for students with severe disabilities

This study used a delayed multiple-baseline across-participants design to analyze the effects of coaching on special education teachers’ implementation of function-based interventions with students with severe disabilities. This study also examined the extent to which teachers could generalize function-based interventions to different situations. In addition, this study examined the effects of function-based interventions on students’ problem and replacement behaviors. After an initial training on functional behavior assessment and implementation of function-based interventions, the experimenter coached each teacher. Results indicated a functional relationship between coaching and an increase in teacher fidelity scores. Teachers generalized the strategies to other situations with the target students. Although some improvement in student behavior was noted upon teachers’ use of function-based interventions without coaching, this improvement was not consistent for all students and across the replacement behaviors. A functional relationship was found between accurate implementation of the function-based interventions and an increase in the students’ primary replacement behaviors.

Bethune, K. S., & Wood, C. L. (2013). Effects of coaching on teachers’ use of function-based interventions for students with severe disabilities. Teacher Education and Special Education, 36(2), 97-114.

 

Developing principals as instructional leaders

This paper describes a continuous learning model of principal and superintendent support. The model places a premium on engagement at all levels of the system on shaping a focused culture of instruction within their schools.

Fink, E., & Resnick, L. B. (2001). Developing principals as instructional leaders. Phi Delta Kappan, 82(8), 598-610.

Coaching middle-level teachers to think aloud improves comprehension instruction and student reading achievement
 
 
In an effort to improve student achievement, a group of middle-school teachers at an underperforming school developed a school wide literacy plan. As part of the plan, they agreed to model their thinking while reading aloud. Eight teachers were selected for coaching related to think alouds in which they exposed students to comprehension strategies that they used while reading. The achievement of their students was compared with the achievement of students whose teachers participated in the ongoing professional development but who were not coached. Results indicate that the coached teachers changed their instructional practices and that student achievement improved as a result. 

Fisher, D., Frey, N., & Lapp, D. (2011). Coaching middle-level teachers to think aloud improves comprehension instruction and student reading achievement. The Teacher Educator, 46(3), 231-243.

Strategies for effective classroom coaching

Although implementation of evidence-based behavioral and instructional practices has been identified as an educational priority, popular methods for increasing implementation of evidence-based practices (i.e., professional development) have not had the desired effect. This article aimed to present frameworks and practices coaches can use with classroom teachers to facilitate the implementation of evidence-based interventions in schools. Examples are provided to illustrate how the strategies can be implemented.

Garbacz, S. A., Lannie, A. L., Jeffery-Pearsall, J. L., & Truckenmiller, A. J. (2015). Strategies for effective classroom coaching. Preventing School Failure, 59(4), 263-273.

The impact of two professional development interventions on early reading instruction and achievement

To help states and districts make informed decisions about the PD they implement to improve reading instruction, the U.S. Department of Education commissioned the Early Reading PD Interventions Study to examine the impact of two research-based PD interventions for reading instruction: (1) a content-focused teacher institute series that began in the summer and continued through much of the school year (treatment A) and (2) the same institute series plus in-school coaching (treatment B).

Garet, M. S., Cronen, S., Eaton, M., Kurki, A., Ludwig, M., Jones, W., ... Zhu, P. (2008). The impact of two professional development interventions on early reading instruction and achievement. NCEE 2008-4030. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance.

Make Room for the Principal Supervisors

This report describes how Denver Public Schools hired personnel to coach and evaluate its principals.

Gill, J., (2013). Make Room for the Principal Supervisors. The Wallace Foundation.

Instructional coaching

This article discusses instructional coaching as well as the eight factors that can increase the likelihood that coaching will be a real fix for a school. 

Knight, J. (2006). Instructional Coaching. School Administrator63(4), 36.

Focus on teaching: Using video for high-impact instruction

This book examines the use of video recording to to improve teacher performance. The book shows how every classroom can easily benefit from setting up a camera and hitting “record”.  The book include: Strategies that teachers, instructional coaches, teams, and administrators can use to get the most out of using video, Tips for ensuring that video recordings are used in accordance with ethical standards and teacher/student comfort level, and protocols, data gathering forms, and many other tools to get the most out of video observations and coaching.

Knight, J. (2013). Focus on teaching: Using video for high-impact instruction. (Pages 8-14). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

The effect of teacher coaching on instruction and achievement: A meta-analysis of the causal evidence

Teacher coaching has emerged as a promising alternative to traditional models of professional development. We review the empirical literature on teacher coaching and conduct meta-analyses to estimate the mean effect of coaching programs on teachers’ instructional practice and students’ academic achievement. Combining results across 60 studies that employ causal research designs, we find pooled effect sizes of 0.49 standard deviations (SD) on instruction and 0.18 SD on achievement. Much of this evidence comes from literacy coaching programs for prekindergarten and elementary school teachers in the United States. Although these findings affirm the potential of coaching as a development tool, further analyses illustrate the challenges of taking coaching programs to scale while maintaining effectiveness. Average effects from effectiveness trials of larger programs are only a fraction of the effects found in efficacy trials of smaller programs. We conclude by discussing ways to address scale-up implementation challenges and providing guidance for future causal studies.

Kraft, M. A., Blazar, D., & Hogan, D. (2018). The effect of teacher coaching on instruction and achievement: A meta-analysis of the causal evidence.Review of Educational Research, 88,547-588.

Using coaching to improve the fidelity of evidence-based practices: A review of studies

The authors conducted a comprehensive review of research to identify the impact of coaching on changes in preservice and in-service teachers’ implementation of evidence-based practices. They identified a total of 13 studies from the 20 years of literature they searched. In general, coaching improved the extent to which teachers accurately implement evidence-based practices such as ClassWide Peer Tutoring, Direct Instruction, Learning Strategies, and Positive Behavior Support in classrooms or practicum settings. The retrieved studies also suggest that highly engaged, small-group initial training, followed by multiple observations, feedback, and modeling are critical components across coaching interventions. A few studies also provide promising data to support the consequential effects of coaching on improvements in student achievement. The authors offer suggestions for future research and practice related to preservice and in-service teacher training.

Kretlow, A. G., & Bartholomew, C. C. (2010). Using coaching to improve the fidelity of evidence-based practices: A review of studies. Teacher Education and Special Education, 33, 279-299.

Using in-service and coaching to increase teachers’ accurate use of research-based strategies

Increasing the accurate use of research-based practices in classrooms is a critical issue. Professional development is one of the most practical ways to provide practicing teachers with training related to research-based practices. This study examined the effects of in-service plus follow-up coaching on first grade teachers’ accurate delivery of three research-based strategies during math instruction. Teachers were trained to use a combination of whole-class instruction strategies, including model-lead-test for introducing new concepts and correcting errors, choral responding, and response cards. Results indicated that all teachers improved their delivery of the strategies after the in-service, with a second level of growth achieved after coaching. Improvements also generalized to untrained math sessions. Teachers reported very high levels of satisfaction with the training model.

Kretlow, A. G., Cooke, N. L., & Wood, C. L. (2012). Using in-service and coaching to increase teachers’ accurate use of research-based strategies. Remedial and Special Education, 33, 348-361.

Using in-service and coaching to increase kindergarten teachers' accurate delivery of group instructional units

Early intervention is key to preventing academic failure and referral to special education. General educators are responsible for providing primary instruction for students at risk for failure; however, the training they receive related to specific instructional strategies for these students is often insufficient (e.g., 1-day workshops). Alternative forms of professional development that include a combination of in-service and follow-up support have shown more promise in promoting changes in teaching behaviors. This study examined the effects of in-service support plus coaching on kindergarten teachers' accurate delivery of group instructional units in math. Teachers were trained to use a combination of whole-class instruction strategies, including model-lead-test for introducing new concepts and correcting errors, choral responding, and response cards. Results indicated that all teachers improved their delivery of instruction after the in-service training, with a second level of growth achieved after coaching. Teachers also reported high levels of satisfaction using the strategies. 

Kretlow, A. G., Wood, C. L., & Cooke, N. L. (2011). Using in-service and coaching to increase kindergarten teachers' accurate delivery of group instructional units. The Journal of Special Education, 44,234-246.

 

What matters for elementary literacy coaching? Guiding principles for instructional improvement and student achievement

Literacy coaches provide job-embedded professional development for teachers, and the number of literacy coaches in elementary schools is increasing. Although literacy coaching offers promise in terms of improving teacher practice and student achievement, guidance is needed regarding the qualifications, activities, and roles of literacy coaches. The seven guiding principles in this manuscript offer research-based directions for literacy coaching. The guiding principles address (1) the specialized knowledge needed for literacy coaching, (2) the amount of time that should be focused on working directly with teachers, (3) collaborative relationships with teachers, (4) research-based coaching activities, (5) intentional and "on-the-fly" coaching, (6) the coach as a literacy leader in the school, and (7) the evolution of the literacy coach over time. After each principle is introduced, the specific research that supports the principle is discussed. In addition, a vignette of each guiding principle is provided to illustrate the principle in action.

L’Allier, S., Elish-Piper, L., & Bean, R. M. (2011). What matters for elementary literacy coaching? Guiding principles for instructional improvement and student achievement. The Reading Teacher, 63,544-554. doi: 10.1598/RT.63.7.2

The Role of Districts in Fostering Instructional Improvement Lessons from Three Urban Districts Partnered with the Institute for Learning

This study analyzed three urban districts' efforts to improve the instructional quality and performance of their schools. The study also assessed the efforts made in four: (1) promoting the instructional leadership of principals; (2) supporting the professional learning of teachers, in particular through school-based coaching models; (3) specifying curriculum; (4) and promoting data-based decision making for planning and instructional improvement.

Marsh, J. A., Kerr, K. A., Ikemoto, G. S., Darilek, H., Suttorp, M., Zimmer, R. W., & Barney, H. (2005). The Role of Districts in Fostering Instructional Improvement Lessons from Three Urban Districts Partnered with the Institute for Learning. RAND Corporation.

The effect of content-focused coaching on the quality of classroom text discussions

This study examines the effect of a comprehensive literacy-coaching program focused on enacting a discussion-based approach to reading comprehension instruction (content-focused coaching [CFC]) on the quality of classroom text discussions over 2 years. The study used a cluster-randomized trial in which schools were assigned to either CFC or standard practice in the district for literacy coaching. Observers rated classroom text discussions significantly higher in CFC schools. Teachers in the CFC schools participated more frequently in coaching activities that emphasized planning and reflecting on instruction, enacting lessons in their classrooms, building knowledge of the theory underlying effective pedagogy, and differentiating instruction than did the teachers in the comparison condition. Qualitative analyses of coach interviews identified substantive differences in the professional development support available to coaches, scope of coaches’ job responsibilities, and focus of coaching resources in the CFC schools and comparison schools.

 

Matsumura, L. C., Garnier, H.E., Spybrook, J. (2012). The effect of content-focused coaching on the quality of classroom text discussions. Journal of Teacher Education, 63,214-228.

Promoting language and literacy development for early childhood educators: A mixed-methods study of coursework and coaching

This study examines the impact of 2 forms of professional development on prekindergarten teachers' early language and literacy practice: coursework and coaching. Participating teachers (N = 148) from 6 urban cities were randomly assigned to Group 1 (coursework), Group 2 (on-site coaching), or Group 3 (control group). Pre- and postassessments examined teachers' knowledge and quality of language and literacy practices. Analyses revealed no significant improvements between groups on knowledge of early language and literacy. However, those who received coaching made statistically significant improvements in the structural environment both immediately and 5 months later. Effect sizes were substantial for coaching, while those who received coursework made no significant improvements. Analyses of the active ingredients of coaching were examined using logs and interviews to further elucidate these findings. Results indicated that coaching appears to be an effective form of professional development for early childhood educators.

Neuman, S. B., & Wright, T. S. (2010). Promoting language and literacy development for early childhood educators: A mixed-methods study of coursework and coaching. Elementary School Journal, 11,63-86. No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, P.L. 107-110, 20 U.S.C. § 6319 (2002).

Instructional Coaching Program and Practice Standards

The New Teacher Center has released guidelines and standards for the implementation of coaching as a powerful means of improving school, teacher, and ultimately student performance. The Instructional Coaching Program Standardsdefine the essential elements of a coaching program designed to accelerate teacher effectiveness. Districts can then use the Instructional Coaching Practice Standards as a framework to implement the components in a strategic, quality practice. The components consist of selection, roles, and responsibilities of coaches who will provide focused instructional assistance to teachers; preparation, development, and ongoing support for those coaches; a collaborative system of formative assessment of practice for teachers and coaches; and targeted, differentiatedprofessional learning opportunities for teachers. Formal standards are necessary for overcoming deficits inherent in previous in-service and teacher induction efforts that often left implementation of teacher training up to each personto define. This transformation is essential in assuring a consistency of practice for all the differing interventions currently bundled under the coaching label. These new coaching standards are a clarification and distillation of current practice elements, and are designed to make coaching more productive and cost effective.

New Teacher Center (2018). Instructional Coaching Program and Practice Standards. New Teacher Center. https://newteachercenter.org

 

Effects of an early literacy professional development intervention on Head Start teachers and children

Effects of a 1-semester professional development (PD) intervention that included expert coaching with Head Start teachers were investigated in a randomized controlled trial with 88 teachers and 759 children. Differential effects of technologically mediated (remote) versus in-person (on-site) delivery of individualized coaching with teachers also were examined in a random assignment design. Hierarchical linear model analyses revealed positive PD intervention effects on general classroom environment (d = 0.99) and classroom supports for early literacy and language development (d = 0.92), and on children's letter knowledge (d = 0.29), blending skills (d = 0.18), writing (d = 0.17), and concepts about print (d = 0.22). No significant intervention effects on teaching practices and children's outcomes related to oral language were found. There were no differential effects of remote versus on-site delivery of literacy coaching.

Powell, D. R., Diamond, K. E., Burchinal, M. R., & Koehler, M. J. (2010). Effects of an early literacy professional development intervention on Head Start teachers and children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102, 299-312.

Using coaching to support teacher implementation of classroom-based interventions

Despite the growing evidence base for the efficacy of preventive interventions, the level of implementation of these interventions in schools is often less than optimal. One promising approach to supporting teachers in implementation of interventions is the use of coaching. In this study, teachers were trained in a universal classroom management intervention and provided ongoing coaching. The association between the type and amount of coaching activities and teacher implementation of proactive classroom management over time were investigated. Results indicated that teachers who received more performance feedback had higher levels of implementation over time in comparison with teachers who received less feedback. In addition, a significant interaction between the amount of coaching a teacher received and his or her implementation of proactive classroom management was found. Increased implementation over time was observed for teachers with lower initial levels of implementation who received more coaching, whereas implementation decreased over time for teachers who received less coaching. The importance of coaching as a support system for enhancing implementation quality of classroom-based preventive interventions is discussed.

Reinke, W. M., Stormont, M., Herman, K. C., Newcomer, L. (2014). Using coaching to support teacher implementation of classroom-based interventions. Journal of Behavioral Education, 23,150-167.

Teachers coaching teachers

This article describe teachers coaching teaching including the purpose, process, who should coach, and the effects of the coaching. 

Showers, B. (1985). Teachers coaching teachers. Educational leadership42(7), 43-48.

Lean on Me: Peer Mentoring for Novice Principals

This study focuses on the experiences of ten novice principals involved in a principal mentoring program in a large urban school district to examine the connections of theory and practice from training received in their administrative preparation program. It sought to understand the impact of receiving support and mentoring in retaining principals. Three themes emerged from the data: (1) the importance of networking with other principals, (2) individualized support with mentors, and (3) continuous development and professional growth. The research presented will contribute to the agenda of retaining quality administrators in the field.

Simieou, F., Decman, J., Grigsby, B., & Schumacher, G. (2010). Lean on me: Peer mentoring for novice principals. International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 5(1), 1-9.

Education Leadership: A Bridge to School Reform
This report describes how Denver Public Schools hired people to coach and evaluate its principals.
DeVita, M., Colvin, R., Darling-Hammond, L., Haycock, K. (2007). Education Leadership: A Bridge to School Reform. The Wallace Foundation.
The Making of the Principal-Five Lessons in Leadership Training
This Wallace Perspective plumbs foundation research and work in school leadership to identify five lessons for better training, including: more selective admission to training programs, a focus on instructional leadership and mentoring for new principals.
Mitgang, L. (2012). The Making of the Principal: Five Lessons in Leadership Training. Perspective. Wallace Foundation.
Assessing Learning-Centered Leadership: Connections to Research, Professional Standards, and Current Practices
Research shows that most assessments of school leaders are ineffective in gauging how leaders are - or are not - promoting learning. This Wallace Perspective describes a possible new direction, highlights new assessment instruments and discusses unknowns in using assessments to improve leadership and benefit students.
Portin, B. S. (2009). Assessing the effectiveness of school leaders: New directions and new processes. The Wallace Foundation
Getting Principal Mentoring Right: Lessons from the Field
Mentoring for new principals, once rare, is now required by half the nation’s states. That’s a major advance, but many programs are not yet tailored to developing principals who can drive better instruction, according to this Wallace analysis. The report looks at two school districts that stress mentoring - Jefferson County (Kentucky) and New York City -and proposes guidelines for effective mentoring.
Spiro, J., Mattis, M. C., & Mitgang, L. D. (2007). Getting principal mentoring right: Lessons from the field. Wallace Foundation.
TITLE
SYNOPSIS
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)
This organization develops and delivers innovative programs, products, and services to educators in support student learners with a focus on professional development support.
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