Everything We Know Now About Coaching That We Wish We Knew When by K15C2X1


Everything We Know Now
About Coaching That We
Wish We Knew When We

Sharon Walpole
University of Delaware
Michael C. McKenna
University of Virginia

    What do you expect your
     CRCT data to say this
     year? How about your
     end-of-year DIBELS data?
    Why do you expect these
+ Goals
           Today                     Tomorrow

 1. Share the results of our 1. Provide you a chance
    survey                      to share resources
 2. Review recent research      you’ve made to support
    on coaching                 teachers
 3. Use video and            2. Consider strategies for
    checklists to practice      coaching reluctant
    coaching                    teachers
                    Back in School
 • Continue to support teachers to maximize student
   achievement this year
 • Evaluate your own success and plan for next year –
   whatever your role
      A professional support system


                Feedback         Demonstration


    Joyce, B., & Showers, B. (2002). Student achievement
    through staff development. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
    A training cycle

                    Work with

           Work with          Work with
          teachers at        specialists to
            school         review and plan
    Survey Questions

    1.   How successful were we in providing you with
         what you needed to support teachers?

    2.    What modifications could we make for next
          Serve continuing schools
          Serve schools not continuing
          Serve schools outside of Reading First
Lecture portion of Architect training
Lesson Demonstrations by Architects
Video Examples
Chapters to Read
Follow-up Planning Day
Specialists’ Support
Specialists’ Support: Most
Specialist Support: Least Effective
Future Architect Services: Theory
Future Architect Services: Demonstration
Future Architect Services: Leadership
Most Important Future Architect Services
    What did we learn?

     We can only serve one audience at a time;
     we need to design separate sessions for
     teachers that have less emphasis on theory.
     Weshould reformat our work so that it can
     be accomplished in shorter chunks of time.
     You   want more lessons and more video.
    Discuss these ideas with your
     colleagues. To what extent
     do these responses
     represent your
    Do you have any questions?

    Next we will turn to what
     others are learning about

    Garet, M.S., et al., 2008
    The Impact of Two Professional
     Development Interventions on
     Early Reading Instruction and

+ Treatments

    PD Only             PD Plus        District-only
 Scripted PD, sold   Scripted PD plus Regular district
 as a package        in-class         PD offerings
 from Sopris         coaching, with
 West, in the        coaches trained
 summer and in       by CORE
 the school year

     2nd grade teachers from 30 different high-
     poverty schools assigned to each treatment
          + BothPD treatments
           increased teacher
           knowledge compared with
           regular district PD.
          + Both PD treatments
Results    increased teachers’ use of
           explicit instruction.
+         − Neither  treatment was
           associated with higher
           student achievement
           compared with regular
           district PD.
          − PD plus Coaching did not
Results    increase teacher use of
           explicit instruction, high-
           quality independent
           activities, or differentiation
           compared with PD alone.

    Why do you think that the
    study’s findings were so
+                     When the results of the
                       program turn out to be
                       disappointing, we
                       quickly reject that
                       program and move on
                       to the next fad (Stahl,
  Will that be the     1998, p. 31).
future of intensive
 PD for teachers,
including the work
   of coaches?
+ Challenges for Designing PD

                  Wayne, A. J., et al.,
                  Experimenting with teacher
                  professional development:
                  Motives and methods.
                  Educational Researcher, 37, no.
                  8 (November 2008) pp. 469-79.
    Characteristics of Effective PD
    1.   Intensive         But this is actually too
    2.   Sustained          vague a list.
    3.   Job embedded      What is the actual
    4.   Content rich       dose needed of what
                            type of PD for what
    5.   Includes active    effect?
    6.   Coherent          Who should do it?
    7.   Collective        Where and when
         participation      should it happen?

    How does coaching
     address these effective
    To what extent does it
     suffer from the problems
+ Two Competing Forces

Theory of Instruction    Theory of Teacher Change

                         How exactly will you
What exactly is the      support teachers?
instructional goal?      How will the PD be
What do you want         paced and how will the
teachers to know and     teachers receive
do?                      feedback on their
  In school-based PD, you have to tackle both of
 these. However, either one could be wrong and
      influence thinking about the other one.
+ Our Theory of Instruction

 Daily Literature   Language development, concept development, and
 Read-Aloud         vocabulary development must be addressed for all,
                    far in advance of literacy development.
 Core Instruction   Children at each grade level deserve grade-level
                    instruction, delivered quickly, competently, and
                    similarly across classrooms. In order to accomplish
                    this, teachers must agree on exactly which choices
                    to make in the core program.
 Differentiated     Informal data can gauge children’s progress, and a
 Instruction        simple set of choices (our stair-step model) can
                    make differentiation targeted, fast, and reasonable
                    for teachers to design and deliver.
 Intensive          Children for whom core and differentiation are
 Intervention       insufficient need highly specialized additional
+Our Theory of Teacher Change

  Teacher         Large-group PD for teachers builds common
  Academies       language across schools and districts.

  Book Studies    Extended discussion of ideas deepens
                  understanding and promotes shared
                  responsibility for instructional design.

  Lesson Models   Scripted differentiated lessons allow teachers to
                  experience differentiation more quickly and
                  evaluate its effects on their children.

  Observation     Observation and feedback from a coach
  and Feedback    provide the differentiated support that
                  increases the quality of instruction.
+                    The theory of instruction
                     could be inconsistent with
                     the district’s or school’s
                     Other PD (ambient PD)
Many other things    may interfere with the
 can go wrong!       target PD.
                     The PD may not be
                     delivered as planned or
                     accepted by the teachers.
    Is our theory of
      instruction fully
      tested in your school?

    How about our theory
     of teacher change?

    Have any of these
     challenges been
     especially salient in
     your school?

     We’llturn now to what
     others are saying and
     learning specifically
     about coaching
Evidence of a Shift Toward Coaching
 Literacy     Coaching Clearinghouse (IRA/NCTE)
    http://www.literacycoachingonline.org
Evidence of a Shift Toward Coaching

  NRC  2008 Conference
   39 papers on coaching
   Coaching Study Group
Evidence of a Shift Toward Coaching

 Recent Dissertations
  60 since 2000
Evidence of a Shift Toward Coaching

    What’s   Hot and What’s Not in IRA’s Reading
     Coaching rated a “Very Hot” topic in
       2008
       2007
       2006
       2005
     Not even listed in 2004!
Some Reasons Literacy Coaching
May Have a Future
                    of ad hoc approaches to
     Ineffectiveness
     professional development
     Widespread  implementation of coaching
     outside of federal initiatives
     IRA Standards for Reading Professionals
     have added coaching to the responsibilities
     that reading specialists are expected to
Some Reasons Literacy Coaching
May Not Have a Future
     Expense of coaching relative to other forms
     of professional development
     Termination  of funding for federal
     initiatives that have encouraged coaching
     Lack of definitive research establishing the
     efficacy of coaching as a means of
     improving achievement
    Reasons We Are Hopeful

    1. Lack of reasonable alternatives
    2. Emerging evidence of effectiveness
Four Assumptions about Evaluating
 1. The instructional methods teachers employ
    influence student achievement.
 2. Variations in the methods themselves and in
    the quality of teacher implementation are
 3. Coaching can help teachers implement
    specific methods and abandon others;
    coaching can help teachers improve the
    quality of their work.
 4. The effect of coaching can be gauged by
    changes in student achievement that result
    from this altered practice.
Coaching affects achievement by fostering
teacher knowledge about effective instructional
practices and by supporting teachers as they
begin to apply those practices in their
Coaching can be a cause of increased
achievement, but it is a distal cause. In order to
meaningfully evaluate the impact of coaching,
we must also gauge its impact on the more
proximal causes of achievement: expanded
teacher knowledge and altered practice. (See
Guskey, 2000.)
Taylor (2008) describes the array of
factors that complicate the causal
inferences from research.
 Specification &
 development of
 the practice or

 Motivation to

 Knowledge and

Teacher knowledge requires specifying
the focus of learning and accounting
for the motivation to implement what is
Distribution       Specification &
                   development of
Alternative        the practice or
Instructional      program
                   Motivation to
(PD, TA,&          implement
Peer Collab.)
                   Knowledge and
Larger school,     skills
district, state
reform effort &
policy context

                  Other factors also influence teacher
norms             knowledge. These include leadership
Supporting        and policy factors, alternative PD,
                  available TA, and other resources.
Distribution       Specification &
                   development of
Alternative        the practice or
Instructional      program
                   Motivation to
(PD, TA,&          implement
Peer Collab.)
                   Knowledge and
Larger school,     skills
district, state
reform effort &
policy context

community         These factors also influence the nature
                  of coaching in a particular context.
+ Qualifying Questions about
1.   How do models of coaching direct coaching
2.   To what extent are coaching efforts mediated
     by characteristics of districts and schools?
3.   How can coaches work with administrators to
     optimize their efforts?
4.   How can coaching be differentiated to meet the
     needs of all teachers?
5.   What personal characteristics tend to be
     shared by effective coaches?
Selection Process
 We included studies of coaching and studies that involved

 We included peer-reviewed studies that met two criteria:
    1.   The study provided insight into one or more of our qualifying
    2.   The study reported new findings based on quantitative or qualitative

 We used ERIC and Education Full Text to identify potential studies.

 This process resulted in 176 potential studies.

 We read abstracts in order to eliminate opinion pieces and articles
     about peer coaching, technology-based coaching, and sports

 This process left 19 studies for full review.
    Characteristics of Studies
     19   peer-reviewed articles:
      12 case studies of schools, coaches, or initiatives
      2 survey studies to gauge reactions to coaching
      5 comparative studies of coaching and non-
       coaching or of varieties of coaching

     Date   range:
      1995-2008
      18   of 19 published in 2003 or later
    Emerging Themes

1. Models of Coaching
2. School and District Characteristics
3. Working with Administrators
4. Serving the Needs of Teachers
5. Personal Characteristics
    Models of Coaching

    A model specifies coaching roles and
     activities and time apportioned to each
    A model defines the focus of coaching
    All of these studies have roots in Joyce and
     Showers’ cycle of theory, demonstration,
     practice, and feedback.
    A professional support system


             Feedback          Demonstration


    Joyce, B., & Showers, B. (2002). Student achievement
    through staff development. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
    Models of Coaching
    Models are of two principal kinds:
    1. Discretionary models that permit a coach
       wide latitude in making decisions
       (Fearn& Farnan, 2007; Gibson, 2005, 2006;
        Swinnerton, 2007; Wood, 2007)
    Models of Coaching
    2. Up-front models that specify in advance
       the amount of outside- and inside-the-
       classroom support (Kinnucan-Welsch et
       al., 2006; Denton et al., 2007; Neilson et al.,
       2007; Spencer & Logan, 2003)
    Up-front models employ specific tools for
      observing and relieve the coach of having
      to negotiate access to teachers.
    What do you think are the
     strengths and
     weaknesses of each of
     these models?

    What model do you actually
    School and District

     These coaching studies varied by:
      Level (elementary, middle, high school)
      Student achievement
      Receptivity to coaching (Swinnerton, 2007)
    School and District
     Teacher receptivity to coaching varied.
      Resistance was higher in reform contexts.
      Resistance occurred in both more- (Al
       Otaiba et al., 2008; Gersten et al., 1995) and
       less-controlled curriculum contexts (Darby,

    In what ways do school and
      district characteristics
      influence your
    Working with Administrators

     Principals’ views of coaches differ.
      Coaches can be part of a leadership team
       (MacIver et al., 2003; Morgan & Clonts,
      Coaches may act as mentors or directors
       (Walpole & Blamey, 2008).
    Working with Administrators
     Some coaches report directly to the district,
     causing potential problems involving their
     supervision (Swinnerton, 2007; Wood, 2007).
     Some principals have encouraged coaches
     to conduct formative observations to better
     prepare teachers for summative
     observations (Nielson et al., 2007).

    In what ways does your
      work with administrators
      influence your
  Serving the Needs of
 Teachers in these studies were often faced
 with challenges, such as:
  Being novices (Nielson et al., 2007)
  Lacking credentials (MacIver et al., 2003)
  Teaching in low-performing schools (Al
   Otaiba et al., 2008; Darby, 2008)
  Serving struggling adolescent readers
   (Denton et al., 2007; Lovett et al., 2008)
  Combinations of these (Gersten et al.,
 Serving the Needs of
 Some  studies differentiated coaching
  By newness of teachers (Nielson et al.,
  By grade level (Neilson et al., 2007)
  By content area (at middle and high)
   (MacIver et al., 2003)
  By students served (Gersten et al., 1995;
   Menzies et al., 2008)
Serving the Needs of
 Nonproductive     relationships arose
    regardless of the teacher characteristics
 Such    relationships were caused by
     Competing agendas
     Power struggles
     Positioning relative to influence
    (Gibson, 2005; Rainville & Jones, 2008)

    What special challenges do
     your teachers present?
    In what ways have you
      been able to differentiate?
    Personal Characteristics

     Trust   was a recurring theme.
     Coaches had to nurture relationships with
     both principals and teachers (Swinnerton,
     Some coaches positioned themselves as co-
     learners, allaying teacher fears (Darby,
     2008; Rainville & Jones, 2008).
    Personal Characteristics

     Expertise   was a recurring theme.
     Coaches had to focus teachers on core
     goals (Gibson, 2005, 2006).
     Coaches had to have credibility as teachers
     (MacIver, 2003).
                 expertise could lead to teacher
     Differential
     resistance (Gersten et al., 1995).

    What personal
     characteristics have
     helped you to coach?
    What personal
     characteristics have
     presented a challenge?
    Across the Emerging Themes

     Some studies addressed more than one of
     these themes.
     None   addressed all five.
        you, of course, have to deal with all of
     But
     them at once!
    Suggestions for Researchers

 Make   every effort to account for the complex
    contexts of coaching.
 Conduct    studies that are multidisciplinary,
    informed by the literature of leadership, adult
    learning, and professional development.
 Conduct     studies that are multi-level. Both
    qualitative and quantitative approaches provide
    powerful tools for doing so.

    Research is the process of
    going up alleys to see if they
    are blind.
                       – Marston Bates
+ Suggestions for Policy Makers

       wait for the definitive “word” on
  Don’t
  whether coaching “works.”
  Consider coaching to be a form of PD that is
  potentially better–and certainly no worse–
  than traditional approaches.
  Thinkabout how to adapt, not whether to
  adopt, coaching.
         coursework on coaching in the
  Include
  preparation of administrators.
  Consider  coaching endorsements that
  require, but are distinct from, the reading
  specialist endorsement.
    Now let’s do some coaching
                a look at the checklist resources
     First, take
     that we’ve gathered. They include a
     checklist for coaching (which you’ve seen)
     and also some specific checklists for
     differentiated instruction and for read-
     alouds that have been generated by
     participants in this project.
     We’llwatch a series of videos of instruction
     and of coaching, and discuss them using
     the checklists.
    Final Bibliography

    Al Otaiba, S., Hosp, J. L., Smartt, S., & Dole, J. A. (2008). The challenging role
      of a reading coach, a cautionary tale. Journal of Educational & Psychological
      Consultation, 18(2), 124-155.

    Darby, A. (2008). Teachers' emotions in the reconstruction of professional self-
      understanding. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24, 1160-1172.

    Denton, C. A., Swanson, E. A., & Mathes, P. G. (2007). Assessment-based
      instructional coaching provided to reading intervention teachers. Reading and
      Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 20, 569-590.

    Fearn, L., & Farnan, N. (2007). The influence of professional development on
      young writers' writing performance. Action in Teacher Education, 29(2), 17-
    Final Bibliography

    Gersten, R., Morvant, M., & Brengelman, S. (1995). Close to the classroom is
      close to the bone: Coaching as a means to translate research into classroom
      practice. Exceptional Children, 62, 52-66.

    Gibson, S. A. (2005). Developing knowledge of coaching. Issues in Teacher
      Education, 14(2), 63-74.

    Gibson, S. A. (2006). Lesson observation and feedback: The practice of an
      expert reading coach. Reading Research and Instruction, 45, 295-318.

    Kinnucan-Welsch, K., Rosemary, C. A., & Grogan, P. R. (2006). Accountability
      by design in literacy professional development. Reading Teacher, 59(5), 426-
    Final Bibliography

    Lovett, M. W., Lacerenza, L., De Palma, M., Benson, N. J., Steinbach, K. A., &
       Frijters, J. C. (2008). Preparing teachers to remediate reading disabilities in
       high school: What is needed for effective professional development?
       Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and
       Studies, 24, 1083-1097

    MacIver, D. J., Ruby, A., & Balfanz, R. (2003). Removed from the list: A
      comparative longitudinal case study of a reconstitution-eligible school.
      Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 18, 259-289.

    Menzies, H. M., Mahdavi, J. N., & Lewis, J. L. (2008). Early intervention in
      reading: From research to practice. Remedial and Special Education, 29(2),

    Morgan, D. N., & Clonts, C. M. (2008). School leadership teams: Extending the
      reach of school-based literacy coaches. Language Arts, 85, 345-353.
    Final Bibliography

    Nielsen, D. C., Barry, A. L., & Addison, A. B. (2007). A model of a new-teacher
      induction program and teacher perceptions of beneficial components. Action
      in Teacher Education, 28(4), 14-24.

    Rainville, K. N., & Jones, S. (2008). Situated identities: Power and positioning
      in the work of a literacy coach. The Reading Teacher, 61, 440-448.

    Spencer, S. S., & Logan, K. R. (2003). Bridging the gap: A school based staff
      development model that bridges the gap from research to practice. Teacher
      Education and Special Education, 26(1), 51-62.

    Swinnerton, J. (2007). Brokers and boundary crossers in an urban school
      district: Understanding central-office coaches as instructional leaders.
      Journal of School Leadership, 17(2), 195-221.
    Final Bibliography

    Van Keer, H., & Verhaeghe, J. P. (2005). Comparing two teacher
      development programs for innovating reading comprehension
      instruction with regard to teachers' experiences and student outcomes.
      Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of
      Research and Studies, 21, 543-562.

    Walpole, S., & Blamey, K. L. (2008). Elementary literacy coaches: The
     reality of dual roles. The Reading Teacher, 62, 222-231.

    Wood, D. (2007). Teachers' learning communities: Catalyst for change
     or a new infrastructure for the status quo? Teachers College Record,
     109(3), 699-739.

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