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Everything We Know Now About Coaching That We Wish We Knew When We Started. 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 results?. Goals.
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Everything We Know Now About Coaching That We Wish We Knew When We Started 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 results?
A professional support system Joyce, B., & Showers, B. (2002). Student achievement through staff development. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Survey Questions • How successful were we in providing you with what you needed to support teachers? • What modifications could we make for next year? • Serve continuing schools • Serve schools not continuing • Serve schools outside of Reading First
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. • We should 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 experiences? Do you have any questions? Next we will turn to what others are learning about coaching.
Garet, M.S., et al., 2008 The Impact of Two Professional Development Interventions on Early Reading Instruction and Achievement http://ies.ed.gov/ncee.
Treatments 2nd grade teachers from 30 different high-poverty schools assigned to each treatment
Both PD treatments increased teacher knowledge compared with regular district PD. • Both PD treatments increased teachers’ use of explicit instruction. Results
Neither treatment was associated with higher student achievement compared with regular district PD. • PD plus Coaching did not increase teacher use of explicit instruction, high-quality independent activities, or differentiation compared with PD alone. Results
Why do you think that the study’s findings were so disappointing?
When the results of the program turn out to be disappointing, we quickly reject that program and move on to the next fad (Stahl, 1998, p. 31). Will that be the 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 • Intensive • Sustained • Job embedded • Content rich • Includes active learning • Coherent • Collective participation But this is actually too vague a list. What is the actual dose needed of what type of PD for what effect? Who should do it? Where and when should it happen?
How does coaching address these effective characteristics? To what extent does it suffer from the problems identified?
The theory of instruction could be inconsistent with the district’s or school’s approach. • Other PD (ambient PD) may interfere with the target PD. • The PD may not be delivered as planned or accepted by the teachers. Many other things can go wrong!
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’ll turn 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 Today • Coaching rated a “Very Hot” topic in • 2008 • 2007 • 2006 • 2005 • Not even listed in 2004!
Some Reasons Literacy Coaching May Have a Future • Ineffectiveness of ad hoc approaches to 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 assume
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 Lack of reasonable alternatives Emerging evidence of effectiveness
Four Assumptions about Evaluating Coaching The instructional methods teachers employ influence student achievement. Variations in the methods themselves and in the quality of teacher implementation are considerable. Coaching can help teachers implement specific methods and abandon others; coaching can help teachers improve the quality of their work. 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 classrooms.
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 program Motivation to implement Knowledge and skills Teacher knowledge requires specifying the focus of learning and accounting for the motivation to implement what is learned.
Instructional Leadership Distribution Specification & development of the practice or program Alternative Instructional Guidance (PD, TA,& Peer Collab.) Motivation to implement Knowledge and skills Larger school, district, state reform effort & policy context Other factors also influence teacher knowledge. These include leadership and policy factors, alternative PD, available TA, and other resources. Professional community norms Supporting resources