Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

12-2010

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Eric S. Glover

Committee Members

Elizabeth Ralston, Pamela H. Scott, Virginia P. Foley

Abstract

The intent of this qualitative study was to understand the impact of job-embedded professional development coaches on teacher practice. Coaches in this study worked with teachers to plan lessons, model lessons with feedback, and disaggregate data. This qualitative study was conducted using interviews of coaches to gain their perceptions of the work they did with teachers and how this work influenced teacher practice. Teachers were interviewed to determine their perceptions of the impact coaches' work had on their classroom practices. Analysis of the coaches and teachers' reflective journals was also conducted to establish the participants' perceptions of their work together and the impact on teacher practice.

Several themes emerged from the data analysis that assisted the researcher in forming the theoretical framework for the study. All coaches and teachers interviewed reported feeling positive about the work they did together planning lessons, modeling lessons with feedback, and disaggregating data. The researcher identified several factors that promoted the coaches' influence on teacher practice and several barriers that limited the coaches' influence on teacher practice. Teachers also identified traits and actions of an effective coach.

Based on the research all the teachers grew in various ways from the work they did with the coaches. Teachers reported changing their practices and attitudes as well as trying new approaches, strategies, and programs. They appreciated coaches' help with classroom management, discipline, and emotional support. Some teachers gained confidence in their teaching abilities, increased their expectations of students, and allowed students to take charge of their own learning. They went deeper with their teaching and engaged more in reflective thinking about why they do things the way they do.

Job-embedded coaching has the potential to influence teachers' practices and subsequently student learning. Recommendations from study findings may assist teachers, coaches, and school leaders in building an effective coaching model.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.