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Title:Issues in maintaining a sister-school coaching collaborative
Author(s):Stallmeyer-Gerard, Catherine Ann
Director of Research:McCarthey, Sarah J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):McCarthey, Sarah J.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Möller, Karla; Parsons, Marilyn; Monda-Amaya, Lisa
Department / Program:Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline:Curriculum and Instruction
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Instructional Coaching
Abstract:The implementation of coaching as a form of professional development for classroom teachers is becoming more and more accepted. Knight (2009a) reminds us, "what coaching offers is authentic learning that provides differentiated support for professional learning" (p. 2). Approached from a sociocultural foundation of communities of practice (Wenger, 1998a) this research study provides a lens into the practice of three elementary school instructional coaches working together as a collaborative unit. This work offers an in-depth understanding of how outside factors influenced the coaches’ negotiation of the multiple roles and responsibilities of their position. A case study approach was used in this year-long qualitative research project, focusing on the collaborative work of instructional coaches. In this study the researcher positioned herself as a potential change agent, approaching the research from an insider position. The three coaches in this study worked together in a collaborative coaching unit, conceived of and created by their district administration. Each coach was housed on a daily basis in her own elementary building. Throughout the first year of the coaching collaborative coaches were responsible for providing professional development, focused on literacy instruction, to K-3 classroom teachers from the coaches' respective home schools. During the year of this study coaches' roles and responsibilities shifted as the district adopted new math and ELA curriculum and outside consultants became responsible for the professional development K-5. At the same time coaches’ focus on classroom instruction shifted significantly to support student testing as the district implemented a new nationally normed testing screener, as well as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test. Ultimately these outside factors, in addition to multiple interpretations of the coaching position by administration, affected the coaches' ability to define their identity as coaches and as a collaborative unit. This study shifts the focus of current coaching research from a results-based/outcomes approach to a focus on who coaches are as professionals, how they navigate outside influences, and the subsequent development of their identities as coaches. The implications call for understanding the need for instructional coaches to have access to collaborative processes that are both casual and formal. The study suggests that opportunities for coaches to convene on a regular basis to develop their coaching practice from a professional learning community (DuFour, 2004) stance would be beneficial on multiple levels. Additionally, this work revealed the need for coaches to gather on an informal basis to share coaching stories and offer support to one another. This new perspective on instructional coaching offers important information into the professional needs of coaches and ways in which administration can support their work.
Issue Date:2016-04-07
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Catherine A. Stallmeyer-Gerard
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05

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