Date of Award

Fall 8-17-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Kathy Grover

Second Advisor

Dr. Debra Yonke

Third Advisor

Dr. Theresa Christian

Abstract

Instructional coaching has gained popularity with school districts to improve teachers’ instructional strategies, and students’ academic performance. Current research supports the use of instructional coaching for schoolwide improvements; however, researchers suggest research is needed regarding the training and support of instructional coaches. Different coaching models are in use today and research into the best coaching framework for effective instructional coaching is needed. This study was conducted to investigate the perceptions of instructional coaches regarding their preparedness when entering the instructional coaching position, the professional development and support offered by school districts to coaches, and whether there is a need for a multidisciplinary framework for instructional coaching. Principals’ perceptions of the role of instructional coaches and how school districts meet the professional needs of instructional coaches were investigated. Instructional coach surveys and interviews elicited specific responses regarding experiences prior to entering coaching, training in coaching models, and beliefs regarding specific knowledge in coaching. Principal’s interviews elicited responses about the role of instructional coaches within the school district, the expertise of instructional coaches, and the needs of instructional coaches. The following thematic commonalities emerged: background, prior training, and experience; role; support; and common knowledge. The responses revealed that a common framework for instructional coaching, flexible to fit the specific needs of school districts yet structured to ensure effective practices of instructional coaches, would be a benefit to all stakeholders. The opportunities offered by school districts to support instructional coaches’ practices is likely to improve teachers’ instruction and students’ academic performance.

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