Thursday, March 24, 2011

Collegial Coaching: Teacher Acceptance of A Model

Chapman, K.L. (2008). Collegial coaching: teacher acceptance of a model. Informally published manuscript, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Retrieved from

In Kathleen Chapman's Dissertation at the University of Pittsburgh, she studied whether a Collegial Coaching Model would be a "viable means to change and enhance classroom teaching and practices of teachers for development of students." Kathleen starts with the assumption that all schools and teachers are thinking more than ever about improving the type of instruction they deliver to students. Much of this, she argues, is happening in light of the NCLB mandates and the need for schools to make significant improvements. She realized that "teachers had to become empowered as teacher leaders gain confidence in their own abilities to meet the needs of
the students and to deliver lessons utilizing new and different formats." She studied a middle school in Pittsburgh, called Steel Town Middle School, that began experimenting with the use of content and collegial coaches to improve teacher performance. Chapman collected both qualitative and quantitative data to gain an understanding of how willing the staff was willing to change their approach to instructional delivery based on collegial conversations and coaching.

Chapman looked at different factors during her research including issues around accountability, professional development offered, school improvement plans and the district in which the school existed. Steel Town Middle School was an interesting choice in that it was the result of a recent merger between two very different middle schools-- one with wealthier and white students and one with a higher percentage of students receiving free and reduced lunch and mostly minority. Chapman's research wholeheartedly supports using a collegial coaching model to improve instructional practices but it has to happen alongside other factors. In addition, the model she researched, is very different from the one at HTH. It involves mid- level coaches or content coaches who meet regularly as a group and then work with individual teachers. Thus the coaches are getting professional development as a group. It creates more of a hierarchy between teachers and as a result appears to provide the coaches with more tools to support their peers.


"'Involving teachers in their schools, supporting and valuing what they do, and helping them to work more closely as colleagues are not just worthwhile humanitarian things to do for their own sake. They also have impact on the quality of teaching and learning in
our classrooms.' These statements made by Fullan and Hargreaves (1996, p. 2) supported a change
process teachers must experience to move from isolationism toward collegiality, and
subsequently student improvement." (p. 60)

"Permitting teachers to make decisions about their training and on-going professional growth influenced a viable and sustainable change in the workplace as ownership of the change effort internalized. A site-based management perspective empowered employees and transformed schools into communities of learners, utilizing knowledge to construct decisions for systemic change." (p. 72)

"The guiding purpose behind any peer coaching model is to motivate teachers to improve instructional delivery by becoming more reflective about their teaching skills and strategies. ìResearch has indicated that professional growth can be a worthwhile endeavor when it is viewed as a collective enterprise, where teachers share successes and learn from each otherís mistakes, and stifled without continual interactions,î (Glazer & Hannafin, p. 180). An administratorís teaching skills and experiences serve an important role, but, more importantly, administrators need to be willing to move a staff forward and support building and individual efforts. Benefits derived from collegial coaching are teachers and administrators who share ideas, brainstorm solutions to common teaching challenges, and learn from one another." (p.87)

"Research has shown that to elicit change in the performance of a child, it is important that teachers possess the necessary skills and tools to teach students and challenge their academic achievement. The need for urgent and high-quality staff development and training was essential to accomplish this." (p. 103)

"Teacher leaders as recognized credible leaders in the classroom provide the knowledge and basis for change in local situations. Factors may still prohibit demonstrated activities from making their way into the classroom, but continuing on-site evaluation of the process must be conducted to ensure success. The evolution of professional development has shown the empowering teachers moves a building from one of isolation to one of collaboration." (p. 104)

No comments:

Post a Comment