2 CoachingCoaching is an adult learning strategy in which the coach promotes the learner’s ability to reflect on his or her actions as a means to determine the effectiveness of an action or practice and develop a plan for refinement and use of the action in immediate and future situations (Rush and Shelden,2004)
3 Purpose of coaching in early intervention The purpose of coaching is to build the capacity of an adult (family member, caregiver, early intervention professional) to support the child’s participation and learning in everyday life. Coaching can occur during home and community visits with families and caregivers and during team meetings with the intervention team.
4 Coaching versus more Traditional intervention Coaching encourages early intervention professionals (coaches) to work side by side with a family member or caregiver to promote the child’s development and learning within the context of their daily routines and activities versus providing direct therapy to the child, with minimal to no family involvement during visits. The coach (early intervention professional) and family/caregiver work together to examine and reflect on what the family/caregiver is already doing to target the identified outcome, discuss evidence-based practices, apply new skills with feedback and problem solve challenging situations.
5 Key elements of coaching in early childhood Consistent with adult learning principlesCapacity building: builds knowledge, skill and ability of the family/caregiver to function without ongoing support; assists them in discovering what they already know; shares knowledge, new information and ideas; helps develop new skills needed to achieve outcomes and generalize reflections, resulting in actions to new and different situations; identify actions to be taken and means for evaluating their effectiveness Non-directive: not telling people what to do, giving them a chance to examine what they are already doing in light of their own intentions*Effective coaching is asking the right questions at the right time to promote thinking (reflection) so the coachee (adult) becomes aware and analyzes what he/she wants to happen, what he/she is doing that is supporting or inhibiting the outcome and what alternatives or options there to achieve itObtain knowledge in a particular content area, must understand how to use the knowledge across contexts
6 Key elements to coaching in Early Childhood Goal-oriented: interactive style used to achieve individual goals or outcomes identified by coachee and that are related to a desired knowledge or skill; outcomes identified at beginning of the relationshipSolution-focused: focused on determining the present and creating future rather than analyzing the past; purpose is related to a specific problem or problem area and creating solutions that can be implemented immediately versus focusing on the problem itselfPerformance-based: focus on coachee, application of knowledge gaining and demonstration of skill resulting from coaching process – action oriented, not based on actions or feelings
7 Key elements in coaching in early childhood Reflective: looking back in order to move forward, reach a deeper understanding of what the coachee knows and is doing; what may need to be changed or what new knowledge and skill might be necessary in future situations to obtain a desired outcome; requires reflection, active participation and engagement of person being coachedCollaborative: coaching is a partnership and reciprocal process in which the coach and coachee bring knowledge, experience and abilities to the relationship; coach must learn what coachee knows, understands and is doing; what they know about coaching and ideas for change; coach learns coachee’s process for developing knowledge, solving problems, reflecting and generating ideas….not hierarchical
8 Key elements in coaching in early childhood Context-driven: relationship built on achievement of goals related to functional activities, beginning with current situation experienced by coachee. Context of coaching not separated from context in which targeted performance and/or jointly identified solutions are usedAs hands on as it needs to be: primarily should be hands off, may be more hands on when assisting in identifying possible solutions, options, external resources, sharing information on a topic; as coachee builds competence and confidence, the coach’s role becomes less focused on process than content; may prompt coachee to reflect on and analyze ideas, consider alternatives and plan future actions; overtime, feedback becomes less informational and more affirmative
9 Research Based Characteristics of coaching Joint planning: At the beginning of a visit, the coach (early intervention professional) and adult (family/caregiver) collaboratively determine what they will do during the visit At the end of the visit, jointly decide on what will happen in between visits and identify opportunities for family/caregiver to practice strategies/skills in between visits Observation: examination of another person’s actions or practice to develop new skills, strategies or ideas Action/practice: spontaneous or planned events that occur with the context of a family’s everyday routines and activities, that provides the family/caregiver (coachee) with opportunities to develop practice, refine, or analyze new or existing skills with feedback; involves modeling by the coach using a 7-step process
10 Research Based Characteristics of coaching Reflection: analysis of existing strategies to determine how strategies are consistent with evidence-based practices, how they need to could be implemented without change or modified to obtain outcomes Feedback: information provided by coach (early intervention professional) based on his/her own observation of family/caregiver (coachee) or information shared by family/caregiver that is designed to examine the coachee’s current level of understanding about a particular evidence based practice or to affirm the coaches thoughts or actions
11 What coaching could look like ….. Lucy, a physical therapist in EarlySteps, just began working with the Charlie, a 10-month old boy with Down Syndrome, and his family. Charlie lives with his Mom and Dad and older brother Linus. Lucy is an experienced early interventionist, with specialized knowledge in motor development, motor learning and assistive technology. Mom wants Charlie to sit in his high chair and feed himself during dinner time with the rest of the family. At the beginning of today’s visit, they decide to work on this outcome during snack. Mom gathers everything she needs for snack and places the food/drink on the kitchen table next to the highchair. Lucy asks Mom to show her how she puts him in the highchair and what she has tried to help him sit and how her efforts have worked. Based on this information, Lucy and Mom analyze the positioning and talk about other options to improve his sitting. Lucy talks with Mom about evidence-based strategies and asks Mom if she could show her how to use one of these strategies so that he sits more upright, with better trunk control to feed himself. Mom agrees and Lucy explains what she is going to do, gives her something specific to look for, then Lucy models while Mom watches. They talk about what happened (debriefed), and then Lucy invited Mom to try what she modeled. Mom practiced using the strategy multiple times and together they talked about how the strategy worked. At the end of the visit, they developed a plan for implementing the strategies in between visits during snacks and mealtimes and identified what outcomes they wanted to target at the next home visit.
12 References and resources Hanft, B.E., Rush, D.D., & Shelden, M.L. (2004). Coaching families and colleagues in early childhood. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company. Rush, D.D. & Shelden, M.L. (2011). The early childhood coaching handbook. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company. The Family, Infant and Preschool Program (FIPP) Center for the Advanced Study of Excellence (CASE) in Early Childhood and Family Support Practices The Framework for Reflective Questioning Tips and Techniques for Effective Coaching Interactions Coaching Practice Rating Scale Coaching Quick Reference Guide