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Instructional Coaching: Principles & Practices

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1 Instructional Coaching: Principles & Practices
Jim Knight University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning

2 What questions will we explore?
What is the challenge we face in schools? What are the components of coaching? How do successful programs take a paradoxical approach to change? What is the partnership approach?


4 But first… Why we came to study Instructional Coaching… a little back ground information

5 What is the Center for Research on Learning?
Founded in 1978 Mission: Dramatically improve the performance of at-risk students in grades 4-12 through research-based interventions $80+ million dollars of contracted R&D International Professional Development Network 275,000 teachers in 3,500 school districts Bob Bonspiel story

6 The Strategic Instruction Model (SIM)
CRL SIM is an integrated model of research-validated practices to address many of the needs of diverse learners. It has been under development for 25 years at the University of Kansas-Center for Research on Learning. These research-validated practices revolve around improving academic achievement through the implementation of Content Enhancement Routines to help teachers promote greater understanding, remembering, and use of critical content and The Learning Strategies Curriculum to increase student learning. Explain the writing class story--Bob Bonspiel Issa Qaquish That’s what got me interested in change, but why should you be worried about change?

7 Topeka, Kansas Public Schools
Home of Brown v. Board of Education 34% do not graduate from high school 61% receive free/reduced lunch 19 % qualify for special services Topeka has #1 crime rate in U.S. cities under 200,000 population

8 What is Pathways to Success?
Instructional Coaches Writing Strategies Reading Strategies Learning Strategies Content Enhancement CHAMPs START ON Time Possible Selves Strategic Tutoring Telementoring College Information Campus Visits Family School Coordinators Other Interventions Lynn explains the questioning activity--they have cards, if they have questions they should write them down, and at different points Lynn & Devona will answer the questions Jim’s the researcher, reads the books, but we do it ever day, so you get three points of view for the price of one

9 What is the challenge we all face?

10 There is urgent political pressure to improve instruction

11 Comments for 2004 Maryland Special Education Administrator’s Conference
Every school board member has come to me and asked me how we’re going to meet AYP. My superintendent has told me that we’re going to meet AYP. And yet, we had six schools last year who failed to make AYP ... This causes a lot of anxiety. I feel the pressure. This is real. I know that there are people who are literally worried that they may be fired because of AYP…

12 I think there is some value in looking at AYP; it does help us focus on what we have to be doing. That’s how as a county we will be able to measure whether we’re making a difference. But I worry about the urgency it brings with it. It’s intense. Everyone wants results now! … I’m desperately concerned about the amount of time it will take to turn this around. You can’t turn the titanic around in one minute. I spoke with administrators from every county in Maryland. Everyone of them said that felt extra pressure to meet AYP

13 There is moral pressure to improve instruction

14 A closer look at word level reading…

15 Most of us share similar goals
We want kids who … love learning see their potential have achievable, challenging goals have the skills, strategies, knowledge and whatever else they need to achieve those goals

16 There is pressure to improve the way we interact with each other

17 Meg Wheatley, Turning to one another
We have never wanted to be alone. But today, we are alone. We are more fragmented and isolated from one another than ever before. Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes it as “a radical brokenness in all of existence.” Meg Wheatley, Turning to one another

18 But change personally and professionally is difficult.

19 And the personal experience of change is complicated

20 Let’s talk about change
Identify: A change that you have experienced (personally or externally motivated) that was successful A change that you have experienced (personally or externally motivated) that was not successful What are the reasons why one succeeded and one didn’t Discuss your reasons with others and identify 1-3 common themes across all of your experiences

21 Change is Complex (Prochaska, 1994)
Pre-contemplation Contemplation Preparation Action Maintenance Termination

22 I’ve interviewed more than 150 people regarding professional development in schools from more than ten states in a wide variety of schools

23 School culture can stop change dead in its tracks!
Imagine it’s the day of a PD session. Folks out front of the auditorium, nice selection of sugar-coated, high carb refreshments A teacher says, I’m so glad it’s a PD day. I just love the chance to learn and grow and develop as a professional On the way out, she turns to her friends, I can’t wait to try out all of these great new practices tomorrow. We’re just so lucky to be able to learn like this. --IN most schools, we’d have to say she’s exhibiting what can only be called, deviant behavior

24 Moving/Stuck Schools (Rosenholtz, 1991)
72 school districts

25 There are other common reasons why change is difficult

26 Decisions can be made poorly Personalities can get in the way
People can be irrational Decisions can be made poorly Personalities can get in the way State, district, school, classroom goals can be out of alignment Any change can be difficult to accept Facing pressures from the board, the community, leaders can act in ways that are hard to grasp Snap decisions, that have serious consequences--based on a one observation of one teacher, whole programs, successful programs have been cut--my guess is that they are frequently cut Because many teachers have experienced ineffective PD, (one-shot sessions that sometimes lack relevance and have no follow-up) teachers lose their interest in PD In fact, the teacher who loves PD, who says great today is a PD day on the way in, and says gee, I can’t wait to try this on the way out, that person exhibits what can only be described as deviant behavior This negative perception of PD is tough to take for someone who has dedicated his professional live to studing staff development NSDC, Director of Title One, teacher goes to heaven

27 Schools engage in self-destructive behavior

28 Attempt, Attack, Abandon Cycle
Schools can be like people who want to get in shape, and go out and but the newest weight loss gizmo, then only use it a few times, toss it aside and then buy the next gizmo only to buy another and another without every doing the heavy lifting of really working to get in shape -maybe the program doesn’t work -maybe that was a bad day for the class -maybe the teacher didn’t receive effective professional development and isn’t implementing the program effectively -maybe the teacher isn’t very effective for other reasons that have nothing to do with the program Or -we tried that and the scores didn’t go up, so it obviously didn’t work As Guskey has shown us, there could be many reasons maybe the teacher didn’t learn it, maybe the school structure, culture, conflicting priorities keep the program from being effective maybe it really wasn’t implemented with fidelity did they learn it? Did the school stand in the way? Was it implemented with fidelity? If so, then we can make conclusions about achievement scores -if we don’t know that answer to these questions, we run the risk of throwing out a perfectly good program A leader of special ed spent four years managing a change program Abandon Attack

29 “as the number of changes multiplies, and as the time demands increase, people approach a dysfunction threshold, a point where they lose the capacity to implement changes” --Darryl Conner, Managing at the speed of change Also called Innovation Overload

30 What are the barriers to change you are experiencing in your school(s)?

31 Leading change is like herding cats


33 Instructional Coaching addresses both the personal and professional complexities
Time for first break But before the break Lynn answers questions on cards

34 How do we define Instructional Coach?

35 What is an Instructional Coach?
an on-site professional developer who partners with educators to identify and assist with implementation of proven teaching methods

36 An Instructional Coach
Is on site Is a professional developer Partners Identifies Proven teaching practices (research-based) Assists

37 What is an instructional coach?
Please watch this clip and consider two questions 1. What behaviors (if any) does he exhibit that are appropriate for interactions with the teachers you know? 2. What behaviors (if any) does he exhibit that are not appropriate for interactions with the teachers you know?

38 What Are the Components of Instructional Coaching?
Devona does all of this, stops where noted for people to fill out post-its

39 Instructional Coaching
Enroll Identify Explain Model (You watch me) Observe (I watch you) Explore (Collaborative Exploration of Data) Support Reflect

40 Your learning experience
Periodically, we’ll stop so that you can check your understandings with your group Also with your group, identify strategies, tactics, methods or other ideas that a coach might use to be more effective when implementing this practice Write down what you have learned on a “post-it” note and add the “post-it” to the appropriate flip chart

41 Enrolling teachers Large-group presentation Small-group presentation
Interviews Informal conversations Principal (or other) referral Fill out post-its

42 Identify Teaching Practices
Through Teacher-coach conversation (either formal or informal) Coach observation Referral

43 Big Four Behavior Content Knowledge Instruction Formative Assessment
Questions we use to shape our thinking, not questions we ask our collaborating teachers. Explain that more is to come later

44 Explaining Interventions
Read, re-read, read again Underline, mark with post-its Take notes, draw mind maps Write scripts, presentations Use stories, analogies, punchy phrases,

45 Model (You watch me!) Co-construct an observation form
Goal: To show a teacher exactly how to implement a particular intervention Be fully aware of critical teaching practices you need to model Ensure that teacher knows the purpose of the model lesson Provide concrete description of what you’ll be doing Clarify roles for behavioral management Co-construct an observation form Ensure your collaborating teacher knows how to use the form



48 Observe (I Watch You!) Coach uses the observation form to watch for data related to: Critical teaching behaviors Fidelity to scientifically proven practices Student behavior and performance Additional specific teacher concerns


50 Explore (Collaborative Exploration of Data)
Based on the partnership principles Coach and teacher identify what data will be gathered Coach uses the observation form They engage in dialogue about the data

51 “The helping hand strikes again!”
Many a relationship has been damaged and a work setting poisoned by perfectly delivered constructive feedback… “The helping hand strikes again!” How the way we talk can change the way we work (Kegan & Lahey, p.128)

52 Top-down Feedback

53 Assumptions behind top-down feedback
The first is that the perspective of the feedback giver (let’s call him the supervisor) – what he sees and thinks, his feedback-is right, is correct. An accompanying assumption is that there is only one correct answer. What you put these two assumptions together, they amount to this: the supervisor has the one and only correct view of the situation. (We call this “the super vision assumption”; that is, the supervisor has super vision.) (p.128)

54 Partnership Feedback (C.E.D.) Reinke, (2005)

55 Support Observations, data, feedback may turn the collaboration in a new direction Coach’s goal is to provide as much support as necessary, but no more

56 Reflection What was supposed to happen? What happened?
What accounts for the difference? What should be done differently next time?

57 Instructional Coaching
Enroll Identify Explain Model (You watch me) Observe (I watch you) Explore (Collaborative Exploration of Data) Support Reflect

58 What Does The Research Say?

59 Instructional Coaching (Knight, 2005) (n = 82)
10% = Joyce & Showers 85% = six weeks after summer workshop we surveyed teachers who were in schools that had teachers who had attend summer workshops. 70/82 were implementing interventions Instructional Coaching, that involves the components I described earlier, enrollment, preconferencing (to identify and explain interventions), Model Demonstration Lessons MDLs, Observation, CED, and ongoing collaboration--leads to meaningful changes

60 Table one: Teachers’ perceptions of the value of observing Instructional Coaches modeling practices (n = 107) Do teachers think watching a coach model practices made it easier to implement? 6.51 Do teachers think watching a coach model practices increased their fidelity to instructional practices? 6.4 Do teachers think watching a coach model practices made them more confident about implementing? 6.22 Do teachers think they learned other teaching strategies while watching a coach model? 6.13 Do teachers think coaches have enough content knowledge to model all the instruction in teachers’ classes. 3.18

61 Teacher Interviews 13 teachers were interviewed in 2004-05
Each teacher identified modeling as a central part of their learning with the coach

62 Time to reflect Identify one idea you want to act on:
What do you feel? What do you think? What are you going to do?

63 So how do we make it happen?

64 Take a paradoxical approach to adaptive change

65 Effective change is paradoxical
Top-down AND bottom-up Easy AND powerful Self-organizing AND tightly managed Gaining commitment by not demanding commitment

66 Top-down & Bottom-up

67 Top down, by itself, doesn’t work
“the direct approach of naming the goal and mobilizing to achieve it does not, and cannot work in something as complex as change agentry” Michael Fullan

68 “There is nothing quite as practical as a good theory”
Our theory “There is nothing quite as practical as a good theory” Kurt Lewin

69 We take a partnership approach
Our work embodies the principles of equality, choice, voice, reflection, dialogue, praxis, and reciprocity “We want to be just like any other teacher in the school”

70 But… Bottom-up alone is not sufficient
Teachers may choose not to change when they need to improve Strategies may not get cued in additional classrooms There may be a lack of coherence in what is implemented in schools

71 So the principal … Remains the instructional leader (through partnership) Assesses teachers’ use of interventions Leads teachers to put interventions in their personal development plans Applies pressure, but respects teachers’ professional discretion

72 How should coaches coach principals?
Work from the partnership perspective Establish weekly one-to-one meetings with principals Draw up a weekly agenda addressing your most pressing issues Educate principals about interventions each week Discuss individual teachers and teams Encourage school-wide implementation of interventions

73 Discuss with your partner
What can you do next week to start turning this paradoxical idea into an action?

74 Easy and Powerful

75 Interventions that are embraced are powerful & easy
ideas, values, technologies that do the job with the least demand on psychic energy will survive. An appliance that does more work with less effort will be preferred Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi -this also applies to knowledge transfer in schools; interventions that are powerful and easy to use are going to be adopted by teachers

76 How do we ensure they’re powerful?
Using scientifically based interventions that achieved socially significant results Targeting standards Targeting teachers’ most pressing needs Using checklists, in-class demonstrations, and feedback to ensure that teachers learn research-based practices

77 How do we make it easy? Prepare materials
Provide as much support as necessary & no more Simplify & translate teacher manuals (TPOV) Observe and collaborate Use Observation forms Model in the classroom

78 Discuss with your partner
What can you do next week to start turning this paradoxical idea into an action?

79 Self-organizing & highly organized

80 Ideas Spread Like a Virus ( )

81 How do coaches spread healthy viruses in schools?
Make sure that your first collaborations are extremely well done (easy, powerful, validating) Partner with the principal to apply pressure and support respectfully Communicate successes widely through the use of newsletters and other forms of communication Identify teachers with informal power in the school The nature of this partnership is complex. The principal applies pressure without being coercive. We need to improve time on task, and LaVonne is here to help you. If you need something from me, please let me know, if you have your own thing you want to do fine, if you want to work with LaVonne, she can help you create CHAMPs expectations, which might really help you--but that’s your professional choice. What matters is that we figure out a way to increase time on task.

82 How do coaches identify teachers with informal power?
Talk with principal and other leaders in the school Talk with other teachers Observe interactions in Staff lounge Team meetings Informal settings

83 How do Instructional Coaches build coherence?
Build coherence after there is a critical mass of support for teachers Work towards Institutionalizing changes Teaching interventions across teams Creating leadership teams Incorporating interventions into School Improvement Teams

84 Discuss with your partner
What can you do next week to start turning this paradoxical idea into an action?

85 Not demanding commitment to get commitment

86 Our goal:internal commitment (Chris Argyris, 2000)
Anyone with power can demand commitment But, external commitment is temporary leads to poor practices engenders resentment Internal commitment can be permanent leads to high-quality practices engenders positive attitudes

87 Discuss with your partner
What can you do next week to start turning this paradoxical idea into an action?

88 Partnership Principles
The theory behind coaching

89 Partnership Principles
Equality Praxis Dialogue Choice Voice Reflection Reciprocity equality: a balance of power praxis: the integration of thinking and acting Apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, people cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges ... through invention and reinvention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry people pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other. Paulo Friere, Pedagogy of the Oppressed dialogue: Bohm: etymology of dialogue and discussion A dialogue or conversation among individuals ... must be based on mutual respect, equality, a willingness to listen and to risk one’s prejudices and opinions. Bernstein choice: Block symbiosis: the natural outcome of authentic partnership is that when one wins, the partner also wins voice: Frederick Taylor--input decreases effectiveness, Matsushita: we need to mobilize all of the intelligence in the organization

90 Blaine Lee, The Power Principle
Principles “The principles you live by create the world you live in; if you change the principles you live by, you will change your world.” Blaine Lee, The Power Principle

91 But what about the research?
I’m so glad you asked!

92 Design Traditional Training advance organizer overheads
summary statements every 20 minutes every 10 minutes paused to ask questions extensive elaboration of content on each overhead Partnership Learning (timed to be equal; same outline) Experiential Learning attending to images or questions while I read Question Recipes used to debrief almost all learning structures Tell me more about that ... How do you see this working Reflection Learning modeling Thinking Devices modeling & feedback Stories M. Hunter; teaching experiences Cooperative Learning TTYN; scoring

93 Engagement Form chi square: 46.90 [6 df ] [p = 0.00] engaging
Partnership Learning: 89.3% Traditional Training: 40.1% not engaging Partnership Learning: 2.6% (2 people out of 74%) Traditional Training: 37.4

94 Implementation Question**
Partnership Learning: 59 Traditional Training: 14 **Now that you have learned about two strategies, which of the two do you believe you are most likely to teach?

95 Moral purpose Fullan, M. (2001). Leading in a culture of change.
Moral purpose, defined as making a difference in the lives of students, is a critical motivator for addressing the sustained task of complex reform. Passion and higher order purpose are required because the effort needed is gargantuan and must be morally worth doing. (p.18).

96 Heifetz & Linsky (2003) Leadership on the line.
When you lead people, you often begin with a desire to contribute to an organization or community, to help people resolve important issues, to improve the quality of their lives. Your heart is not entirely innocent, but you begin with hope and concern for people. Along the way, however, it becomes difficult to sustain those feelings when many people reject your aspirations as too unrealistic, challenging or disruptive. Results arrive slowly. You become hardened to the discouraging reality. Your heart closes up. Heifetz & Linsky (2003) Leadership on the line.

97 Losing Heart Heifetz & Linsky (2003) Leadership on the line
Quality of Heart Becomes Dressed Up As Innocence Cynicism Realism Curiosity Arrogance Authoritative knowledge Compassion Callousness The thick skin of experience

98 “As we try to improve, we are drawn to the large, dramatic, and splashy programs for change, but we are impacted more by the small and simple changes in our daily routines. We don’t change the world through epiphanies, but by doing lots of little things that add up to sustained transformation. Simple things are not always easy to change, but by improving one thing at a time, we make progress toward great things” —Dave Ulrich, writing to his great-great-grandfather From Bill Jensen, What is your life’s work?

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