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

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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

6 The Strategic Instruction Model (SIM) 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. CRL

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

9 What is the challenge we all face?

10 There is urgent political pressure to improve instruction

11 Comments for 2004 Maryland Special Education Administrators Conference Every school board member has come to me and asked me how were going to meet AYP. My superintendent has told me that were 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. Thats how as a county we will be able to measure whether were making a difference. But I worry about the urgency it brings with it. Its intense. Everyone wants results now! … Im desperately concerned about the amount of time it will take to turn this around. You cant turn the titanic around in one minute.

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 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 Lets 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 didnt 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 Ive 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!

24 Moving/Stuck Schools (Rosenholtz, 1991)

25 There are other common reasons why change is difficult

26 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

27 Schools engage in self- destructive behavior

28 Attempt, Attack, Abandon Cycle Attack Abandon Attempt

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

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

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?

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, well 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

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.

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!) 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 youll 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 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 (lets 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 Coachs 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)

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

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

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

90 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? Im so glad you asked!

92 Design

93 Engagement Form

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 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 HeartBecomesDressed Up As InnocenceCynicismRealism CuriosityArroganceAuthoritative knowledge CompassionCallousnessThe 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 dont 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 lifes work?

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