Designing Instructional Coaching
In the past two decades, there has been a growing interest in how coaching of teachers (as professional development) can be implemented in schools. Broadly defined, coaching involves one-on-one training of a teacher by a coach with the goal of improving instruction and student learning (Knight, 2011a). A growing consensus among scholars and practitioners suggests traditional professional development alone, involving short-term workshops disconnected from teachers’ local context or subject area, is unlikely to improve outcomes for teachers and students (Darling-Hammond, Wei, Andree, Richardson, & Orphanos, 2009; Yoon, Duncan, Lee, Scarloss, & Shapley, 2007). However, when quality professional development is closely linked with teacher coaching, instructional change significantly improves (Showers & Joyce, 1996). In addition, coaching may be instituted without formal, large-group, professional
development when teachers and coaches work together in partnership to analyze student and pedagogical needs and select interventions that support new instructional practice (Killion, 2006). One approach to coaching that is being widely implemented in U.S. schools with measureable success is Instructional Coaching (Knight, 2007). During instructional coaching, the goal setting, questioning, and data gathering typical of one-to-one coaching are integrated with explanation, modeling, and feedback.