Joining a Literature Conversation
The area of instructional coaching has drawn the attention of many scholars in the education field in the past few decades. The increased interest in this concept can be attributed to the benefits associated with instructional teaching in schools. Instructional coaches are important agents of change in schools since they perform varied functions. Most of the coaches have been in education careers for many years, and they use their vast knowledge to enhance the teaching profession (Wolpert-Gawron, 2016). They go beyond the ordinary teachers in their thinking to redefine the best approaches for providing instructions to students during the learning process. However, it is important for various stakeholders in the education sector to understand the benefits of instructional coaching and the factors that may hinder its impact on the learners.
Instructional coaching plays a critical role in enhancing the efficacy of teachers irrespective of the level of students they are handling. Walsh et al. (2020) conducted an experiment to investigate the impact of instructional coaching on the effectiveness of preK-6 teachers in California. They used mixed methods to collect the necessary information and the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale to measure the efficacy of their respondents in the experiment. After the experiment, the researchers noted a high level of efficacy among the teachers, especially in the areas of student engagement strategies and class management. Instructional coaching motivated teachers to try new teaching strategies to engage their students more effectively. The researchers also observed that coaches provided teachers with models that helped them to improve their classroom management.
Instructional coaching is also closely related to high-quality professional development among teachers in schools. Desimone and Pak (2017) investigated how instructional coaching could help teachers to improve their teaching practice. They applied longitudinal studies, cross-sectional studies, quasi-experimental and other forms of literature reviews to analyze the impact of various instructional coaching on teachers’ professional development. Some of the professional development aspects that were analyzed include active learning, content focus, coherence, sustained duration, and collective participation. The study revealed that instructional coaching is a powerful tool for enhancing teachers’ skills, knowledge, and practice. However, Desimone and Pak (2017) noted that there is a need for further research in the future on how instructional coaching ought to be executed to improve teachers’ professional development.
Despite the benefits of instructional coaching, its impact on improving teachers’ efficacy depends on the environment where it is implemented. Ippolito and Bean (2019) tried to address the problem of context in applying the instructional coaching strategy by preparing a guideline manual that principals can use in their schools. They noted that negative or neglectful school leaders could halt the effectiveness of coaching instructions among the teachers due to the lack of the necessary support. School leaders should understand coaching roles and standards as stipulated in various resources. These standards clearly define the skills, knowledge, responsibilities, and roles of different literary coaches, coordinators, and specialists. School principals play a critical role in the implementation of the instructional coaching standards by helping coaches and students to work together to understand the needs of the learners in the classroom.
The above literature synthesis indicates that there is sufficient evidence about the benefits of instructional coaching in schools. Scholars have been able to relate the efficacy of teachers and the use of instructional teaching in various levels of education (Walsh et al., 2020). For example, instructional coaching plays a positive role in motivating teachers to create new student engagement methods to enhance their efficacy in their work. The approach also helps teachers to improve their class management styles by providing them with models they can apply in this area.
The existing literature also demonstrates a positive relationship between instructional coaching and high-quality professional development among the teachers. Instructional coaching has the potential to improve the areas of high-quality professional development the teachers, which include active learning, content focus, coherence, sustained duration, and collective participation (Desimone & Pak, 2017). Many schools have been hiring instructional coaches to conduct high-quality professional development programs among their teachers. Consequently, teachers have acquired firsthand information on how they can improve the delivery of their instruction to meet the learning needs of their students in their specific contexts.
It is also evident from the above literature review that the context where instructional coaching is implemented has a significant impact on the intended groups. For example, school leaders play a critical role in ensuring that the outcomes of instructional teaching are fully realized in their context. They should not only be aware of the benefits of instructional coaching but also the required standards to improve the academic performance of their students (Ippolito & Bean, 2019). Besides, principals can help to close the gaps between the instructional coaches and teachers for the effective implementation of the program in their schools.
The existing research portrays several key stakeholders in the successful implementation of instructional coaching programs in schools. These groups include instructional coaches, school leaders, teachers, and learners. Scholars have investigated the roles of instructional coaches and school leaders, especially the principals, in the success of these programs (Ippolito & Bean, 2019). However, few studies focus on the role of teachers in the success of the instructional coaching programs in schools. Such programs can yield the expected results if teachers do not clearly understand their roles. Teachers interact with students in the classroom daily and are expected to apply the knowledge acquired from instructional coaches to improve how they deliver instructions to their learners. Hence, their role in achieving the benefits of instructional coaches can never be overstated.
It is also important to understand other factors that influence teachers’ effectiveness in implementing instructional coaching programs in their schools. For example, it is vital to investigate the impact of teachers’ attitudes, support, and technological awareness on their ability to utilize the knowledge they acquire from instructional coaches. Therefore, the objective of this study is to investigate the role of teachers in the successful implementation of instructional coaching programs. It will also focus on the factors that hinder or promote the ability of the teachers to acquire and use instructional coaching strategies in the process of engaging with their students.
The research will be guided by the following research questions:
- What are the specific roles of the teachers in the implementation of the instructional coaching programs in their schools?
- How do the attitudes of teachers toward instructional coaching affect its ability to improve their efficacy in class management and student engagement?
- How do other factors such as technology affect the ability of the teachers to realize the benefits of instructional coaching?
Desimone, L., & Pak, K. (2017) Instructional Coaching as High Quality Professional Development. Theory into Practice, 56, 3–12.
Ippolito, J., & Bean, R. (2019). A Principal’s Guide to Supporting Instructional Coaching. Education leadership, 71-75.
Walsh, N., Ginger, K., & Akhavan, N. (2020). Benefits of instructional coaching for teacher efficacy: A mixed methods study with PreK-6 teachers in California. Issues in Educational Research, 30(3), 1143- 1150.
Wolpert-Gawron, H. (2016). The Many Roles of an Instructional Coach. How to Be a Change Agent, 73(1), 56-60.