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ERIC Number: ED513780
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 148
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-0901-1
Exploring Literacy Coaches' Relationships with Teachers: Balancing Responsive and Directive Coaching Stances
Ippolito, Jacy C.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Harvard University
Literacy coaching has become an increasingly popular form of literacy professional development in the United States based on the common assumption that strong relationships between coaches and teachers will drive instructional improvement and gains in student achievement. However, there is little empirical research describing how literacy coaches understand and negotiate their relationships with teachers. In the professional development and coaching literature, a distinction has been made between "responsive" coaching, where coaches focus on teacher self-reflection and let teachers' and students' needs guide the work, versus "directive" coaching, which occurs when coaches play the role of expert and are more assertive about instructional moves teachers must make. Given the limited empirical data on coach-teacher relationships, and the lack of rich descriptions of responsive and directive coaching, this thesis, comprised of two studies, was designed to explore if and how literacy coaches working across grade levels (K-12) in a single urban school district understand and describe responsive and directive coaching. The first study presents survey and interview data collected from 57 literacy coaches (73% of coaches in the district during 2007-2008). Analyses focus on whether coaches distinguished between responsive and directive coaching in hypothetical scenarios as well as in their own work, and how coaches related responsive/directive work to influencing teacher practice. A second study presents focus group, interview, and observation data collected from 17 coaches. Analyses focus on which circumstances and mechanisms coaches described as supporting a balance of responsive and directive coaching moves. The thesis concludes with a brief report summarizing study findings and making policy recommendations regarding coach preparation and support. Overall, study findings demonstrate that a majority of coaches were able to distinguish between responsive and directive coaching stances, in both hypothetical scenarios and in their own work. Moreover, on average, coaches indicated that a balance of responsive and directive moves might help spur instructional change. Finally, coaches described three circumstances and mechanisms they saw as fostering balance: shifting stances within single coaching sessions, using discussion protocols, and sharing leadership roles with teachers and principals. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States