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ERIC Number: ED519067
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 210
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-5182-6
Enhancing Teacher Practice through Coaching: A Case Study in an English Language Learner Environment
Carrera, Hazel C.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Temple University
This study examines the use of instructional coaching in one urban school as a form of professional development for teachers. The use of instructional coaches in the classroom has become more and more popular in many school districts across the nation as they look for ways to improve student performance by improving the performance of their teachers. With higher academic standards placed on schools, there is greater demand on teachers to make certain that all of their students are successful. The need for professional development and coaching for teachers of English language learners (ELLs) is discussed. The research site for this study, City View Middle School, is located in a large urban school district where approximately 176,000 students are English language learners. The participants include 1 principal, 14 teachers, and 2 coaches. At the school, all students are considered English language learners and 40% are also considered Students with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE). This case study employed qualitative methods in the form of observations and interviews of each participant. From the teachers' perspective, three themes emerged as their greatest challenges in working with English language learners. These included: student stressors related to adapting to a new country, the wide range of literacy levels in the classroom, and teaching academic language. Even with these challenges facing them, were teachers willing to work with coaches in an effort to improve their classroom practice? Were teachers receptive to the feedback they received from coaches? Were they willing to try new strategies? Were there any signs of teacher resistance? How were coaches able to create change? The coaches offered a professional development program that included training in the following areas: vocabulary, reading, writing/lesson planning, and cooperative learning strategies. Two types of coaching were implemented at the school: (1) peer observations and group debriefing sessions in Teacher Learning Communities (TLCs); and (2) individualized coaching sessions, which included: a one-on-one pre-meeting, an observation, and a one-on-one debriefing session. The results of this study suggest that there were several preconditions for change. In order for change to occur there were several interrelated factors that needed to take place in the coaching relationship. The professional and personal qualities of the coaches became key factors in how coaching was established at the school. These qualities affected the ways in which they established trust, how they set the tone for their work at the school, how they provided teachers feedback and opportunities for reflective dialogue, and how they created a supportive and nurturing environment. These elements of coaching allowed teachers to feel comfortable to: ask questions, seek help, change their perceptions about what works and what does not work with ELLs, and the confidence to try something new. The support from the principal was also a key element in creating change. Without the principal's support, coaches would not have been able to accomplish their goals with the teachers. This study contributes to our understanding of how schools can support teachers who are experiencing an increasing number of English language learners in their classrooms and do not have the credentials to effectively teach them. [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: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Middle Schools; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A