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ERIC Number: ED525801
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 118
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-9927-7
Instructional Coaching in U.S. Urban School Districts: The Principal Perspective on How Coaches Are Supervised
Baker, Gregory Wallace
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Harvard University
Across the United States, educators are searching for ways to increase student achievement, particularly in urban districts that often have large populations of underachieving students. A popular strategy is the use of instructional coaches, highly-skilled teachers with expertise in adult learning, who spend time coaching teachers. One decision districts must make is how coaches will be supervised, with the choice often being either the principal or a district administrator. Which model is most effective is not clear and there has been little research examining how principals in particular view this decision. Using a theoretical framework based on the literature and my personal experiences, I conducted a qualitative study examining this aspect of the supervision of coaches from the viewpoint of principals. I held focus groups of elementary and secondary principals in three urban districts from different regions of the country. My research questions were as follows: (1) What are the perspectives of principals on the supervision of coaches? (2) What factors do the principals think currently influence the decisions on how coaches are supervised? What do they think the factors should be? (3) What impact, if any, do the principals perceive that the supervision model has on their ability to be instructional leaders, their professional relationships with coaches and teachers, teacher instruction, and student achievement? Are there differences between elementary and secondary principals? This study finds that history and budgetary authority play important roles in the supervision of coaches. Principals believe that they should supervise instructional coaches for a number of reasons: they, as principals, should be trusted and held accountable, they are the instructional leaders, and they know their schools best. Assistant principals play an important role. Principals believe coaches should be assigned to one school in order to establish necessary trust with both teachers and administration and build themselves into the fabric of the school. While seeing value in working collaboratively with the district office, principals balk at other supervisory models because they are generally skeptical of central office leadership, are often at odds with a changing district office mission, and have a history of poor communication with the district office. [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