ERIC Number: ED546364
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Empathy as a Crucial Skill for Instructional Coaches: Can It Be Taught?
Carter, Carol B.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, The College of William and Mary
When a coach empathetically listens to another person's ideas, thoughts, and concerns, the coach communicates that the other person's life is important and meaningful. This may be the most important service that a coach can provide. (Knight, 2007, p.43) This study explored whether instructional coaches that completed the 20-hour Evocative Coaching model training program, which included specific training in empathy, significantly improved their emotional intelligence (EI). A mixed method design was employed. Quantitative analysis examined gain scores in an identical pretest and posttest measure of EI, using the EQmentor (Justice, 2010). The qualitative portion of the study addressed changes participants perceived to their level of EI as a result of the training and their perception of how it affected their performance as instructional coaches. Of nearly 200 people in seven cohorts, who completed the training between January 2011 and May 2012, 90 participants elected to participant in the study. The treatment group consisted of administrators, teachers, coaches, and personnel in instructional support positions from eight states within the United States and two countries outside of the United States. Nine participants were interviewed for the qualitative portion of the research study, four whose EI scores increased and five whose EI scores decreased. Results from the EQmentor (Justice, 2010) revealed that the overall emotional quotient (EQ) score and interpersonal composite score showed a statistically significant increase as did the subscales of motivation, empathy, and social skills. The subscales of self-awareness, self-regulation, and the intrapersonal composite score did not show a significant change in the full sample, but did for those participants who had volunteered to take the training (as opposed to those who were directed to do so). Themes emerging from the participants interviewed included increased awareness, improved listening, expressing empathy, Nonviolent Communication, emotional intelligence, observation tools, and instructional leadership. Overall, the participants felt the Evocative Coaching model training was a positive influence on their practice as instructional leaders. Specifically, the instructional coaches felt the training helped them to grow in the following areas: a) by using the observational tools for observing and not evaluating the teachers; b) by increasing awareness of their coaching presence and laying the groundwork for their coaching conversation; c) by using mindful listening to stop whatever else was going on and just listen; and d) by using authentic empathy coaches were able to appreciate the experience of the other person and foster new change possibilities and therefore improve the instructional practices of those they were coaching. [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: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
Descriptors: Empathy, Coaching (Performance), Emotional Intelligence, Professional Development, Models, Training Methods, Skill Development, Mixed Methods Research, Pretests Posttests, Achievement Gains, Participant Satisfaction, Faculty Development, Paraprofessional School Personnel, Interviews, Motivation, Social Cognition, Experimental Groups, Control Groups, Self Management, Interpersonal Competence, Instructional Leadership, Listening Skills, Observation, Instructional Effectiveness
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A