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ERIC Number: ED567708
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 220
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3394-9960-4
Instructional Coaching Evaluation Using a Realist Approach: A Mixed Methods Study
Berlage, Claudia
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Bridgeport
The necessity to evaluate professional development has become more pressing for districts in a time of increased accountability. A number of empirical studies had shown that it was difficult to measure the effects of professional development, especially its effect on transferring practice and student achievement. The purpose of this study was to evaluate instructional coaching professional development. A realist evaluation approach was used to develop a realist evaluation based framework and to pilot the instruments to address the need as determined by the literature to effectively evaluate instructional coaching. This study was an evaluation and as such a mixed method study, conducted at one comprehensive high school with instructional coaches, Algebra teachers and students as participants. The researcher a teacher pre-and post survey at the beginning and at the end of the school year, a student survey at the end of the school year as well as a coach survey with the teachers at the end of the year. During the school year teachers and coaches wrote learning log entries on a quarterly basis and at the end of the year the researcher conducted semi structured interviews with all the participating teachers. All data was able to address five levels of professional development evaluation: teachers' reactions, teachers' learning, organizational support, teachers' use of new knowledge and skills, and students' learning. Teachers perceived that the instructional coaching increased their knowledge about and their use of instructional practices such as the implementation of group work and the provision of more student centered activities to engage students and promote student to student discourse. Teachers perceived their students to demonstrate increased collaboration in groups, more perseverance, and more independence. The knowledge about the asking of higher- level questions that require students to explain their thinking as well as the provision of multiple representations to support visualization of skills and concepts, showed a significant difference between the average pre and post test scores. The instructional coaching professional development also lead to an increased teacher use of consistently asking higher level questions that require students to explain their thinking as indicated by a significant difference between the average pre and post test scores. The purpose of a realist evaluation was to discover what it was about a program that worked for whom and in what circumstances. The results of the study indicated that the context in which the professional development took place and the perceptions of the teachers about the coaches made a difference in how beneficial the teachers perceived the professional development to be. The realist approach to evaluate instructional coaching professional development is an appropriate design to consider due to the contextual nature of coaching. It provided a process approach to causality with the intent to measure what mechanisms lead to what outcomes and why, while constructing the measures according to theory based assumptions about the causal path of professional development. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A