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ERIC Number: EJ1051186
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0276-928X
Clear Goals, Clear Results: Content-Focused Routines Support Learning for Everyone--Including Coaches
Bickel, Donna DiPrima; Bernstein-Danis, Tabetha; Matsumura, Lindsay Clare
Journal of Staff Development, v36 n1 p34-39 Feb 2015
Learning how to give effective feedback can be a difficult task for teacher leaders. This is especially true for what is called "hard feedback"--that is, feedback that challenges the teacher's practice and therefore may cause some level of professional discomfort. Educators at the University of Pittsburgh's Institute for Learning have developed a coaching model that eliminates the need for hard feedback. This coaching model, called content-focused coaching, sets clear expectations about outcomes for applying new pedagogical practices in the classroom, uses routines that support everyone (including the coach) as learners, and relies on cognitive tools to guide conversation and provide substantive feedback. The institute has found that content-focused coaching allows coaches to be effective without resorting to hard feedback. And the proof is in the results: A four-year (2006-10) Institute of Education Sciences randomized control trial that tested the effectiveness of content-focused coaching showed an increase in effective literacy instruction and student achievement (Matsumura, Garnier, & Spybrook, 2013). Findings demonstrated that: (1) 4th- and 5th-grade students in Title I schools performed better on the state achievement test than similar students in the comparison schools; (2) Teachers scored higher on classroom observation measures related to the rigor and interactivity of text discussions than did teachers in the comparison schools; and (3) Teachers reported more intensity and variety of in-class assistance from literacy coaches than teachers in the comparison schools. This article describes the Institute for Learning's content-focused coaching model and highlights the key features ("right-sizing" the goals, establishing clear expectations, modeling receiving feedback, combining group learning and one-on-one coaching, and using routines and cognitive tools). It goes on to provide teacher feedback from a midsized urban school district that recently used the model with its 9th-grade English language arts teachers. Finally, the article describes how school administrators can help coaches implement the model by positioning coaches as valued faculty members on whom teachers can and should rely.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Secondary Education; Grade 4; Grade 5; Grade 9; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A