After looking at sports and performing arts, Gawande examines teacher-coaching programs to see how “regular professionals” can use coaching:
Plenty of educators are still apprehensive about the idea of coaching, he notes:
Researchers from the University of Virginia found that many teachers see no need for coaching. Others hate the idea of being observed in the classroom, or fear that using a coach makes them look incompetent, or are convinced, despite assurances, that the coaches are reporting their evaluations to the principal.
However, another study found that teachers brought new skills into the classroom 10 percent of the time after attending workshops, but 90 percent of the time after being coached.
“A spate of small randomized trials confirmed the effect,” Gawande writes. “Coached teachers were more effective, and their students did better on tests.”
For these reasons, coaching in schools should be seen as integral rather than an amenity to get slashed with the school budget. Gatawande writes:
There was a moment in sports when employing a coach was unimaginable—and then came a time when not doing so was unimaginable. We care about results in sports, and if we care half as much about results in schools and in hospitals we may reach the same conclusion.
Also note that the October 2011 issue of Educational Leadership is titled “Coaching: The New Leadership Skill” and includes these articles:
- The Coach and the Evaluator, Bob Tschannen-Moran and Megan Tschannen-Moran
- What Good Coaches Do, Jim Knight
- Modeling Lessons, Katherine Casey
- The Principal as Formative Coach, Gabrielle Nidus and Maya Sadder
- Learning from Instructional Rounds, Elizabeth A. City
- The Power of Virtual Coaching, Marcia L. Rock et al
- Coaches as System Leaders, Michael Fullan and Jim Knight
As a coaching organization, we are always interested in the latest research that supports our efforts to develop leaders in schools, districts and organizations. We also train coaches in our unique coaching methodology at our annual Coaching for Equity Institute each summer.