Poglinco, S., Bach, A., Hovde, K., Rosenblum, S., Saunders, M., & Supovitz. J. (2003). The heart of the matter: The coaching model in America's Choice schools. Consortium for Policy Research in Education, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.

Author: Poglinco, S., Bach, A., Hovde, K., Rosenblum, S., Saunders, M., & Supovitz. J.



This research study is referenced by almost everyone currently writing about literacy coaching. The study is more qualitative than quantitative, first describing the model for a coaching program that was intended for America's Choice schools and then contrasting the design with what actually happened. The study focused on the role of coaches and their work to help teachers implement both Reading and Writing Workshops, not on whether students' achievement scores improved. From reading this report, one learns much about designing coaching programs, coaches' qualifications, coaches' actual roles, and both the successes and pitfalls coaches, principals, and school district leaders might anticipate. This report is well worth taking the time to read, digest, and discuss with others as one is designing a coaching program or trying to improve one.

In America's Choice schools, the design was for a coach to begin by establishing a model classroom with a teacher. Once this classroom was established, the coach moved on to create a demonstration classroom where other teachers at the same grade level could watch the coach and demonstration teacher work. Coaches also spend time coaching in individual teacher's classrooms. While the coach's role was meant to be supportive, the researchers did find coaches sometimes playing more of an evaluative than a supportive role. In America's Choice schools, coaches also played other roles in the schools by leading teacher meetings, study groups, and all-staff meetings. Results of this study are summarized under headings such as: fidelity of the rollout, factors that influenced the rollout of the literacy workshops, technical coaching, reactions to in-class coaching, group-focused professional development, influence of coaching on standards-based instruction, critical connections between group-focused professional development and technical coaching, summary of factors that influenced coaches' implementation of the America's Choice School Reform, influencing the qualify of those who would be coaches, and better support for the work of coaches. These headings give a sense of the range of topics covered in the results.

Date Added: 09/26/2006


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