Froelich, K. & Puig, E. (2007). The magic of coaching: Art meets science. Journal of Language and Literacy Education [Online], 3(1), 18-31. Available:

Author: Froelich, K. & Puig, E.



Art. Finesse. Tact. Discretion. Cleverness. Intuition. Good teachers and good coaches have it in common: The ability to communicate in a way that moves them toward their goals. In the author's words, "there is an art to coaching as much as there is a science" (p. 18). This article takes a look at how good literacy coaches blend the science and the art of coaching - their understanding of the professional development model, and the skills they must utilize to effectively coach - with the intention that it will become a resource for beginning coaches.

Intended as a guide, the authors share observation protocols (divided into three levels of observation) they have developed and used to help literacy coaches maintain objectivity during observations, and hone their observation skills. They then offer advice on how coaches can gather the information from these three levels of observations in order to inform their coaching goals. According to the authors, using these three varying levels of observation will create much more complete and accurate pictures of teachers' strengths and instructional needs. The authors articulate that, "the power in this model is not in the observational lenses themselves, but in the conversations they may produce" (p. 28).

As the authors explain, their intended audience for this article is beginning literacy coaches, and coaches seeking to reflect on their coaching skills. However, this would also be an interesting article for any administrators of literacy coaching programs in schools, and higher-level educators involved in teacher/coach preparation and leadership programs.

Date Added: 02/02/2008


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