School -based coaching: An interpretive study of one model of professional development

Michele Wells De Bellis, University of Texas at El Paso


A trend developing over the last decade in professional development has been to provide teachers with support and guidance through engaging and interactive experiences (Boston Plan for Excellence, 2004). The assumption is that teachers who are provided with hands-on professional development experiences will make connections and add meaning to new content or pedagogy being taught and increase the likelihood of transfer of those practices to the classroom. Another current approach to professional development, known as school-based, delivers support to teachers in the eye of the storm, at the school site and in the classroom (Barkley, 2005). Proponents of school-based professional development claim that the model seeks to address issues of practice with teachers in the context of classroom instruction (Coburn, 2003). Thus, teacher practice is closely examined by the practitioner, staff developer, or researcher in the context, where it occurs. Accordingly, advocates of school-based professional development believe that careful examination of teaching affords teachers the opportunity to assess their knowledge base and socially construct meaning in authentic and safe environments (Wilson and Berne, 1999). This is significant because it presumes that trust in the environment and in collegial relationships has been established; according to Costa and Garmston (2002), learning requires trust. Yet, while school-based professional development models have received much attention from practitioners, little empirical research has been conducted that examines its construction and implementation. ^ This study examines one model of professional development. One school-based model of professional development growing in popularity is coaching. Coaching, according to its proponents, is a reciprocal relationship where teachers and coaches work together to impact student learning. Increased knowledge and a strong commitment to the learning process of self and others is a benefit to this professional development model. This interpretive examines the model as it is practiced and enacted by those directly involved in it: coaches. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Teacher Training

Recommended Citation

De Bellis, Michele Wells, "School -based coaching: An interpretive study of one model of professional development" (2009). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3358890.