Pushing Toward Pushback: A Phenomenological Multi-case Study Exploring The Transformative Potential Of Coaching Conversations
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AuthorPhilmon, J. Nicholas
MetadataShow full item record
TitlePushing Toward Pushback: A Phenomenological Multi-case Study Exploring The Transformative Potential Of Coaching Conversations
AbstractA disturbingly high percentage of those who enter the teaching profession leave before their fifth year in the classroom. Teachers who leave often point to the lack of support as a factor in their decision, and those who stay report a similar dissatisfaction with not receiving support that addresses their individual contexts. Schools increasingly rely on instructional coaches to fill that need. Education research links positive outcomes of teacher effectiveness and student achievement to teacher-centered coaching conversations. However, little research exists on how teachers go about integrating the content of their coaching conversations into their existing pedagogy. The current phenomenological multi-case study explored the coaching conversations between two instructional coaches and two teachers that each one supported. Based on current research indicating a decline in teacher effectiveness measures after the second year, this study focused on second-stage teachers who had progressed beyond novice status. Data collection included observations of the conversations, post-conversation reflective interviews, observations of subsequent classroom instruction, and post-instruction Clean Language interviews. Iterative coding of within-case and across-case data led to findings that conceptualized the linked phenomena of coaching conversations and pedagogy integration. The results showed that a combination of external factors and internal dynamics influenced the transformative potential of coaching conversation in relation to the teacher’s pedagogical growth. External factors included school-related contexts along with the participants’ previous experiences and personal perspectives. Internal dynamics included the source of the teachers’ concerns, their responses to the coaches’ input, and the rationale they used in deciding whether and how to integrate the content of the coaching conversations into their existing pedagogy. Implications for current practice include the importance of protecting coaching conversations as nonevaluative safe spaces and the transformative potential of reframing resistance as constructive pushback. Considerations for future research include applying a similar methodology to other forms of professional learning or conducting mixed-method research to quantify and describe student outcomes related to different coaching conversation dynamics.