Characteristics and Consequences of Different Modes of Expert Coaching with Pre-kindergarten Teachers
Collaborators • Douglas Powell, PI, Purdue • Karen Diamond, Co-PI, Purdue • Matthew Koehler, Instructional Technology, Michigan State • Margaret Burchinal, Methodologist, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Research Aim • Examine effects of two different methods of providing expert coaching to teachers on instructional practices • Goal of intervention is to improve Head Start classroom and teacher supports for literacy and language development, and children’s language and literacy skills
Expert Coaching • Increasingly used as a professional development strategy • Includes components recommended in the in-service teacher education literature: • guided implementation of research-based knowledge in classroom practices • individualized delivery • immediate feedback, including analysis of teaching
Role of Technology • Technology is an emerging resource in early childhood professional development • Viewed as a potentially economical alternative to on-site coaching, particularly for supporting teachers in geographically remote locations • Research on effects of technologically-delivered expert coaching is limited
Two Forms of Technology Developed in Current Project • Video review tool • Supports critique of videotaped teaching practices submitted by teachers • Used by coach to divide videotaped teaching sample into segments • Coach provides constructive feedback and suggestions on each segment of instruction • Teacher views critique on split screen: segments on left, coach comments on right
Two Forms of Technology Developed in Current Project (cont.) • Case-based hypermedia resource • 16 cases on how teachers can improve children’s early literacy outcomes • Each case is comprised of • video clips of research-based practices plus text that highlights key practice elements • practitioner-oriented articles on case topic • references to research and other resources • links to related cases in hypermedia resource • Links to cases are embedded in coach comments to teachers
Research Design • 84 Head Start classrooms in 29 centers randomly assigned to fall or to spring intervention semester • Classrooms assigned to spring intervention semester served as control classrooms in fall semester • Within each intervention semester, classrooms randomly assigned to on-site or to remote coaching condition
Research Design (cont.) • Teacher, classroom, and child outcome data collected before and after intervention semester plus follow up (one-semester post intervention) in fall semester intervention group • Teacher/classroom measure: ELLCO • Child measures: PPVT, WJ-LW, letter naming, blending
Intervention • Two-day workshop prior to intervention semester • Remote coaching condition • Critique of teacher-submitted videotape of instruction (M=22 mins) plus hypermedia resource • On-site coaching condition • Critique of observed instruction (M=105 mins) provided in one-on-one consultation (M=32 mins) as part of visit to classroom • Approximately twice monthly contact in each condition
Sample (2005-2006 cohort) • Head Start classrooms serving urban, small city, rural communities • Teachers (n = 51) • 82% associate’s or bachelor’s degree • Median of 3.0 years in current position • No statistically significant background differences between semester or condition • Children (n = 470) • 27% Latino, 37% African American • 4 years of age by December 31
Classroom Instruction Outcomes • Intervention and intervention X time differences on ELLCO overall and language-literacy instruction: Both intervention groups had greater gains than control • Effect sizes were substantial (approximately d = 1.0)
Child Outcomes • Children in intervention groups scored higher and made greater gains on measures of letter and word identification, naming letters, and blending than children in control group • Effect sizes were moderate (approximately d=.23) • No differences in outcomes between the two intervention conditions
Feedback and Suggestions by Coaching Condition: Amount • Preliminary analyses of coaching sessions (n=60) in randomly-selected classrooms (n=8). (Coaches were assigned to both on-site and remote conditions.) • Coaches provided feedback/suggestions on more topics in remote than in on-site condition. • Coaches offered about twice as many feedback statements and suggestions in remote than in on-site condition.
Feedback and Suggestions by Coaching Condition: Content • Higher percentage of coach comments in: • on-site related to literacy materials • remote related to individualization of teaching practices. • The percentage of coach comments related to literacy teaching practices for all children was similar across the two coaching conditions.
Rethinking Our Starting Point • Original premise: A technologically-mediated method of coaching may be an effective alternative to the dominant (on-site) method of coaching. • Revised premise: Technologically-mediated and on-site methods of coaching may provide distinctive, complementary contributions to improvements in teacher quality.
Supported by grant award #R305M040167 from the Institute of Education Sciences to Purdue University. • For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com