|Title:||Content-Focused Coaching (SM) for High Quality Reading Instruction|
|Principal Investigator:||Matsumura, Lindsay Clare||Awardee:||University of Pittsburgh|
|Program:||Teaching, Teachers, and the Education Workforce [Program Details]|
|Award Period:||4 years||Award Amount:||$2,946,864|
|Type:||Efficacy and Replication||Award Number:||R305W060027|
Purpose: In this project, the research team planned to study a structured coaching program designed to improve reading comprehension instruction in the upper elementary grades. At the time of this study, findings showed that 69 percent of fourth graders scored below a proficient level in reading and 36 percent in the below-basic category. In response, some school districts hired "instructional coaches," but there was no agreed upon definition of coaches, so performance varied widely.
Project Activities: The researchers investigated the impact of the Content-Focused Coaching model. The research team defined content-focused coaching as a long-term engagement of teachers in a learning community focused on a specific instructional program with the opportunity to design, enact, and critique lessons with the guidance of a more expert practitioner. The expert practitioner or coach taught new content knowledge teachers need and assisted in the performance of new and demanding forms of teaching. In this project the researchers aimed to determine whether the coaching model could create an apprenticeship environment for learning the knowledge, skills, and beliefs of the expert reading teacher.
THE FOLLOWING CONTENT DESCRIBES THE PROJECT AT THE TIME OF FUNDING
Setting: The schools are located in Texas.
Sample: Participants are fourth and fifth grade teachers and their students from schools that serve a high percentage of low-income, minority, and English language learning students.
Intervention: The researchers will investigate the impact of the Content-Focused Coaching model. Content-focused coaching entails a long-term engagement of teachers in a learning community focused on a specific instructional program with the opportunity to design, enact, and critique lessons with the guidance of a more expert practitioner. This expert practitioner or coach can teach the new content knowledge teachers need and is also able to assist in the performance of new and demanding forms of teaching. When implemented well, coaching creates an apprenticeship environment for learning the knowledge, skills, and beliefs of the expert reading teacher. In this project, coaches will be identified and hired by the district in consultation with the research team. Fourth and fifth grade teachers in the intervention schools will receive intensive coaching focused on reading comprehension instruction. Coaching will include weekly grade-level meetings and individual conferences between the coach and teachers. Coaches will participate in training sessions twice a month led by one of the developers of the coach-training program as well as in one-on-one on-site coaching. The principals in the intervention schools will also participate in training to develop their understanding and support of the intervention.
Research Design and Methods: From the pool of eligible district schools, 30 will be randomly chosen. Of these, 15 schools (with at least 100 teachers total) will be randomly assigned to the intervention group and will receive coaching. The other 15 schools (with at least 100 teachers total) will be randomly assigned to the control group.
Control Condition: The teachers in the comparison group schools will have an equivalent amount of time free during the regular work week to engage in common planning and in the professional development activities that are standard practice for the district.
Key Measures: Teacher-level outcomes (instructional quality) and student-level outcomes (student achievement) will be compared to assess the impact of Content-Focused Coaching on each. The quality of instruction will be assessed using surveys, observations, and collections of classroom assignments with student work. The quality of the implementation of the coaching intervention also will be assessed using surveys and observations of coaching sessions. Student learning will be assessed using the annually administered state achievement test (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills), and the Degrees of Reading Power assessment that is administered twice a year.
Data Analytic Strategy: Because the unit of randomization is schools and because of the natural nesting of students within teachers within schools, the researchers will build multi-level models to analyze the data from this trial.
ERIC Citations: Find available citations in ERIC for this award here.
Matsumura, L.C., and Garnier, H.E. (2015). Embedding Dialogic Teaching in the Practice of a Large School System. In L. Resnick, C. Asterhan, and S. Clarke (Eds.), Socializing Intelligence Through Academic Talk and Dialogue (pp. 415–428). Washington, DC: AERA Books.
Matsumura, L., Garnier, H.E., and Spybrook, J. (2013). Literacy Coaching to Improve Student Reading Achievement: A Multi-Level Mediation Model. Learning and Instruction, 25: 35–48.
Matsumura, L.C., Garnier, H., and Resnick, L.B. (2010). Implementing Literacy Coaching: The Role of School Social Resources. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 32(2): 249–272.
Matsumura, L.C., Garnier, H.E., and Spybrook, J. (2012). The Effect of Content-Focused Coaching on the Quality of Classroom Text Discussions. Journal of Teacher Education, 63(3): 214–228.
Matsumura, L.C., Garnier, H.E., Correnti, R., Junker, B., and Bickel, D.D. (2010). Investigating the Effectiveness of a Comprehensive Literacy-Coaching Program in Schools With High Teacher Mobility. Elementary School Journal, 111(1): 35–62.
Matsumura, L.C., Sartoris, M., Bickel, D.D., and Garnier, H.E. (2009). Leadership for Literacy Coaching: The Principal's Role in Launching a New Coaching Program. Educational Administration Quarterly, 45(5): 655–693.
** This project was submitted to and funded under Teacher Quality: Reading and Writing in FY 2008.