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February 2020


What research has been conducted on professional development with follow-up support compared to professional development without follow-up support?


Following an established REL Southeast research protocol, we conducted a search for research reports as well as descriptive study articles on professional development with follow-up support compared to professional development without follow-up support. We focused on identifying resources that specifically addressed professional development with follow-up support compared to professional development without follow-up support The sources included ERIC and other federally funded databases and organizations, research institutions, academic research databases, and general Internet search engines (For details, please see the methods section at the end of this memo.)

We have not evaluated the quality of references and the resources provided in this response. We offer them only for your reference. These references are listed in alphabetical order, not necessarily in order of relevance. Also, we searched the references in the response from the most commonly used resources of research, but they are not comprehensive and other relevant references and resources may exist."

Research References

  1. Goodnight, C. I., Wood, C. L., & Thompson, J. L. (2020). Effects of in-service and coaching to increase teachers' use of research-based strategies in beginning reading. Preventing School Failure, 64(1), 67-76.
    From the abstract: "In-service and coaching can increase teachers' use of research-based practices. This study examined the effects of in-service training plus coaching that included preconference, side-by-side coaching, and feedback on kindergarten teachers' use of research-based strategies during beginning reading instruction. Teachers were trained to enhance beginning reading instruction using research-based strategies including model-lead-test, unison responding (i.e., choral responding, response cards), and systematic error correction. Results indicated that for some teachers, a half-day in-service improved delivery of the research-based strategies, while others required side-by-side coaching to demonstrate improved use of the strategies. Teachers reported the in-service and coaching support were helpful and provided information on research-based strategies that increased student engagement. Implications for future research and practice are discussed."
  2. Klawiter, A. & Sheng, L. (2019). Efficacy of professional development with individualized coaching to enhance educator knowledge and practice of emergent literacy skills. EBP Briefs. 13(6) 1-12. Bloomington, MN: NCS Pearson, Inc.
    From the abstract: "Clinical Question: Do preschool and kindergarten teachers (P) who participate in professional development programs that focus on emergent literacy skills with built in individualized coaching (I) compared to those who do not participate in professional development programs (C) show enhanced knowledge and/or practice in the classroom environment (O)? Method: Systematic Review. Study Sources: ERIC, PsycINFO, PubMed, Web of Science. Search Terms: teacher coaching AND language and literacy, teacher coaching professional development AND emergent literacy skills. Number of Included Studies: 9. Primary Results: (1) Professional development programs with built-in individualized coaching were effective when targeting teachers' code-focused and oral language instruction and improving environmental supports in the classroom but not effective when the outcome measures pertained to teachers' knowledge and beliefs; and (2) Professional development programs that focused on one or two outcome measures and were shorter in duration displayed as great or greater effect sizes than more involved professional development programs. Conclusions: Participating in a professional development program and receiving individualized coaching on a core set of emergent literacy instructional skills within a specific classroom context leads to improved educator practice and enhanced teacher-child interactions. Programs that incorporated videotaped feedback of teacher-child interactions during coaching sessions or written observations and feedback yielded better results than those that presented feedback verbally or through modeling. Further research is needed to determine the long-term effects of professional development with coaching on children's literacy achievement as they enter grade school."
  3. Kretlow, Allison G.; Wood, Charles L.; Cooke, Nancy L. (2011). Using In-Service and Coaching to Increase Kindergarten Teachers' Accurate Delivery of Group Instructional Units. Journal of Special Education, (44)4, 234-246.
    From the abstract: "Early intervention is key to preventing academic failure and referral to special education. General educators are responsible for providing primary instruction for students at risk for failure; however, the training they receive related to specific instructional strategies for these students is often insufficient (e.g., 1-day workshops). Alternative forms of professional development that include a combination of in-service and follow-up support have shown more promise in promoting changes in teaching behaviors. This study examined the effects of in-service support plus coaching on kindergarten teachers' accurate delivery of group instructional units in math. Teachers were trained to use a combination of whole-class instruction strategies, including model-lead-test for introducing new concepts and correcting errors, choral responding, and response cards. Results indicated that all teachers improved their delivery of instruction after the in-service training, with a second level of growth achieved after coaching. Teachers also reported high levels of satisfaction using the strategies. (Contains 3 figures.)"
  4. Matsumura, L. C., Garnier, H. E., & Spybrook, J. (2013). Literacy coaching to improve student reading achievement: A multi-level mediation model. Learning and Instruction, 25, 35-48.
    From the abstract: "In a longitudinal group-randomized trial, we explore the key role of the quality of classroom text discussions in mediating the effects of Content-Focused Coaching (CFC) on student reading achievement (2983 students, 167 teachers). Schools in the United States serving large numbers of minority and English language learning (ELL) students from low-income families were randomly assigned to participate in the CFC literacy-coaching program or to continue with the literacy coaching that was standard practice for the district. The findings identified a positive effect of the CFC program on observed classroom text discussion quality. Supporting the theory underlying CFC, the positive effect of the program on student reading achievement was mediated through the quality of classroom text discussions. Students' language status moderated the direct effect of the program, with stronger effects for ELL students compared to their English-proficient peers. (Contains 2 figures and 9 tables.)"
  5. Neuman, S. B., & Cunningham, L. (2009). The impact of professional development and coaching on early language and literacy instructional practices. American Educational Research Journal, 46(2), 532-566.
    From the abstract: "This study examines the impact of professional development on teacher knowledge and quality early language and literacy practices in center- and home-based care settings. Participants from 291 sites (177 centers; 114 home-based) in four cities were randomly selected to: Group 1, 3-credit course in early language and literacy; Group 2, course plus ongoing coaching; Group 3, control group. Analysis of covariance indicated no significant differences between groups on teacher knowledge. However, there were statistically significant improvements in language and literacy practices for teachers who received coursework plus coaching with substantial effect sizes for both center- and home-based providers. Professional development alone had negligible effects on improvements in quality practices. Coursework and coaching may represent a promising quality investment in early childhood. (Contains 5 tables and 1 figure.)"
  6. Randolph, K. M., & Duffy, M. L. ( 2019). Using icoaching to support teachers' implementation of evidence-based practices. Journal of Special Education Apprenticeship, 8(2).
    From the abstract: "Coaching in the school setting typically follows a teacher observation by an administrator or coach. Feedback is often delayed and does not allow for immediate error correction. Traditional professional development in schools is often a one-day passive receipt of content or strategies, with no time to practice, implement, or follow-up on the strategy to ensure implementation with fidelity. Combining strategies learned in professional development with iCoaching provides teachers with support to implement evidence-based strategies in their own classrooms with fidelity and bridges the gap between professional development and implementation. This article discusses how to use iCoaching to support strategy implementation for in-service teachers."


Keywords and Search Strings
The following keywords and search strings were used to search the reference databases and other sources:

  • Follow-up support after educator professional development
  • Professional development training and follow-up coaching
  • Professional development and coaching

Databases and Resources
We searched ERIC for relevant resources. ERIC is a free online library of over 1.6 million citations of education research sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences. Additionally, we searched Google Scholar and PsychInfo.

Reference Search and Selection Criteria

When we were searching and reviewing resources, we considered the following criteria:

  • Date of the publication: References and resources published for last 15 years, from 2003 to present, were include in the search and review.
  • Search Priorities of Reference Sources: Search priority is given to study reports, briefs, and other documents that are published and/or reviewed by IES and other federal or federally funded organizations, academic databases, including ERIC, EBSCO databases, JSTOR database, PsychInfo, PsychArticle, and Google Scholar.
  • Methodology: Following methodological priorities/considerations were given in the review and selection of the references: (a) study types - randomized control trials,, quasi experiments, surveys, descriptive data analyses, literature reviews, policy briefs, etc., generally in this order (b) target population, samples (representativeness of the target population, sample size, volunteered or randomly selected, etc.), study duration, etc. (c) limitations, generalizability of the findings and conclusions, etc.

This memorandum is one in a series of quick-turnaround responses to specific questions posed by educational stakeholders in the Southeast Region (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina), which is served by the Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast at Florida State University. This memorandum was prepared by REL Southeast under a contract with the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Contract ED-IES-17-C-0011, administered by Florida State University. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IES or the U.S. Department of Education nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.