The Use of Coaches to Support Special Education Teachers: A Model of Effective Coaching




Roper, Michelle Marie

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A three part experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of coaching as a support for special education teachers, and the impact that coaching has on teacher behavior. First, 6 focus group dyad interviews were conducted utilizing a coach and special education teacher, for a total of 12 participants. The purpose of the focus group was to gather information regarding previous teaching experience and to ascertain characteristics the participants perceived exemplify an effective coach. Second, using a single subject analysis, the 6 dyads were divided into two groups. Group One consisted of coaches that described and presented an effective classroom strategy to the teachers, while Group Two contained coaches that demonstrated the strategy through interactive modeling with the teachers. Lastly, the dyad groups participated in follow-up interviews to further examine the effects of coaching with modeling versus non-modeling, on the behavior of the teacher. Results indicated that both coaches and teachers perceive collaboration as critical component to effective coaching. Teachers who received interactive hands-on modeling used the strategy at a greater rate, which was maintained over time. Follow up interviews reflected the need for practice and feedback from the coach in order to effectively use the strategy.



Special education, Coaching, Modeling, Performance Feedback, Special Education, Token Systems