Have a Question?
Ask the Graduate
College at our new
Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Brian Gamm
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Educational Leadership, Research and Technology
Title: Veteran Teachers and Novice Coaches: A Case Study of Content Focused Coaching in Three Midwestern Persistently Failing Middle Schools
Dr. Walter Burt, Chair
Dr. Patricia Reeves
Dr. Anne Hansen
Date: Thursday, February 12, 2013 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Grand Rapids Beltline Campus, Room 3006
This research is a qualitative case study analysis of the experiences of six veteran, English Language Arts teachers, and three first-year, English Language Arts instructional coaches all of whom are implementing a district-mandated reform strategy called Content Focused Coaching. The settings for this research study are three Persistently Lowest Achieving middle schools. The researcher begins the data collection process with the organization of Professional Learning Community agendas and minutes. Following the organization of PLC meeting agendas and minutes, four categories are identified that are used as criteria for classroom observations, as well as in assisting in organizing responses collected during the interview process. The one-on-one interviews consist of open-ended questions with follow-up questions designed to unveil experiences that the teachers have while being coached as well as the experiences they have implementing the strategies with students. This process of subsuming particulars into more general classes leads to discoveries of five larger themes.
Findings from this study provide evidence that there is a high degree of variance in the amount of time coaches spend with veteran teachers as compared with novice teachers. This study also finds that teachers perceive the District’s reform strategy to be more voluntary in nature, rather than as a district-mandate, especially when considering the amount of time they receive in the actual application and implementation process of coaching as a reform strategy. While veteran and novice teachers acknowledge the relative value of Content Focused Coaching as a reform strategy, neither group can provide evidence to suggest how this intervention has any influence on impacting student achievement after one-year of implementation. This study documents significant barriers to effective coaching when working in an at-risk, urban environment. The most significant barrier to successful implementation of Content Focused Coaching is the lack of administrative support to coaches when it involves teachers who were resistant to change.
The study concludes with five recommendations for making improvements in this important reform strategy.