Cognitive coaching : a multiple case study /
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The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the application of Cognitive Coaching as a school-based professional development program to improve instructional thought and decision making as well as to enhance staff perceptions, coUegiality and school culture. This topic emerged from personal and professional issues related to the role ofthe reflective practitioner in improving the quality of education, yet cognizant of the fact that little professional development was available to train teachers to become reflective. This case study, positioned within the interpretive sciences, focused on three teachers and how their experiences with cognitive coaching affected their teaching practices. Their knowledge, understanding and use of the four stages of instructional thought (preactive, interactive, reflective and projective) were tested before and at the end of eight coaching cycles, and again after two months to determine whether they had continued to use the reflective process. They were also assessed on whether their attitude towards peer coaching had changed, whether their feelings about teaching had become more positive and whether their professional dialogue had increased. Three methods of data collection were selected to assess growth: interviews, observations and joumaling. Analysis primarily consisted of coding and organizing data according to emerging themes. Although the professed aim of cognitive coaching was to teach the process in order that the teachers would become self-analytical and self-modifying, this study found that the value of the coaching, after trust had been established in both the coach and the process, was in the dialoguing and the time set aside to do it. Once the coaching stopped providing the time to dialogue, to examine one's meanings and beliefs, so did the critical self-reflection. As a result ofthe cognitive coaching experience though, all participants grew in their feelings of efficacy, craftsmanship, flexibility, consciousness and interdependence. The actual and potential significance ofthis study was discussed according to implications for teacher supervision, professional development, school culture, further areas of research and to my personal growth and development.