Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards: How Instructional Coaches Mediate Standards-Based Educational Reforms to Teacher Practice
Laxton, Katherine E
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This dissertation takes a close look at how district-level instructional coaches support teachers in learning to shifting their instructional practice, related to the Next Generation Science Standards. This dissertation aims to address how re-structuring professional development to a job-embedded coaching model supports individual teacher learning of new reform-related instructional practice. Implementing the NGSS is a problem of supporting professional learning in a way that will enable educators to make fundamental changes to their teaching practice. However, there are few examples in the literature that explain how coaches interact with teachers to improve teacher learning of reform-related instructional practice. There are also few examples in the literature that specifically address how supporting teachers with extended professional learning opportunities, aligned with high-leverage practices, tools and curriculum, impacts how teachers make sense of new standards-based educational reforms and what manifests in classroom instruction. This dissertation proposes four conceptual categories of sense-making that influence how instructional coaches interpret the nature of reform, their roles and in instructional improvement and how to work with teachers. It is important to understand how coaches interpret reform because their interpretations may have unintended consequences related to privileging certain views about instruction, or establishing priorities for how to work with teachers. In this dissertation, we found that re-structuring professional development to a job-embedded coaching model supported teachers in learning new reform-related instructional practice. However, individual teacher interpretations of reform emerged and seemed to be linked to how instructional coaches supported teacher learning.
- Education - Seattle