All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

James Ernest

Advisory Committee Members

Kay Emfinger

Kathleen Martin

Deborah Strevy

Scott Snyder

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2016

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education

Abstract

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (2011), The National Staff Development Council (2012), and the report released by the U.S. Department of Education (2011), recommends individualizing professional development and emphasizing the application of knowledge to practice. To meet the challenges of educating learners from all levels, teachers need professional development that is ongoing and job embedded (Neuman & Wright, 2010; Ochshorn, 2011). A coach can be a valuable resource in leading this high-quality professional development. Coaching provides educators with authentic opportunities to learn from, and with, one another inside the classroom and improves the classroom experience for both teachers and students (Joyce & Showers, 2002). The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the degree of association between the characteristics of coaching pre-K teachers in a state funded pre-K and quality classroom environments indicators and child outcomes. Quality classroom environment indicators included Emotional Support, Classroom Organization, and Instructional Support. Coaching characteristics included coaching interactions, observation/practice, and use of follow-up strategies. Student achievement was measured by an observation-based assessment (Teaching Strategies GOLD) in six areas of development: social-emotional, physical, language, cognitive, literacy, and mathematics. Participants included 2,259 students within 134 classrooms with 27 coaches. Data collected included dimension scores on The Coaching Practices Rating Scale, an instrument developed by Rush and Shelden (2006) and used to measure the extent to which a practitioner utilizes and adheres to research-based early childhood coaching practices. Data from classrooms included domain scores of classroom quality (Pianta et al., 2008), and an authentic, observational assessment system used to assess the development of birth through kindergarten-aged children. The system focuses on key elements that researchers have identified as most predictive of school success (Teaching Strategies, 2010). ANOVA and hierarchical linear regression were used to examine the relationships between coaching, classroom quality, and student growth scores in the areas of social-emotional, physical, language, cognitive, literacy, and mathematics. Results showed a more positive relationship between the Classroom Organization domain and all areas of growth. The results were non-significant when looking at whether effective coaches accounted for variance in teacher quality.

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