According to research, to achieve effective professional development, it is crucial that someone facilitates the learning process in the group or team (Merchie et al., 2015). In doing so, it is important that the facilitator finds a balance between providing substantive input on the one hand, and facilitating the learning process through feedback and other coaching skills on the other. That role as facilitator or coach might sound difficult for some. However, coaching is essentially about eliciting and guiding learning.
When we talk about coaching, we mean evoking and supporting learning (Clement, 2015):
Coaching evokes and supports learning in others. These others can be anyone, from teachers, support teachers and other educational professionals at school, to learners and parents, or partners in the local community, like therapists, social workers, psychologists or pedagogues,... In the context of a professional learning community, coaching creates opportunities for reflection and decision-making in and across your team.
Coaching is primarily about the future. As a coach you are therefore just as curious about
Coaching starts from a strong belief in the other person's learning potential and capacity to solve situations. The starting point is that everyone can learn. Coaching thus starts even before you begin, by reflecting on how you look at the other person. It is not just an unconditional belief that every person can learn. It is also the belief that every teacher or other partner can learn to appreciate diversity and work with others to figure out what works to make the classroom and the school more inclusive. If everyone can continue to learn and develop his or her competencies, you don't have to be perfect as a coach either. If you succeed in getting colleagues to try things out and to sharpen their competences, it often becomes less difficult to find out how you can fill in any missing expertise in the team together.
How do you see yourself, your colleagues and the partners with whom you collaborate?
On a scale of 1-10, how much do you see yourself as…
One of the ProuD To Teach All partners is Leeds Beckett University which hosts CollectivED where work on coaching is continuing to be developed. Below, you can download the short guide to coaching created by CollectivEd during this project.