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Analyzing the Coaching Based Professional Development Process of a Special Education Teacher


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It is of paramount significance for teachers to develop themselves professionally, improving their theoretical knowledge, practice, and technological skills, as these elements bear a definitive influence on their teaching qualities throughout their entire vocational life. In this regard, one professional development approach is coaching. Adopting an action research design and conducted at the Research Center for the Education of Hearing Impaired Students (RCEHI) affiliated with Anadolu University in Turkey, this study aims to analyze the coaching based professional development process of a teacher-researcher working with hearing impaired students. The participants are a researcher, who is also the author of this article, and an experienced teacher trainer acting as a coach. The data collection tools used are video and audio records, documents, and reflective diaries. Data were analyzed using a systematic analytic analysis procedure. The data analysis revealed three primary themes concerning coaching based professional development; namely, planning and implementing professional development process, problems, and relevant solutions. Noteworthy features of the study are that the process is well-planned, goal-oriented, systematic, and cyclic. In addition, the process also takes into account individual characteristics and is based on effective communication with the coach and the coach’s guidance. In accordance with the findings, it is suggested that guidelines be improved to explain how to benefit from coaching to enhance professional development and that coaching based approaches be made more common. Furthermore, future research may focus on the role of coaching on teachers’ professional development and students’ academic success.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Received: July 26, 2016
Revision received: March 1, 2017
Accepted: July 27, 2017
OnlineFirst: September 8, 2017
Copyright © 2017 EDAM
DOI 10.12738/estp.2017.5.0418 October 2017 17(5) 17831813
Research Article
It is of paramount significance for teachers to develop themselves professionally, improving their theoretical
knowledge, practice, and technological skills, as these elements bear a definitive influence on their teaching
qualities throughout their entire vocational life. In this regard, one professional development approach is
coaching. Adopting an action research design and conducted at the Research Center for the Education of
Hearing Impaired Students (RCEHI) affiliated with Anadolu University in Turkey, this study aims to analyze
the coaching based professional development process of a teacher-researcher working with hearing impaired
students. The participants are a researcher, who is also the author of this article, and an experienced
teacher trainer acting as a coach. The data collection tools used are video and audio records, documents,
and reflective diaries. Data were analyzed using a systematic analytic analysis procedure. The data analysis
revealed three primary themes concerning coaching based professional development; namely, planning and
implementing professional development process, problems, and relevant solutions. Noteworthy features of
the study are that the process is well-planned, goal-oriented, systematic, and cyclic. In addition, the process
also takes into account individual characteristics and is based on effective communication with the coach
and the coach’s guidance. In accordance with the findings, it is suggested that guidelines be improved
to explain how to benefit from coaching to enhance professional development and that coaching based
approaches be made more common. Furthermore, future research may focus on the role of coaching on
teachers’ professional development and students’ academic success.
Teachers’ professional development • Coaching • Special education • Competence holding one-on-one
conversations • Action research
Hasan Gürgür1
Anadolu University
Analyzing the Coaching Based Professional
Development Process of a Special Education Teacher
1 Correspondence to: Hasan Gürgür (PhD), Faculty of Education, Anadolu University, Eskisehir Turkey.
Citation: Gürgür, H. (2017). Analyzing the coaching based professional development process of a special education teacher.
Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 17, 1783–1813.
It is of paramount signicance that teachers develop themselves professionally,
improving their theoretical knowledge, practice, and technological skills, as these
elements play a crucial role in their teaching qualities throughout their professional life
(Hunzicker, 2011; Rhodes & Beneicke, 2002). Accordingly, regular emphasis has been
given to change and development in the nature of teaching profession (Loucks-Horsley,
Love, Stiles, Mundry, & Hewson, 2003). As for teaching, professional development is
dened as one of many processes providing effective teaching and learning environments
by improving teachers’ knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes (O’Gorman & Drudy,
2011). Ample amount of research within the literature has concluded that teaching
quality – and thus students’ success – can be enhanced by rening teachers’ professional
development (e.g., Costa & Garnsten, 2002; Obara, 2010).
Since the need for change and improvement in the teaching profession concerns
all elds within education and educational sciences, professional development is
a vital matter for teachers working in the eld of special education (Easterbrooks,
2011; Sawyer, 2015). The rationale as to why special education teachers should
develop themselves professionally are as follows: (i) the needs of school-age children
have positively changed due to the expansion of early diagnosis and educational
opportunities, (ii) advances in technological devices and systems, (e.g., hearing aids
and cochlear implants), and (iii) new educational and instructional practices based on
evidence (Cantrell & Hughes, 2008; Sawyer, 2015). In this regard, the professional
development of teachers working with hearing impaired students who have language
and communication barriers should also be considered crucial (Pakulski, 2011).
Accordingly, two qualities that teachers of hearing impaired students should be
competent about are ascertaining the baseline performance levels and holding either
group or one-on-one conversations (Mahon, 2009; Spencer & Marschark, 2006). The
ability to conduct conversations is a competence of critical importance for teachers
of hearing impaired students because not only are these children’s language and
communication skills very weak; they also have poor verbal language skills and a very
limited vocabulary (Cole & Flexer, 2016; Pakulski, 2011). Congruently, teachers of
the hearing impaired are advised to plan one-on-one conversations with these children
in order to support the development of their verbal language and communication
skills (Mahon, 2009). One-on-one conversation is dened as a process during which
a teacher and a student share their opinions and feelings about a planned event or
character with the purpose of creating a reciprocal interaction atmosphere (Spencer
& Marschark, 2006). In this sense, educators aim to teach this skill to future teachers
of hearing impaired students via theoretical courses and teaching practice during
undergraduate years (Easterbrooks, 2011; O’Gorman & Drudy, 2011).
Along with the need for professional development of teachers, including
special education teachers, the literature is also heavy in terms of discussions
Gürgür / Analyzing the Coaching Based Professional Development Process of a Special Education Teacher
concerning methods to facilitate this development in the most effective manner
(Obara, 2010; Orland-Barak, 2010). In this respect, short-term and large-scale
professional development activities, such as seminars and certicate programs, have
received negative criticism due to their offering limited interaction opportunities
(Orland-Barak, 2010). Studies indicate the importance of constant and systematic
professional development approaches based on one-on-one cooperation (Hunzicker,
2011; Jovanova-Mitkovska, 2010; Lowenhaupt, McKinney, & Reeves, 2013). The
importance of continuity has been underlined very frequently in studies on the
professional development of teachers (Jovanova-Mitkovska, 2010; Orland-Barak,
2010). Accordingly, the notion of Continuing Professional Development [CPD],
meaning ongoing support for teachers while employed in their profession, has been
devised by scholars (Jovanova-Mitkovska, 2010). It has been noted that systematic
cooperation among teachers and sharing experiences gained from real practice are of
great signicance if CPD is to be a success (O’Gorman & Drudy, 2011). A review
of the literature has revealed that there are different approaches as to how CPD is
employed; namely, school-based development (O’Gorman & Drudy, 2011), personal
professional development (Jovanova-Mitkovska, 2010), and teaching the teacher. In
addition to these, coaching, which is dened as an experienced teachers endeavors
to transfer his/her knowledge and skills to a less experienced teacher, is another
frequently employed approach (Barkley, 2005; Costa & Garmston, 2002).
Relevant studies in the literature report that coaching is effective since it allows
not only the exchange of teaching skills and experiences but also the opportunity to
make plans cooperatively and to share perspectives on teaching (Lowenhaupt et al.,
2013; Wong & Nicotera, 2003). In their study examining the ndings of ve previous
studies focusing on coaching, Veenman and Denessen (2001) aimed to determine the
contributions that coaching offers to the professional development of the teachers
included in the samples. The researchers concluded that coaching based professional
development programs helped to strengthen the teachers professionally. They also
noted that coaching not only improved teachers’ reecting skills (self-assessment) and
analytic thinking skills but also assisted them in increasing the quality of their planning
and practice. Similarly, Li and Chan (2015) studied a coaching based professional
development program that they found to have a high inuence on professional
development. The results of several other studies examining coaching yielded that the
process not only had positive effects on teachers’ professional development but also
increased students’ literacy skills and verbal language development (Barkley, 2005;
Onchwari & Keengwe, 2008). A number of other studies focusing on coaching special
education teachers have also been identied as a result of the literature review. Gersten,
Morvant, and Brengelman (1995) concluded that special education teachers benetted
tremendously from a coaching based professional development program, especially in
terms of planning, implementing, and assessing the teaching-learning process. After
analyzing one-on-one studies conducted seeking to provide special education teachers
with a coaching based professional development program, Billingsley (2004) found
that the individual needs of teachers were met. In terms of quality, he found that the
programs focused on current issues and that cooperation between participants was
effective. Moreover, Irinaga-Bistolas, Schalock, Marvin, and Beck (2007) examined
a coaching-based professional development process designed for special education
teachers. The results of their study showed that special education teachers had the
opportunity to receive individual support concerning whatever competence area they
needed and that the cooperation-based approach in question not only positively affected
the instructional process but also increased students’ success levels. The authors listed
the fact that the approach’s ability to bridge theoretical knowledge and practice and the
fact that it employed real practices during the one-on-one professional development
process as the primary reasons for its success.
As a result, ongoing coaching processes based on one’s individual needs and
cooperation have recently become widespread throughout the world. International
studies indicate that coaching contributes signicantly to teachers’ professional
development and to the effectiveness of educational and instructional processes. On
the other hand, several prerequisites have been listed in order to ensure the efciency
of coaching as a professional development process; one of these being the absolute
necessity of their being tight cooperation among teachers within the process (Cantrell
& Hughes, 2008; Onchwari & Keengwe, 2008). Together with the prerequisites of
coaching, the process should be non-stop and systematic and should follow a pattern
of planning cooperatively, observing, and providing feedback (Costa & Garmston,
2002; Wong & Nicotera, 2003). It is emphasized that the feedback provided by coaches
contributes signicantly to teachers’ professional development (Copland, 2010). In
short, feedback can be dened as providing planned and systematic information
to teachers about their work for their professional development (Copland, 2010;
Wilkins-Canter, 2010). The content of feedback should focus on realistic, tangible,
descriptive, and specic behaviors and competencies in order to increase the quality
of professional development (Scheeler, Ruhl, & McAfee, 2004). In addition, both the
positive and negative aspects of teachers’ conduct and practices should be presented
in a balanced manner so as to support their professional development (Copland, 2010;
Scheeler et al., 2004). As for the medium of feedback, the relevant body of literature
states that it may be either oral or written (Scheeler et al., 2004). Furthermore,
feedback given to teachers after short periods and immediately after their practice
is noted to have a greater effect on teaching quality (Copland, 2010; Scheeler et al.,
2004; Wilkins-Canter, 2010).
An analysis of studies focusing on the professional development of teachers in
each eld of education, including hearing impaired students and special education,
Gürgür / Analyzing the Coaching Based Professional Development Process of a Special Education Teacher
has revealed in-service educational training programs (large-scale organizations such
as seminars and panels) run by Turkey’s Ministry of National Education (MoNE)
(Büyüköztürk, Akbaba-Altun, & Yıldırım, 2010). However, the results of national
studies in Turkey have shown that the seminars and panels organized by MoNE
are mostly theoretical, that they neglect individual needs, that they are short-term
programs, and that no supportive content is provided to endorse the practice (Bakioglu,
Hacifazlioglu, & Ozcan 2010; Bümen, Ateş, Çakar, Ural, & Acar, 2014). Concentrating
on the activities designed by MoNE to facilitate teachers’ professional, Büyüköztürk et
al. (2010) reported that almost half of the teachers employed by MoNE were in need
of professional development after conducting the Teaching and Learning International
Survey (TALIS) National Report in Turkey. The same report also revealed that teachers
did not nd large-scale in-service training programs effective in contributing to their
practice as teachers. With this being said, other Turkish studies conducted in which a
one-on-one approach was implemented to facilitate teachers’ professional development
should also be mentioned. Several studies in particular were found in the literature
focusing on the necessity and contribution of one-on-one professional development
studies (Isiklar-Purcek, 2015; Kahraman, 2012). However, all of these studies
investigated how administrators and supervisors to teachers implemented coaching
methods to discuss legal regulations and how these regulations functioned. Examining
administrators’ coaching skills, these studies aimed to determine teachers’ perceptions
of administrators and supervisors’ leadership skills and qualities. The national literature
contains other studies specically designed for teacher training in special education and
further professional development studies as well. Those conducted on teacher training
mostly focus on feedback presentation processes (Akalin & Sucuoglu, 2015; Erbas
& Yucesoy, 2002). The cumulative results of these studies indicate that tangible and
quick feedback is more effective. In addition, one study examining the effectiveness
of a one-on-one professional development approach on teachers’ abilities to eliminate
problem behaviors in special education was found (Timuçin & Özyürek, 2017).
Together with these studies, there are a number of other national studies conducted
following an action research design within the eld of special education (Gürgür, 2012;
Vuran, Ergenekon, & Unlu, 2014). Although scarce, there are national research studies
focusing on the counseling process for either teacher candidates or teachers as well as
on feedback processes within the eld of special education. However, the literature
review also revealed that almost no studies exist on the professional development
of teachers working with hearing impaired children in special education classes.
Moreover, not a single action research study was found examining coaching based
professional development programs that focused on individual needs and that contained
recommendations as to how the process should be handled.
Parallel with the emphasis found in the international literature, all teachers in
Turkey, including those working in special education and with hearing impaired
students, need professional development. It may be stated that what is necessary for
special education teachers’ professional development can be handled by coaching,
not only due to its systematic and planned nature but also because it is based on
cooperation, individual needs, and real practice. Focusing on coaching and the
professional development of teachers working with hearing impaired students, the
current study is expected to produce signicant outcomes as to how the individual
professional skills of teachers working in this eld can be improved. It is hoped
that conducting such a study while the teacher is working will shed light onto the
question of how theoretical information can be cast into practice. Moreover, a
study designed as such is also expected to be a pioneer in instilling an outlook that
embraces continuing professional development in Turkey. The results of such a study
may serve as guidelines that stakeholders can use to enhance teachers’ professional
development. In addition to all other potential outcomes, it is anticipated that the
conclusions of the present study reveal clues for the professional development of all
teachers, not only teachers of hearing impaired students or special education teachers.
As such, this study aims to examine the coaching based professional development
process of a teacher-researcher for hearing impaired students. Accordingly, answers
have been sought for the following questions:
1. How was the coaching-based professional development process commenced
and planned?
2. How was the coaching-based professional development process implemented?
2.1. How did the teacher- researcher conduct activities during the coaching-
based professional development process?
2.2. What did the coach do while observing the teacher-researcher during the
coaching-based professional development process?
2.3. What did the coach do after the observation phase of the coaching-based
professional development process?
3. What kinds of problems were encountered and what kinds of solutions
were found during the implementation of the coaching-based professional
development process?
This section contains information about the design of the research, the place where
the study was conducted, the students who took part in the study, the participants,
data collection techniques, data analysis, and how the study was conducted.
Gürgür / Analyzing the Coaching Based Professional Development Process of a Special Education Teacher
The aim of the study aim was two-fold. Being an action research study, it rst aimed
to describe how coaching was handled and how it affected an individual teacher’s
professional development. The study further aimed to complete a comprehensive
examination of the systematic cycles of the coaching process in terms of individual
needs. Action research is a complete process of systematic cycles based on the
research data obtained that aims to achieve change and improvement (Johnson,
2012). Action research is reported to provide teachers with the opportunity not only
to become life-long learners learning from their own practice but also to search the
dynamics in their classes, to critically think about their own actions and interactions
with their students, and to verify the outcomes (Johnson, 2012; Mertler, 2014). These
features of action research design are in line with the coaching approach, which
underlines continuity in professional development, employs real teaching practice,
offers teachers the opportunity to reect, and directs teachers to question their own
practice. All these can be taken as the rationale as to why the current study has
adopted an action research design.
Figure 1. Action research cycle (Johnson, 2012).
The cyclic nature of action research and the steps involved are displayed in Figure
1. The rst step in this cycle is to identify the question, problem, or eld of interest
(Mertler, 2014). Johnson (2012) calls this step of action research as the beginning
point. The second step of the cycle is a literature review, which entails basing the
subject in question, the problem, or the research eld into a theoretical frame. The
third and fourth steps of action research are related to developing an action plan and
to planning data collection procedures (Mertler, 2014). In step ve of action research,
action plans are reviewed while they are in use, and relevant data are collected and
analyzed simultaneously. In the sixth and nal step, the ndings obtained during the
process are reported (Johnson, 2012). Questioning his own professional development,
the author of this article started the process cooperating with the coach, carried out
the cyclic process via colleague cooperation, collected and analyzed research data
simultaneously, and went on to implement further actions based on the ndings, as
described in detail within the ndings section.
Participants of the study are a teacher-researcher working in Anadolu University’s
Education of Hearing Impaired Children Program and an experienced teacher trainer
acting as the coach. The researcher graduated from Anadolu University’s Education
of Hearing Impaired Children Program in 1997 worked at a number of different
universities, and has been employed at the same department of Anadolu University
in 2007. The researcher is a faculty member who also fulls classroom teacher
responsibilities at the Research Center for the Education of the Hearing Impaired
(RCEHI). The other responsibilities of the researcher were data collection, data
analysis, and writing the research report. In this article, the author considers himself
a teacher-researcher since he not only questions the responsibilities and roles of the
very practice that he carries out but also aims to develop himself professionally. The
relevant literature denes a teacher-researcher as the one who conducts teaching-
learning programs, who bears the qualities of a school-development agent, and who
manages one’s professional development process (Johnson, 2012; Mertler, 2014).
The coach directing the professional development process is a faculty member who
has been working at Anadolu University since 1979. In addition, she is the head
manager of the RCEHI. Moreover, the coach has been the coordinator of teaching
practice courses in the same department since 1985, which is why the coach has
been a participant of this study. Being an experienced teacher trainer, the coach often
provides professional development guidance for those who need it. The primary role
of a coach is to direct the professional development process.
Study’s Location and Participating Students
Research was conducted at Anadolu University’s Research Center for the Education
of the Hearing Impaired (RCEHI). Convenience sampling was used to select the
location of the current study (Yıldırım & Şimşek, 2011). Accordingly, the reason
that the RCEHI was chosen is because not only is the researcher a natural member
of the institution; he is a faculty member working as a classroom teacher in the same
institution. These two factors make the institution easily accessible for the researcher.
Education of hearing impaired individuals at the RCEHI starts after diagnosis at the
audiology unit, instrumentation, and family training and then continues through
pre-school and primary school until secondary education. Group classes focusing
on school subjects are conducted daily in the RCEHI classes. In addition to these,
Gürgür / Analyzing the Coaching Based Professional Development Process of a Special Education Teacher
structured one-on-one conversation sessions are held throughout the day to support
the development of language and communication skills of hearing impaired students.
These planned one-on-one conversation sessions are intended to contribute to the
turn-taking behaviors (i.e., speaking and listening) of hearing impaired children and
to help develop their verbal language skills. One of the contributions regards students’
language functions and use acquisitions (e.g., narrating and building causality links).
In addition, conversations aim to offer students several opportunities to enhance their
listening, understanding, and expressive skills through different sets of information
questions (e.g., what, why, how, and where). In addition to these contributions,
conversations are also intended to better hearing impaired students’ literacy skills
and overall academic success (Cole & Flexer, 2016; Mahon, 2009). One-on-one
conversations are held with all students in all grades for 10 to 15 minutes on a daily
basis in individual rooms at the RCEHI. During this study, the teacher-researcher
and the coach conducted their meetings and research in the coach’s ofce. Figure 2
depicts a sketch of the coach’s ofce.
Figure 2. Coach’s ofce where professional development activities were performed.
The coach’s ofce depicted in Figure 2 is a 6m² room located on the rst oor
of the RCEHI. The room is furnished with a desk and a square table at which the
conversations were held. For this study, one-on-one conversations were conducted
with 8 rst graders. At this point, it should be claried that the current study’s focal
point is not the students. Information concerning the students is provided under a
separate title so as to present a comprehensive picture of the research context. The
reasons that 1st grade students in particular partook in the study are discussed in
the ndings section of this article (See page 10). Table 1 presents the demographic
information about these students.
Demographic Information for 1st Graders with Whom the Conversations were Held
No Student Gender DOB Age of
of Loss
Age of Hearing
Aid Fitting
Age of
1 Ali Male 22 Apr 2006 02 Nov 2006
(1 y 7 m.) 82 Db 21 Feb 2007
(1 y 10 m.) N/A Yes Ye s
2 Mehmet Male 15 May 2006 08 Nov 2007
(2 y 6 m.) CI 20 Feb 2008
(2 y 9 m.)
07 Jul 2011
(6 y 2 m.) Yes Yes
3 Can Male 26 Aug 2005 28 May 2007
(2 y 9 m.) 73 Db 20 Feb 2007
(2 y 11 m.) N/A Yes Ye s
4 Ayse Female 26 Dec 2005 No record CI 02 Feb 2006
(14 m.)
17 Jul 2008
(3 y 7 m.) Yes Yes
5 Naz Female 09 Oct 2005 9 Apr 2006
(1 y 6 m.) CI 23 Feb 2006
(1 y 6 m.)
14 Jun 2007
( 2 y 8 m.) Yes No
6 Asli Female 12 May 2005 15 Aug 20008
(4 y 3 m.) CI 24 Aug 20008
(4 y 3 m.)
04 Sept 2009
(5 y 4 m.) Yes No
7 Veli Male 26 Dec 2005 No record CI
17 Feb 2006
(14 m.) 25 Jul 2008
(3 y 7 m.) Yes Yes
8 Elif Female 05 Sept 2006 23 Mar 2007
(1 y 6 m.) CI 12 Jul 2007
(1 y 10 m.)
04 Dec 2008
( 3 y 2 m.) Yes Yes
As can be seen in Table 1, four of the students interviewed by the teacher-
researcher were female and the other four male. The mean age of the students was
8. Furthermore, the age that students were diagnosed ranged from 1 year 6 months
to 4 years 3 months. As for augmented technologies, six of the students had cochlear
implants (CI) and two used hearing aid. Similarly, the age that students had undergone
a corrective operation for their condition varied from one student to another. Lastly,
two of the students had received no family training or pre-school education.
Data Collection Techniques
Video and audio records, documents (i.e., the coach’s notebook, students’ portfolios,
teacher-researcher’s plans, conversation materials), and reective diaries were used
as data collection tools. Although a total of 360 conversations (with a mean length of
15 minutes and 09 seconds; See Table 3) were held by the teacher-researcher over a
period of 9 weeks during the spring term of 2012-2013, only 17 conversations were
analyzed within the scope of the study. All conversations were audio and video taped
in order to examine the data collection process comprehensively. The decision to
analyze only 17 conversation sessions was made together with the coach in order to
ease the management of the process (Audio record, July 02, 2013). The coach provided
feedback for all of the 17 conversations after the teacher-researcher nished his
implementation. The video recordings were used both to interpret the conversations
and feedback sessions and to make decisions about further actions. The audio
records, however, were used to examine how the one-on-one conversations held with
the coach during the professional development process inuenced the entire process.
Moreover, the documents were collected and analyzed so as to provide evidence for
Gürgür / Analyzing the Coaching Based Professional Development Process of a Special Education Teacher
future actions, monitor and assess the process, and support the research data. In this
sense, the notebook that the coach used during giving feedback for the conversation
was copied and duplicated. The coach also recorded several pieces of advice on
the conversation plans. The one-on-one conversation plans were also included in
the analysis process to identify the warnings and to strengthen the research data.
Similarly, the researcher gathered students’ portfolios as well as the conversation
plans and materials developed by the teacher-researcher to form solid support for all
of the research ndings. In addition to all of these, an 80-page reective diary kept
by the teacher-researcher was also used during the data analysis process. The reason
why reective diary was used as a way of data collection is the endeavor to handle
the entire process holistically via recording the decisions made during the process
and monitoring changes, personal & professional development of the researcher, and
his self-evaluations. Table 2 depicts a matrix presenting the reasons that specic data
collection techniques were employed.
Table 2
Research Questions of the Study and the Data Collection Techniques Matrix
Research Question Video
Records Documents Reective
1. How was the coaching-based professional
development process commenced and planned? ü ü ü
2. How was the coaching-based professional
development process implemented? ü ü ü ü
3. What kinds of problems were encountered and
what kinds of solutions were found during the
implementation of the coaching-based professional
development process?
ü ü
Data Analysis
The data was collected and analyzed simultaneously during the coaching-based
professional development process using a systematic analytic analysis (Johnson,
2012; Mertler, 2014) in which the research data are reviewed, reected upon, checked
by building links with research questions, and used to form action plans (Johnson,
2012). The relevant body of research in the literature explains that performing such
an analysis not only forms a valid and reliable foundation for the cycle to be built
upon during action research but also prepares a ground for decisions to be made and
actions to be taken based on the ndings (Mertler, 2014). In accordance with the
systematic analytic analysis process, the research data were descriptively analyzed,
monitored, and summarized as they were collected. All video and audio records of
the one-on-one conversations as well as the planning and feedback meetings held
with the coach were summarized and documented, which were compared with the
previously collected data and analyzed in order to determine recurrences, patterns,
and relations among events. Patterns were then brought together and ndings were
revealed as soon as the research has nished.
Validity–Reliability and Research Ethics
The relevant precautions concerning validity and reliability were taken during
the research process (Johnson, 2012; Mertler, 2014). In this respect, different data
collection techniques were employed to maintain research validity and reliability.
Research data were collected longitudinally. Detailed descriptions were completed
about the research process. All codes of ethics were followed during every step of
the research. Due attention was paid to abide by the principle of objectivity while
collecting data. Each and every one-on-one conversation and feedback session by the
coach trainer was videotaped. Although interactions with students are video recorded
soon after they are diagnosed, a video camera was placed in the classroom two months
before the study was to be conducted in order to make it a natural element of the class
so that the validity of the research data would be ensured. Although the families of
students had signed a consent form when registering to the institution agreeing to
any future research efforts, they were all verbally informed about the study and its
content before it was to be commenced. Further permission was also granted by the
institution’s board of directors even though one of the participants of the current
study, the coach, was both the director and a natural member of the institution herself.
All of the research activities were planned and executed during real classes for which
the researcher was responsible. Throughout the entire study, an equal amount of time
was allocated to interview each student in the class. In this article, pseudonyms have
been used for the coach and the participating students.
Three main themes were formulated about the coaching-based professional
development process at the end of data analysis: (i) planning and implementation of
the coaching process, (ii) problems, and (iii) relevant solutions. The ndings of this
paper are presented in line with the research questions and formulated themes.
Planning of the Coaching-Based Professional Development Process
The relevant analyses showed that the process was systematically planned. The
planning stage was completed in two steps: (i) a baseline meeting and (ii) planning
Baseline meeting. The teacher-researcher was a teacher trainer responsible for
teaching practices in the education of hearing impaired students during the period
that the research was conducted. In his earlier studies, the researcher had frequently
focused on how he could improve his classroom-teacher skills in order to better meet
the needs of hearing impaired students (e.g., Gürgür, 2012). The needs that the teacher-
researcher investigated and still works to improve are (Reective diaries, February
04, 2013, p. 1): (i) Designing one-on-one conversation plans in accordance with the
Gürgür / Analyzing the Coaching Based Professional Development Process of a Special Education Teacher
needs of hearing impaired students at different grades, (ii) Including linguistic goals
in the plans in order to improve the language skills of hearing impaired students, (iii)
Holding one-on-one conversations as outlined in the plans, and (iv) Realizing the
conversations in such a way that meets the language and communication needs of
hearing impaired students.
Another reason that the teacher-researcher integrates developmental needs into
one-on-one conversation plans is because it is his responsibility as a teacher trainer
to do so at the faculty in which he works. Accordingly, it may be stated that the
researcher intends to enhance the quality of his teaching by improving his classroom
teacher skills (Reective diary, February 04, 2013, p. 2-3). In his diary, the teacher-
researcher expressed his aim to improve the quality of teaching practices as follows:
Improving my teaching skills means providing higher quality feedback for teacher trainees
and conveying my experiences to them. Sometimes, I have doubts about the feedback
I give to teacher trainees about some of the problems they face, especially about those
concerning how to ascertain students’ language development and how to hold one-on-one
conversations (Reective diary, February 04, 2013, p. 2–3).
The researcher shared his concerns about improving his teaching skills for hearing
impaired students with the coach as well. The following is the note that the researcher
wrote about this exchange of opinions with a more experienced colleague in his diary:
“I conduct conversations, yet my experiences with different students is inadequate.
My mentor advised me to work with students at different grades to increase my
experience. This will be a good opportunity for me.” (Reective diary, February 04,
2013, p. 3).
After the researcher shared his ideas about his need for professional development
with the coach, they decided to have a baseline meeting on the February 5, 2013.
Following positive feedback from the coach, the following preliminary decisions were
made during the same meeting (Audio record, February 05, 2013): (i) Participating in
a coaching based professional development program that focuses on individual needs,
(ii) Focusing on the skills necessary to plan and conduct one-on-one conversations
during the professional development program, and (iii) Holding conversations with
rst grade students.
As a result of the baseline meeting, the professional development needs of the
teacher-researcher were identied and a relevant coaching based professional
development program was designed. Another meeting was scheduled to take place
following the baseline meeting in order to specify the program’s details.
Planning meeting for coaching based professional development. The teacher-
researcher and the coach held another meeting in order to clarify the details of
the professional development program (Reective diary, February 07, 2013, p. 4).
During this meeting, a plan was developed based on the preliminary decisions. First
of all, the reasons as to why the research should be conducted with rst graders were
discussed. At the end of the discussion, the following reasons were determined to be
relevant (Audio record, February 07, 2013): (i) The teacher-researcher did not have
experience working with hearing impaired rst graders, and (ii) Hearing impaired
rst graders require tremendous language support because in terms of literary skills,
they are still beginners.
Concerning the decisions made during the planning meeting, the teacher-researcher
wrote the following in his reective diary: “I worked with students of higher grade
levels, but this is going to be my rst time with the rst graders. Working with students
who are just starting to learn how to read and write is a really new experience for me.”
(Reective diary, February 07, 2013, p. 6). How to organize the weekly conversations
was also decided during the planning meeting, namely that conversations were to be
held with every student in the class on a daily basis in order to improve the teacher-
researcher’s one-on-one conversation prociency. Based on the data analysis, the
following reasons may be cited as the rationale for this decision (Audio record, February
07, 2013): (i) To contribute to the researchers prociency in working longitudinally
with students of different levels of hearing loss, (ii) To help the researcher focus on the
techniques employed during one-on-one conversations scheduled to identify the needs
of hearing impaired students, and (iii) To increase the researchers teaching qualities
and to aid him in designing his own independent practices.
The planning meeting resulted in other managerial decisions regarding the
professional development program; namely (Audio record, February 07, 2013): (i)
The planning and implementation of one-on-one conversations were to be done
every Monday and Friday by the researcher, (ii) The observation of one-on-one
conversations was to be done by the coach at 10:30 am, and (iii) Immediate feedback
for one-on-one conversations was to be provided by the coach. The decisions
made during the planning meeting dened the weekly cycle of the coaching based
professional development program are depicted below (see Figure 3).
Gürgür / Analyzing the Coaching Based Professional Development Process of a Special Education Teacher
Planning and
implementation of
conversations by the
Observation of one-
on-one conversations
by the coach
Immediate feedback
for one-on-one
conversations by the
Figure 3. Weekly cycle of the coaching based professional development program.
As depicted in Figure 3, the details of the professional development were claried
during the planning meeting. According to the plan, the researcher would plan and
hold one-on-one conversations two days a week (i.e., Monday and Friday), and the
coach would observe the sessions and provide feedback. Coaching-based professional
development process was commenced one week after planning (February 11, 2013).
Implementation of the Coaching Based Professional Development Program
Another nding obtained at the end of the analyses regarded how to manage the
coaching program. Accordingly, the plan contained the following components (see
Figure 3): (i) Planning and implementation of one-on-one conversations by the
teacher-researcher, (ii) observation of the implementation by the coach, and (iii)
immediate feedback for one-on-one conversations by the coach.
Planning and implementation of the one-on-one conversations by the
teacher-researcher. The teacher-researcher planned for each and every one-on-
one conversation to be held during the implementation stage of the professional
development program. The researcher rst identied the needs of the students
with whom he would work. To do this, he rst consulted the class-teacher and then
examined the personal les of those hearing impaired students with whom he would
converse. In these les, he studied the audiograms and reports that teachers had
written about these students’ language and communication skills and collected all
the information that he could nd. Furthermore, the teacher-researcher planned and
implemented two group lessons in the classroom in order to determine these students’
needs (Turkish - February 05, 2013 and Social Studies - February 08, 2013).
The researcher was only able to ascertain the general, as opposed to specic, needs
of these students. The following is an entry in his diary concerning this fact:
I tried to collect information about the students I’m going to work with. I studied their les,
talked with their teachers, and had lessons with them. Despite all I’ve done, I feel like I
couldn’t dene their specic needs exactly. Yet, the process is ongoing, I can’t postpone it
(Reective diary, February 09, 2013, p. 9).
Underlying the difculty of determining students’ needs in such a short period of
time, the teacher-researcher wrote: “Holding one-on-one conversations compatible
with students’ needs is highly dependent on the time spent with these students.
(Reective diary, February 15, 2013, p. 6). Along with his efforts to determine
students’ needs before the program’s implementation, the teacher-researcher decided
to plan one-on-one conversations one day before they were to be held. All one-on-
one conversations were planned in accordance with the outline used at the RCEHI
that contains such titles as syntax, language use, and communicative goals (Reective
diary, February 15, 2013, p. 13).
In his reective diary, the teacher-researcher mentioned how he improved in
terms of designing conversation plans that were compatible with students’ needs and
how the coach helped him during this process with her feedback. The following is a
relevant quotation from his diary:
I believe I’ve improved my plan developing skills because now I can better understand the
needs of the students as I walk through the implementation process. The coach provided me
with really valuable feedback about how to tailor plans for each student, especially for the rst
conversations (Reective dairy, March 06, 2013, p. 34).
Table 4 shows the written feedback given by the coach for the 1st and 4th
conversations in regard to how to modify the plan according to students’ individual
needs. Moreover, the table indicates that the coach stopped providing feedback after
the 4th conversation.
The implementation stage of the research lasted nine weeks between February 11,
2013 and April 05, 2013. In accordance with the decisions made during the planning
meeting, a total of 17 one-on-one conversation sessions were held by the researcher
that were observed and for which feedback was provided by the coach (see Table 3).
Gürgür / Analyzing the Coaching Based Professional Development Process of a Special Education Teacher
Table 3
Conversations Held During Implementation Stage
No Student Date Duration of
Record Conversation Material
1 Ali 11 Feb 2013 15’ 22’ Father and Daughter with a New Bike (Sequence Cards)
2 Can 13 Feb 2013 17’ 34’’ A Family Having Breakfast (Sequence Cards)
3 Veli 20 Feb 2013 15’ 30’ Father and Daughter building a Snowman (Sequence Cards)
4 Elif 21 Feb 2013 16’ 42’ It is snowing (Story book)
5 Naz 22 Feb 2013 12’ 35’’ A family cooking in the kitchen (One-picture card)
6 Ali 27 Feb 2013 11’ 50’’ Ugur in the Bazaar (Story book)
7 Ece 01 Mar 2013 12’ 48’ Cemile in the Shop with her Mom (Story book)
8 Mert 05 Mar 2013 19’ 46’ Atakan starts school (Story book)
9 Su 08 Mar 2013 16’ 18’ Children playing in the park (One-picture card)
10 Can 14 Mar 2013 13’ 16’’ Aydagul & the Naughty Lamb (Story book)
11 Elif 15 Mar 2013 15’ 02’ Children Cooking Pasta (Sequence Cards)
12 Ece 21 Mar 2013 21’ 12’’ Ayşegul in the Village (Story book)
13 Mert 22 Mar 2013 14’ 22’ Zelis Lost in the Game (Story book)
14 Veli 26 Mar 2013 20’ 55’ The Sick Boy (Sequence Cards)
15 Su 29 Mar 2013 23’ 19’ Ayse (Story)
16 Ali 02 Apr 2013 13’ 45’ The kid in the bathroom with parents (One-picture card)
17 Can 05 Apr 2013 13’ 42’ The kid visiting aunt (Sequence Cards)
As depicted in Table 3, a total of 17 conversations were held by the researcher
during the implementation stage. The mean duration of the conversations was 15
minutes 09 seconds. For the conversations, the teacher-researcher used 17 sequence
cards ve times, a story book 8 times, and a single picture card 3 times. Twelve of
the conversations were held in the coach’s ofce and ve took place in an individual
study room. An analysis of the data revealed several themes; namely: (i) planning and
conducting the conversations, (ii) what the coach did during conversations, and (iii)
how the coach provided feedback.
Coach’s observations of the one-on-one conversations. The coach observed the
teacher-researcher while he was holding the planned one-on-one conversation sessions
during coaching based professional development program. As was decided during
the planning stage, the teacher-researcher informed the coach about the conversation
sessions to be held that week (Reective diary, April 14, 2013, p. 82). The coach
was able to directly observe 10 of the 17 one-on-one conversations (conversation
numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, and 13, see Table 3) held in her ofce and provided
feedback for the rest of sessions (conversation number 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17,
Table 3) by watching the video records. As such, two kinds of monitoring were
conducted during the coaching process (Reective diary, March 20, 2013, p. 68); one
of which was direct observation whereas the other was watching the video records.
Although the coach provided feedback using two different methods, she followed
a single pattern in providing feedback for the conversation sessions she directly
observed. Accordingly, the following depicts what the coach did while observing the
conversation sessions (e.g., Video tape records, March 20, 2013/March 05, 2013):
(i) The coach made notes in her notebook while the teacher-researcher was holding
conversations, (ii) The coach examined the plan prepared by the teacher-researcher,
taking notes during the implementation, and (iii) At the end of the conversation, the
coach studied the material used by the teacher-researcher, writing the date on the
back side and signing it.
Regardless of the observation method, either directly (e.g., Conversation 7, March
01, 2013) or via records (e.g., Conversation 8, March 05, 2013), the coach provided
immediate feedback (see Table 4). The coach’s observation cycle both during and
after the conversations is depicted in Figure 4.
Setting observation
schedule and
informaing the coach
Observation of the
implementaton by the coach
The coach colle cts
informatio n while observing
the implementation
The coach examines the
conversation plan and
the materials during the
Making an appointment with
the coach for feedback after
the observation of the
Figure 4. The coach’s observation cycle during the implementation.
As shown in the diagram, the coach followed a standard procedure while the
teacher-researcher was implementing conversation sessions. The coach examined the
plan and materials prepared by the teacher-researcher and made some notes.
Immediate feedback for one-on-one conversations by the coach. The
experienced colleague, acting as the coach of professional development process,
provided oral feedback to the researcher for each conversation session. Feedback
sessions should also be considered as interaction between the coach and the teacher-
researcher and as sub-dimensions of that interaction. Details concerning the feedback
sessions are presented in Table 4.
Gürgür / Analyzing the Coaching Based Professional Development Process of a Special Education Teacher
Table 4
Details of Feedback Sessions Provided by the Coach
No Date Feedback
of the
Competence elds the coach provided feedback
1 10 Feb
after the
10’ 22’ What the coach wrote in the plan: He noted ‘s/he knows’ onto
the goal regarding the present continuous tense within syntax.
Oral feedback by the coach:
1. You should give clues concerning the material(s) you will
talk about during the conversation
2. Give some time to the kid after asking a question. Hold on for
a while. Do not trigger many questions.
3. You should do reviews more often
2 13 Feb
after the
13’ 16’ What the coach wrote in the plan: Set the tense morpheme as
the primary goal.
Oral feedback by the coach:
1. When you miss something, tell the kid to repeat. If you still
do not understand, tell him to give clues from the picture. If it
still does not work, ask for oral clues.
3 20 Feb
after the
8’ 31’ What the coach wrote in the plan: You can target plural and
present continuous morphemes.
Oral feedback by the coach:
1. Manage your time. The presentation of event on different
cards may vary like at the beginning, in the middle, and at the
end. Move to the main event more quickly.
2. You follow question & answer technique. Yet, either you or
the kid may do the talking. Do not only get the answer.
4 21 Feb
after the
9’ 42’ What the coach wrote in the plan: You can include more goals
about tenses.
Oral feedback by the coach:
1. You can get to the main event in the story more quickly. Do
not stall that long on a page.
2. You should know which one will take longer to answer
before you state the questions.
5 23 Feb
after the
8’ 50’ 1. Questions are really difcult for the kid. “Why does s/he use
a cloth to hold that?” is a difcult question for the kid.
2. You should provide more explanation.
3. The kid is having problems understanding the question; you
can include visual clues into the question.
6 27 Feb
after the
13’ 19’ 1. You can’t only stick to Q&A, you should integrate some
2. Link and relate the events.
7 01
after the
6’ 36’ 1. Your questions were difcult. You should tailor them if you
want the kid to make inferences.
2. I told you what to do when you do not understand something.
Use the strategies.
3. Do accept the mistaken repetitions.
8 08
watching the
13’ 26’ 1. The sentences you wanted the kid to repeat are beyond the
him. For instance, he cannot repeat “Atakan and his mother
are going to the school.”
2. You can divide or simplify difcult sentences like, ‘They are
going to school’.
Table 4
Details of Feedback Sessions Provided by the Coach
No Date Feedback
of the
Competence elds the coach provided feedback
9 08
watching the
10’ 19’ 1. Repetition sentences are not appropriate for the kid’s level.
2. Be careful about your questions. “How does the kite y?” is a
difcult question. You can give the answer when the question
is difcult.
10 10
after the
8’ 10’ 1. It shouldn’t be based on only questions; you should integrate
2. You should run more repetition exercise.
3. Sentences should be easy to repeat.
11 15
after the
12’ 09’ 1. Be careful with repetitions. It is difcult to repeat “He says
‘be smart and eat’”. You should stop when s/he fails.
2. “S/he cannot repeat “Ayse will stand up after putting the
fork” because s/he doesn’t know about adverbial phrases.
12 21
watching the
9’ 12’ 1. You can offer more explanation at the beginning. You said
s/he is going to the village, but the kid may not be familiar
with village.
2. Be careful about question types. You can ask “By what are
they going?” instead of “How are they going?”
3. Insist two times for repetitions, if s/he fails, then leave it.
13 22
after the
6’ 15’ 1. Instead of asking “What is Zelis doing?”, you should give
clues about the cover of the book, and then ask your question.
2. Give the kid sentences the s/he can repeat. “Zelis is sitting on
the grass” is difcult, that’s why s/he can’t repeat.
14 30
watching the
10’ 25’ 1. You should say, “The ball falls into the garbage”, “Whose
ball is that?”, “Your brothers”.
2. Instead of “There germ in garbage”, re-cast the mistake-free
from “There are germs in the garbage”.
15 30
watching the
7’ 00’ 1. Some of the repetitions sentences were way beyond the kid.
2. Use the pictures in the material when asking your question
since the kid’s intelligibility is very poor.
16 06 Apr
watching the
8’ 39’ 1. If the kid cannot answer a difcult question, you can give
the answer.
2. Some of your questions were difcult. For instance, “Why is
s/he looking in the mirror?”
17 06 Apr
watching the
17’ 15’ 1. Be careful when expanding kid’s sentences. You made that
sentence extra difcult.
2. Repetition sentences should be meaningful for the kid so that
s/he can remember and repeat.
As seen in Table 4, the teacher-researcher was given feedback for 17 one-on-one
conversation sessions during the implementation stage. The following ndings were
deduced from the analysis of the feedback provided by the coach:
Feedback timing: The coach observed the conversation sessions held during the
professional development program in one of two ways. Namely, the coach provided
immediate feedback for 10 sessions that she directly observed (see Table 4). The
Gürgür / Analyzing the Coaching Based Professional Development Process of a Special Education Teacher
teacher-researcher wrote the following in his diary about receiving immediate
feedback after conversations:
Receiving feedback from the coach after the implementation? Talking about what I did
before I forget sometimes enhances the content of feedback session via my own reections,
but sometimes receiving feedback without properly thinking about what happened makes
me feel hectic and pushed around (Reective diary, February 27, 2013, p. 27).
The coach also provided feedback for those sessions that she did not observe
directly but that she watched on the video record (see Table 4). There were seven
such sessions. For those sessions that the coach was not able to observe directly,
an appropriate time (e.g., weekends) was mutually set during which the videos
were watched together with the researcher, and feedback was given for each record
immediately after the video had nished. When necessary, the videos were watched
again. The teacher-researcher expressed how he felt about feedback provided after
watching the video as follows in his diary:
I often nd myself asking whether it is better to receive feedback by watching the video
recordings. I get myself ready for the feedback session by watching the videos and then, I
watch the videos again while talking with the coach (Reective diary, April 06, 2013, p.76).
Duration of feedback sessions: For the most part, the feedback sessions lasted for
10 minutes (see Table 4). With respect to the duration of feedback sessions, the
teacher-researcher noted the following in his diary: “I’m okay with the duration
of feedback sessions. Long-winded meetings would be boring. I do my reections
about the implementation, and the coach clearly states her points.” (Reective
diary, March 08, 2013, p. 36).
Management of the feedback process: An analysis of all the relevant data also
yielded details as to how the coach managed the feedback process. Namely, the
coach rst gave the teacher-researcher a chance to reection before starting to give
feedback. The teacher-researcher noted his ideas about this self-reection phase
in his diary as follows: “I always check how I planned the conversation, how I
interacted with the kid after each conversation session, and then I tell my opinions
to the coach. All these are in line with my pace of individual development”
(Reective diary, March 15, 2013, p. 42).
After the teacher-researcher reected after each conversation, the coach rst
mentioned the session’s positive points. Immediately after sharing his ideas about
the positive qualities of the session, the coach started providing oral feedback based
on the notes she had taken on the conversation plan and the on the notes that she had
written in her notebook during the implementation. Regarding the coach’s feedback
based on written notes, the teacher-researcher wrote the following in his diary: “The
fact that the coach directly noted some of the sentences I said during the conversations
and the fact that the feedback was based on real events really contributed to my
skills” (Reective diary, March 25, 2013, p.51).
Competence areas provided with feedback: A closer look at the content of the
feedback provided by the coach for each conversation session reveals that certain
competence areas were targeted. This analysis indicated that the coach underscored
specic techniques concerning the teacher-researcher’s competence in holding
conversations. For instance, the coach often told the teacher what to do when he
did not understand what the student in the session said (Conversations 2 and 7,
see Table 4). The competence areas on which the coach focused after each session
mostly regarded the questions that were above students’ performance levels (e.g.,
Conversations 5, 9, and 13, see Table 4). Another point that the coach frequently
underpinned during the feedback sessions was that the repetition sentences were
also beyond students’ levels and that the teacher-researcher should not insist when
students were unable to repeat. (e.g., Conversations 8, 9, and 11, see Table 4).
Lastly, the ndings show that the coach warned the teacher-researcher not to
structure a session only with questions, but to ask for clarication and explanation
from students (e.g., Conversations 6 and 10, see Table 4).
Another noteworthy point about Table 3 is that the number of competence areas
the coach signied is rather small. In each feedback session, two or three competence
areas were targeted by the coach. Regarding the content of the feedback provided by
the coach, the researcher stated the following in his diary:
First, I thought that the feedback sessions were very short and limited in scope. However, it
came to more important competence areas in time The coach was focusing on competence
areas precisely and concisely. Referring back to examples in his notes, the coach was
helping me internalize the competence areas without causing any confusion. She repeated
and fell back on more signicant areas across several feedback sessions (Reective diary,
April 08, 2013, p.78).
Relevant Solutions for the Problems Encountered During the Coaching Based
Professional Development Process
Some problems also came up during the coaching based professional development
process. One of the issues was that the conversation sessions were not carried out on
Mondays and Fridays as had been planned during the planning stage. The following
is what the teacher-researcher noted in his diary about this problem:
I couldn’t do the class I had planned with the coach. We had to conduct the conversation
sessions on different days although we had planned to do them on Mondays and Fridays.
We couldn’t meet due to our responsibilities regarding the teaching practice course and
the other professional tasks we had to complete (Reective diary, March 29, 2013, p. 59).
Gürgür / Analyzing the Coaching Based Professional Development Process of a Special Education Teacher
Additionally, the teacher-researcher explained how their work load hindered his
development, planning, and management of the process in his diary as follows:
I feel like I regressed this week a little bit. I couldn’t carry out the conversation sessions
on a daily basis due to my busy schedule. The coach said we could watch the rest of the
conversations in the afternoon, but it won’t happen. He said tomorrow, though! (Reective
diary, April 11, 2013, p. 82).
Another issue that came up during the research process due to the heavy workloads
of the coach and the teacher-researcher was that the coach was unable to directly
observe some of the conversations as had planned (e.g., Conversations 12 and 13, see
Table 4). A quotation from the diary concerning this point is as follows: “The coach’s
schedule and mine seem not to match any more; there are times when she can’t come
and directly observe the sessions I planned. I guess this problem will continue to
grow over time” (Reective diary, March 05, 2013, p. 33).
The common source of the problems encountered during the research process was
the busy schedules of both the teacher-researcher and the coach (Reective diary,
April 08, 2013, p. 78). This problem was not eliminated due to each one’s natural
professional responsibilities. Yet, the necessary precautions were taken to minimize
the aws stemming from the aforementioned problem. In this sense, the teacher-
researcher and the coach decided to watch the video recordings of the missed sessions
on weekends. The following is the audio record of this decision:
Should there be problems due to heavy work-loads, the teacher-researcher will le the
videos of conversations, one-on-one conversation plans, and self-reection notes, and will
make an appointment with the coach. In such cases, they will watch the videos together, and
the coach will provide relevant feedback (Audio record, March 01, 2013).
Concerning this issue, the teacher-researcher expressed his opinions in his diary
as follows:
We had to work on weekends because the coach was not able to observe conversations due
to her busy schedule. Still, I must accept that it has had an effect on me. I meet with the
coach, watch videos for three hours, and she gives me feedback after each conversation
(Reective diary, March 02, 2013, p. 33).
Discussion and Conclusion
Regardless of the subject they intend to teach, teacher candidates need to learn and
develop their competences while undergraduates and should continue to improve their
competences while working as teachers (Obara, 2010; O’Gorman & Drudy, 2011). As
this research has concluded, coaching is an effective approach that can be employed in
the professional development of teachers (Hunzicker, 2011; Orland-Barak, 2010). The
features that make coaching based professional development programs effective are that
they include a planned process, are systematic, and are based on cooperation and real
practice (Barkley, 2005; Jovanova-Mitkovska, 2010). Compatible with the highlights
about the features of this approach, the ndings obtained at the end of the current study also
indicated that the entire process was well-planned since the beginning. While planning
the process, the teacher-researcher and the coach collaborated to determine the goals
and relevant competence areas on which to focus during the professional development
process. In line with these ndings, planning and determining goals during coaching,
and pursuing the process via concrete and systematic steps are said to be signicant
in terms of monitoring whether goals are attained or not (Jovanova-Mitkovska, 2010;
Onchwari & Keengwe, 2008). On the other hand, the relevant literature also underlines
that the teacher should not only be a willing participant but also be aware of his/her
professional development needs for coaching based professional development to be
successful (Lowenhaupt et al., 2013; Rhodes & Beneicke, 2002). Accordingly, since he
started questioning his competence at the beginning of the process and asked for help
from a coach for development, the teacher-researcher in this study can clearly be said
to have an acceptable level of awareness.
In this study, implementation began after the planning the professional development
process and was conducted two days a week in a cyclic nature, as planned. The
relevant body of research states that handling the coaching approach in a cyclic
system based on teachers’ current competences, the progress they make in these
areas, and the goals sought to be achieved helps improve the quality of development
process (Li & Chan, 2015; Wong & Nicotera, 2003). The outcomes of the earlier
cycles dene the subsequent strategies to be used that are consistent with teachers’
progress, serve as a foundation to move onto the next competence area, and help to
create solutions for problems, if there are any (Hunzicker, 2011). The current research
was also completed in a cyclic nature in that weekly implementations were grounded
on the results of previous implementations. On the other hand, some problems were
encountered during the process, such as not being able to hold conversations at the
outlined place and time due to the teacher-researcher’s heavy workloads and to the
coach’s professional and managerial responsibilities prohibiting her from being able
to observe as many conversations as had been planned. Regarding these problems,
the teacher-researcher and the coach maintained constant communication and either
rescheduled the conversations to a later day or decided to watch the video records on
a day when they were both available. The results of similar studies also point out that
the natural roles and responsibilities of a teacher and a coach in such a process should
be as exible as their workloads permit (Irinaga-Bistolas et al., 2007). The rationale
behind is that additional responsibilities introduced by professional development
efforts may hinder the systematic nature of the process (Barkley, 2005; Billingsley,
2004). At this point, it should be noted that a number of important problems were
experienced during the research process. Yet, due attention was paid to maintain
Gürgür / Analyzing the Coaching Based Professional Development Process of a Special Education Teacher
the systematic nature of professional development. This was done by immediately
responding to the situation. The efforts made to maintain the systematic nature of
the professional development program by taking immediate action when problems
occurred provide even further evidence of the entire program’s cyclic nature.
Another noteworthy feature of this cyclic professional development process
is that it was based on real practice and implementation. During the process, the
coach observed one-on-one conversations held by the teacher-researcher, providing
immediate oral feedback. Studies conducted on the coaching approach have concluded
that it is of tremendous importance that the process be based on real life practice
so that the developmental needs of the teacher may be easily identied, so that the
process may be managed at a balanced pace, and so that the desired development may
be realized (Hunzicker, 2011; Gersten et al., 1995). Real practice is valued because
it provides tangible examples to aid one in transferring and transforming knowledge
into practice (Costa & Garmston, 2002). In addition, the relation between immediate
oral feedback provided by the coach and the transformation of knowledge into
practice by the teacher-researcher should also be considered. Indeed, the literature
review indicates that immediate oral feedback provided by the coach helps teachers
to not only notice their competence areas but also transform the knowledge they
gained into practice (Wilkins-Canter, 2010).
When looking at the content of the feedback that the coach provided to the teacher-
researcher about one-on-one conversations, the following remarks can be made
about one-on-one conversations with hearing impaired students: (i) written and oral
feedback should be given, (ii) descriptive and specic competence areas based on real
evidence (e.g., giving enough time to the student, building relations between events)
should be focused on, (iii) specic competence areas (e.g., asking questions, asking
for repetition) should be revisited, and (iv) a limited number (N≈3) of competence
areas should be targeted in each session (like 3 in each session) (See Table 4). All of
these features are consistent with the properties of effective feedback as outlined in
the literature and as mentioned in the introduction part of this article (Copland, 2010;
Scheeler et al., 2004; Wilkins-Canter, 2010). On the other hand, a number of possible
reasons may be cited as to why the coach handled competences concerning the one-
on-one conversations in the way she did. One reason may be that the competences
necessary for one-on-one conversations are numerous, intricate, and complicated.
Another reason may be the individual needs and the developmental pace of the
teacher-researcher. The rationale behind the reasons can be attributed to the coach’s
use of scaffolding (McKenzie, 2000; Vygotsky, 1978) to help the teacher-researcher
internalize the competences in question and transform knowledge into practice. It
may be concluded that the coach took into account the teacher-researcher’s pace and
individual needs for development while planning the entire process in a step-by-step
and repetitive manner, focusing on a limited number of competences in the hope to
enhance teacher-researcher’s one-on-one conversation skills.
The fact that the teacher-researcher and the coach cooperated throughout the entire
study is another notable feature that should be addressed. It is frequently emphasized
in the literature that since cooperation promotes continuity and efciency, it is
an indispensable component of the coaching process (Cantrell & Hughes, 2008;
Veenman & Denessen, 2001). With respect to the effectiveness of cooperation, it
has been underpinned that the quality of communication and interaction between
the teacher-researcher and the coach is of fundamental signicance (Lowenhaupt et
al., 2013; Rhodes & Beneicke, 2002). A closer look at the interaction between the
teacher-researcher and the coach during the current study reveals that every step of
the process was built on a number of quality interactions; namely, mutual respect,
joint goals, joint decisions, and the equal opportunity to express their opinions. All
of these features may be considered as factors that promote effective communication
between teachers and coaches during professional development programs (Gersten et
al., 1995; Irinaga-Bistolas et al., 2007).
Additional tangible ndings concerning effective communication can be observed
in those sessions that the coach provided feedback regarding the implementation to
the teacher-researcher. As such, facilitating opportunities for the teacher to express
his opinions about the implementation and to reect on it during feedback sessions
should be recorded as major indicators of effective communication. In addition,
, the coach took the teacher-researcher’s ideas into account throughout the entire
process and listened to him whenever he wanted to share his ideas, even while
giving feedback. Relevant studies on interactions during professional development
programs indicate that coaches should be good listeners in order to support teachers’
development (Cantrell & Hughes, 2008; Onchwari & Keengwe, 2008). Moreover,
during the feedback sessions, the coach offered the teacher-researcher opportunities
to reect on his work, which is considered inuential for analytic thinking skills.
Moreover, reecting on one’s own work aides that person in internalizing knowledge,
as explained by the zone of proximal development. All of these ndings emphasize
that teachers internalize their gains and enhance their analytic thinking skills by
analyzing and reecting on their own work during coaching based professional
development programs (Barkley, 2005; Veenman & Denessen, 2001).
Another noteworthy feature of the interaction built by the coach during the
professional development process is that it was not based on directions and
instructions, but on propositions and offers. Parallel to this nding, the literature
advises coaches to be guides showing teachers where they are and where they are
heading instead of imposing their own thinking and belief systems onto teachers
Gürgür / Analyzing the Coaching Based Professional Development Process of a Special Education Teacher
during professional development programs (Obara, 2010; Onchwari & Keengwe,
2008). With respect to the interaction between the two parties in the current study,
the last point concerns the shortness of feedback sessions. The literature review
revealed that although feedback sessions of approximately 30 minutes are conducive
to promoting effective interaction (Copland, 2010), the average length of feedback
sessions in this study was 10 minutes. Although the sessions in the current study
appear to be very short and therefore inefcient, the frequency of these sessions may
compensate for their shortness. Nevertheless, this nding should be handled with
caution since it is not clear how competence areas might be able to be studied in such
short sessions and how knowledge about competence areas might be internalized and
transformed into practice.
In conclusion, a coaching based professional development program was planned
and implemented in the current study, leading to several noteworthy features being
determined; namely, that the process is well-planned, goal-oriented, systematic, and
cyclic. In addition, the process also takes individual characteristics into account and is
both supportive and exible. Additionally, the entire process is based on cooperation,
effective communication, and the coach’s guidance. The last two features in particular
should be underlined in terms of their signicance in presenting and internalizing
information during professional development efforts. It is possible to state that these
ndings are consistent with the features dening quality as concluded by those
studies pointing out that coaching is an effective approach for facilitating teachers’
professional development. However, due attention should be given to the intricate
relation among these features. At this point, one may wonder if the teacher-researcher
succeeded in satisfying the needs that he had determined at the beginning of the
process; namely, prociency conducting one-on-one conversations and specifying
criteria for building an appropriate study environment and selecting students. One
question that would need to be answered is: “Have the intended goals of gaining
experience and improving competencies been achieved?” Based on the teacher’s
reections, it is reasonable to state that the teacher improved in certain areas,
especially in terms of conducting one-on-one conversations. Signs of improvement
are clearly visible in the teacher’s planning and implementation of one-on-one
conversations with hearing impaired students whose ages and grades were beyond
the teacher-researcher’s previous experience. Furthermore, the coach went the extra
mile to bring the researcher’s knowledge up to date and to help him transform his
knowledge into practice. Yet, the results of this study should be interpreted and used
without neglecting the fact that this study had to be completed in a limited amount
of time. As such, it may be wise to note that this study was designed to examine the
process and not to verify the scope of competences that the teacher-researcher would
gain. Nevertheless, one can easily deduce that the teacher-researcher improved his
reection and analytic thinking skills, and this type of improvement can be taken as
a sign that the teacher-researcher will continue questioning and seeking solutions as
he continues working in the eld. This result indicates that the development process
is likely to continue and that future actions are likely be planned. Therefore, a natural
suggestion to make would be to continue this research, as it focuses on the coaching
approach while adopting a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) standpoint.
Based on the ndings of this study, suggestions can be made for future research
endeavors. The ndings have shown that coaching based professional development
programs have the potential to produce a wide range of outcomes. At this point,
it should be noted that the report of this action-research may serve as a guide
providing a roadmap as to how the process should be managed. One suggestion is
that manuals be prepared to direct scholars in their efforts to conduct a coaching
based professional development program. Furthermore, it may also be suggested
that the coaching based approach be expanded and used alongside other large scale,
individual approaches for professional development in all subject areas. In doing
so, all parties should be informed that coaching is not be employed for only a
short time and should continue over an extended period of time to be effective.
Furthermore, the background and experiences in classroom teaching, professional
development efforts, and adult education endeavors that the coach in this particular
study brought should not be neglected. Accordingly, the background portfolios of
teacher trainers should be taken into account to determine whether they are able to
fulll the role of a coach. In this vein, coaches who themselves have participated
in professional development may be better options for those wishing to provide
higher quality professional development programs.
Both the results deduced from the ndings of this study and the study’s limitations
can serve as a foundation for future research endeavors. Among the limitations
include the fact that the study is of an action-research design and employs only
qualitative data collection methods. The most important limitation is need for an
objective method to measure to what degree the teacher-researcher’s competence
areas improve. As such, one recommendation is that future research use quantitative
data to determine the degree that the teacher improves. Moreover, future studies may
employ different professional development approaches together with coaching in an
experimental design. In such studies, one can decide whether the process should be
implemented in real-life settings by determining the potential effect of a coaching-
based professional development program on students’ success levels. This study
focused solely on an individual teacher’s skills at holding one-on-one conversations.
Therefore, further research should focus on other qualities necessary for teachers
of hearing impaired students to have. Since this study was conducted at a research
center, afliated with a university, where hearing-impaired students are educated,
another limitation concerns the place of research. By conducting studies focusing on
Gürgür / Analyzing the Coaching Based Professional Development Process of a Special Education Teacher
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... Quality instruction is critical to student success at all levels of education, including post-secondary settings (Gürgür, 2017;Kane et al., 2016;Thurlings, & den Brok, 2017). Faculty come to the learning environment with varying levels of pedagogical expertise. ...
... Traditionally, professional development opportunities for faculty are delivered through instructor-centered modalities including workshops, courses, and lectures (Dron & Anderson, 2014;Holmes & Prieto-Rodriquz, 2018;Stoten, 2020). However, these modalities are less effective than those that promote a learner-centered environment (Bedford, 2019;Gürgür, 2017). A learner-centered environment according to Hughey (2020) facilitates individualized learning in which the goal is to empower the learner. ...
... Professional development is critical to organizational and individual effectiveness (Gürgür, 2017;Kane et al., 2016;Thurlings, & den Brok, 2017). To be effective, organizational and individual goals must be linked. ...
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Coaching is increasingly being used in higher education as a mechanism to meet the individualized professional development needs of faculty. Faculty coaching has been associated with positive organizational and pedagogical outcomes. However, missing from the research is insight into why faculty choose to participate in coaching and how the coaching process addresses the faculty members' individual learning goals. To address these questions, an explanatory case study design was employed to focus on the bounded system of the coaching program within a Teaching and Learning Center of an online university. Data collection included faculty focus groups, responses to written, open-ended questionnaires from faculty coaches, and a review of the coaching registration database. An inductive analysis approach resulted in four themes, Affirmation of Current Practices, Expectations for the Coaching Experience, Reciprocal Institutional Relationships, and Teaching Support, and added to the body of knowledge about faculty coaching in online higher education.
... A recent needs assessment conducted by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) identified special educators' preferences for professional development (Bullock 2018) and revealed that 'collaboration and co-teaching' was one of the top four areas that would be beneficial for improving practice. In terms of professional development to help special education teachers become more effective in using collaborative co-teaching practices, 'learner-centered' and 'job-embedded' approaches appear promising (Faraclas 2018;Gürgür 2017;Pedrotty Bryant et al. 2001). However, we recognise that this may be cost-intensive compared to online professional development (Dede et al. 2009;Erickson, Noonan, and McCall 2012;Misra 2018) or hybrid approaches using some in-person training with ongoing virtual follow-up (Clary et al. 2017;Simonsen et al. 2020). ...
This article presents the findings of an empirical research project that focuses on the job-embedded professional development of special education in relation to a school district initiative for greater inclusive practices and the reduction of segregated and ‘pull out’ special education services. The professional development comprised the coaching and modelling of research-based instructional strategies and co-teaching practices wherever the special education teacher was, which was typically in a general education classroom. The co-teaching approaches included one teach/one observe, one teach/one assist, alternative teaching, parallel teaching, station teaching, and teaming, as described by Friend [2015. “Welcome to Co-teaching 2.0.” Educational Leadership 73 (4): 16]. Job-embedded professional development (JEPD) is a relatively new approach for improving co-teaching practices between general and special educators in the United States. This approach was adopted by a school district in West Central Florida serving approximately 70,000 students (pre-kindergarten to 12th grade). Participating elementary, middle, and high school special educators’ reflections on the co-teaching instructional models are examined. The sources for this study include a collation of observed co-teaching approaches and teacher survey responses. Overall, the JEPD appeared to increase the use of co-teaching practices and was well-received by the teachers across all settings.
... As both teachers perform as coach and coachee (Hismanoglu, 2010), they develop understanding (Wetzel et al., 2019) and ability to acknowledge the comments and assistance of one another for their individual teaching (Arslan & Ilin, 2013). More specifically, well designed, methodical and recurring coaching (Gürgür, 2017;Liao, 2018;Zepeda, 2013) reduce teachers' tension relating to three key areas: "teacher identity, curriculum, instruction and community" (see Wetzel et al., 2019 p. 43) and situate them as agentic. ...
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This investigation explored how English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers at a Sri Lankan university understand professional development (PD) initiatives, the impact of their perceptions on their engagement in PD activities, and how the relationship between their perceptions and engagement in PD activities influence their learning and any subsequent changes in their classroom practices. Teacher PD is increasingly being prioritised in educational policies and practices. Although PD is a significant strategy to enrich teachers’ learning and subsequent enhancement of students’ progress, currently many ESL teachers encounter numerous difficulties and challenges as they lack opportunities to engage in focused PD activities. Effective PD activities are important to provide lifelong learning opportunities, prevent career burnout, and generate new knowledge and practices among ESL teachers. This can develop inclination for and openness to undertaking collaborative work with other practitioners, which may result in improved teaching practice and effective knowledge transmission to their learners. Ultimately, given the resilience and satisfaction achieved, teachers as competent professionals may be inspired to pursue important educational goals in knowledge-based economies. In spite of these implications, attention to PD in ESL has been inadequate. A qualitative case study was carried out with ten full-time in-service ESL teachers in the Department of English Language Teaching (DELT) of a regional government university in Sri Lanka to examine PD initiatives from practitioner perspectives. Purposeful sampling method was used to select the participant group which comprised both novice and experienced ESL teachers. The study employed semi-structured interviews as the primary instrument of data collection to discover participants’ perceptions relating to two types of PD activities: sponsored and independent. Thematic Analysis (TA) was used for recognising, analysing and interpreting of data. The analysis uncovered fourteen perceptions in relation to teacher PD which were categorised into four primary types: individual need-oriented, professional goal-oriented, knowledge-oriented, and outcomes-oriented. Participants’ conceptions broadly supported them to understand PD initiatives and this awareness was crucial to set goals for their attendance to PD sessions. However, participants’ level of interaction, engagement, and learning during PD activities were largely dependent on contextual factors; relevance of the informational content, interest of the topic, practitioner-centredness, and other contextual determinants, rather than their perceptions or type of PD. Findings validate that effectiveness of a PD activity was the key influence that could change teachers’ behaviour, existing beliefs, values, and attitudes. The study also exposed numerous other influences: individual, contextual, and external, which could impact on ESL teachers’ engagement and learning from PD activities and knowledge transmission to students. Findings of the study have implications for PD providers, policy-makers, and institutions, and it is strongly argued that the recommendations based on the findings need to be properly considered in designing, delivering, and framing of PD activities for ESL teachers in Sri Lankan universities. Given that, they would gain opportunities to engage in focused and productive PD activities to harness for optimal learner outcomes. This may result in heightening ESL teachers’ skills, professional standards, and their students’ performance.
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The purpose of this study was to answer public concerns about the impact of pornographic content accessed via the internet on high school students. This study describes how children can access, the reasons for accessing it and the consequences of access. The method used is descriptive quantitative by exploring pornographic behavior. The data collection technique was carried out by distributing questionnaires and deepening them by interviewing several students. Data collection involved 718 high school students as respondents from four cities namely Bandung, Pekanbaru, Denpasar, and Yogyakarta. The results showed that students who had been exposed to pornography reached 96.1 percent and most of them looked through cellphones. The result of frequent viewing of pornographic content is feeling anxious, fantasizing frequently, decreased learning achievement, viewing addiction, porn addiction, aggressive or angry, dirty talk, wanting to have sex, and some even having free sex. students can be exposed to pornography from the age of 10, which they mostly see when they are in their own homes. This condition is due to the lack of parental supervision of internet use. They are physically close to parents, but the internet can browse indefinitely and separate communication between children and parents.
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У статті аналізуються шляхи підвищення фахової компетентності педагогів міждисциплінарних команд супроводу учнів з особливими освітніми потребами. Автори доходять висновку щодо доречності застосування коучингу для оволодіння фахівцями супроводу інклюзивними технологіями, а також здатністю працювати у режимі командної взаємодії. Представлено структуру навчально-тренінгової програми з опорою на модель ефективного керування командою, а також результати проведеного навчання 9 команд супроводу за цією програмою. Проаналізовано досягнення учасників команди супроводу щодо впровадження інклюзивних технологій, що передбачають перетворення освітнього середовища та реалізацію процесу успішного навчання і розвитку усіх учнів, у тому числі, учнів з особливими освітніми потребами.
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In the article, the authors analyze ways to increase the professional competence of teachers of multidisciplinary IEP teams. This allows the conclusion that that the use of coaching is appropriate for mastering support specialists with inclusive technologies, as well as the ability to work in a team interaction mode. Despite the obvious advantages of teamwork, in Ukraine this format of work is still not mastered in an inclusive educational environment. In the article the authors present the structure of the training program based on the team management model for significant achievements (R. Hackman). We conducted a training program for 10 IEP teams, aimed at increasing the level of team interaction and inclusive competence of specialists. Formative influence was done directly during the professional activity of teachers and was accompanied by prolonged expert coaching. In their study, the authors applied a special design scheme for teamwork. This scheme was concretized in the fact that the participants of the IEP teams used the experience gained in the training sessions in the practice of their professional activity, critically comprehended and analyzed their new experience, sought to comprehend the factors of both success and failure. Together with the coordinator and experts, all participants of the IEP teams developed rules for the team, established feedback, sought to influence the focus on mastering the modern approaches of the inclusive process at the level of the entire educational institution. In turn, this maintained the necessary level of motivation and joint intentions to introduce a competently constructed educational environment. To assess the state of inclusive competence formation before and after the training program, we used teacher selfassessment method «Professional Development Tool for Improving the Quality of Practice in primary school». As a result, all teachers have achieved a significant increase in the effectiveness of interdisciplinary support for children with special needs, which have reflected in the positive changes that have occurred in teachers at the professional, interpersonal and personal levels.
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Although it is mentioned many times at both 17th and 18th National Education Councils, ninth National Development Plan and 60th Government Action Plan in the last decade, there are serious challenges upon teachers' professional development (PD) in Turkey. According to some studies, Turkey has a young teacher staff but their PD needs can not be fully analyzed and most teachers consider that the PD activities they participated are ineffective. Traditional courses and seminars are ineffective since they are mostly theoretical, decontextualized, didactical, without monitoring and feedback. Therefore, there is a serious and radical transformation need for teachers' PD. Recently, as a sign of a revival, the Turkish Ministry of National Education is also aware of this issue and related studies have been increased. In this study, effective teacher PD and its problems were investigated by examining the articles, doctoral dissertations and large scale reports published in the last decade and several suggestions were provided accordingly.
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This study explored the use of coaching as a way to bring research-based teaching practices into general education classrooms to improve the quality of reading instruction provided to students with learning disabilities. Project staff trained and mentored district special educators on the process of coaching. Qualitative research methodology was used to analyze the process of expert consultation and to better understand the process of change. Key issues that emerged included differences in the ways that special and general educators conceptualize teaching, the differing concerns and priorities between special and general educators, and the anxieties inherent in an observation and feedback process.
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Training of beginning teacher educators has become a popular topic in the literature. This study aimed to investigate the training procedures of a new teacher educator who would be working in the division of the hearing impaired. The study was designed as action research and a new teacher educator, an experienced teacher educator and an academic experienced in the areas of hearing impairments and qualitative research participated in the study. The data collection techniques included researcher diary, documents, interviews, evaluation forms, audio and video tape recordings. The analyses revealed that the process took six phases to complete which were "observation", "evaluation under the control of the experienced teacher educator", "independent evaluation", "re-evaluation under the control of the experienced teacher educator", "semi-independent evaluation" and "full independent evaluation". It was seen that throughout the process, the roles and responsibilities of the teacher educators changed and that these changes were unique to each stage. Another finding was that the procedures were very beneficial for the researcher who was both a teacher educator and a classroom teacher.
School performance and school improvement are in the spotlight. A plethora of policy driven initiatives including the prescription of standards, enhanced self-management opportunities, organisational restructuring, professional development of staff and statutory interventions, such as literacy development, have underlain the pressure and support offered by government to raise standards in schools. Coaching, mentoring and peer-network mechanisms, which have had prevalence outside education, are being seen as important within education as a means of assisting the raising of standards and attainment. This article concerns itself with the use of coaching, mentoring and peer-network mechanisms in schools as a means to enhance professional development, embed changed practice and encourage the transmission of teacher learning to pupil learning within classrooms. The potential benefits of the deployment of such mechanisms within schools are reviewed, and the article highlights management issues within schools likely to emerge should individual schools adopt or give additional prominence to the use of such mechanisms as a means to enhance professional development.
This article describes a developmental induction model designed specifically to meet the needs of beginning special educators in rural settings. The Bridges to Success project incorporated activities and resources to support effective orientation, mentoring and professional development components of an induction model. The model was implemented with three cohorts of participants, in two cohorts; not all participating mentees were true beginning special educators. Differential outcomes were found by the amount and types of experience mentees possessed, their proximity to their mentor, and their initial level of competence and confidence. Implications for designing effective induction programs in rural areas are discussed.
Throughout history there have been efforts to help deaf children develop spoken language through which they could have full access to the hearing world. These efforts, although pursued seriously and with great care, frequently proved fruitless and often resulted only in passionate arguments over the efficacy of particular approaches. Although some deaf children did develop spoken language, there was little evidence to suggest that this development had been facilitated by any particular educational approach, and moreover, many, even most deaf children - especially those with profound loss - never develop spoken language at all. Recent technological advances, however, have led to more positive expectations for deaf children's acquisitions of spoken language: innovative testing procedures for hearing allow for early identification of loss which leads to intervention services during the first weeks and months of life. Programmable hearing aids allow more children to make use of residual hearing abilities. Children with the most profound losses are able to reap greater benefits from cochlear-implant technologies. At the same time, there have been great advances in research into the processes of deaf children's language development and the outcomes they experience. As a result, we are for the first time accruing a sufficient base of evidence and information to allow reliable predictions about children's progress which will, in turn, lead to further advances. This book presents information on the new world evolving for deaf and hard-of-hearing children and the improved expectations for their acquisition of spoken language. © 2006 by Patricia Elizabeth Spencer and Marc Marschark. All rights reserved.
Teacher training and teacher quality are an important part of the education system, therefore there is a need for new training programs for teachers to gain new knowledge and skills and to support their professional development. In recent years, new programs have been developed to offer knowledge and experience to teachers, and different methods such as consulting to increase the effectiveness of these programs have been suggested. One of these methods is performance feedback which can desirably change teacher behaviors and offer teachers opportunities to experience applying these newly learned methods in their classrooms. The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of performance feedback (PF) which was given daily to teachers following their training in classroom management strategies on the outcome of teacher-student dyads. This study was conducted using three teachers working in mainstreaming classes and their students with special needs. A single-subject design, the multiple-probe design with probe conditions across subjects, and the one group pretest/post-test design were used to complete the research goal. As a result, performance feedback was found to have positive effects on teacher-use of target classroom management skills (individualization, transitions, and reinforcement). It was seen that intervention increased the preventive classroom management skills and classroom behaviors of teachers. Regarding the outcome for the children, the intervention program increased academic engagement and positive behaviors, while decreasing negative behaviors. Teacher opinions related to the performance feedback intervention were generally positive. Finally, social comparison data indicated that the intervention was socially valid, and by the end of the study the students who were participants in the research displayed more positive behaviors and less negative behaviors than the social comparison groups.