Teacher coaching in Aotearoa New Zealand secondary schools : an exploratory study
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Citation:Bennett, P. (2017). Teacher Coaching in Aotearoa New Zealand Secondary Schools: An Exploratory Study. An unpublished thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Education), Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4193
Teacher coaching is a personnel development approach that has developed out of the popular concepts of sports, business and life coaching. The purpose of this study was to explore how teacher coaching is being implemented in New Zealand secondary schools and fill the knowledge gap between the promotion and use of teacher coaching and the lack of informed evidence regarding teacher coaching in the New Zealand context. Five research questions formed the basis of this study. The questions explored why school leaders have adopted teacher coaching, the ways that teacher coaching has been implemented, the strategies that have been used, and the challenges that have been presented. A pragmatic mixed methods approach was identified as the most suitable in order to achieve the study’s exploratory purpose. A dominant qualitative approach, using a sequential design, incorporating triangulation of methods, perspectives and across time, provided an appropriate research design framework. The findings show teacher coaching is a popular professional development approach that has been enthusiastically implemented throughout New Zealand secondary schools. Participants did not have a shared definition of teacher coaching in the schools in which they operated. Teacher coaching is perceived differently in different schools and by different stakeholders in the same school. Teacher coaches are being used for a host of different reasons. The concept of teacher coaching is a social construct that is not only influenced by unique environmental contexts but also the individual perceptions of all those involved. There is no one way of understanding teacher coaching, but a plethora of different definitions, approaches and perceptions. Consequently, programme leaders in New Zealand secondary schools are faced with a complex challenge when implementing teacher coaching. The four factors of: purpose, evaluation, training and funding have been shown by this study to be interrelated factors that are perceived to have an influence on the outcome of teacher coaching programmes. Teacher coaching in New Zealand secondary schools holds much promise. However, currently there is a danger those involved in teacher coaching ignore the complexities of this intervention and subsequently diminish its potential outcomes. If stakeholders involved in the practice of teacher coaching continue to reflect upon and refine their activities then there is a significant chance that teacher coaching will deliver upon its perceived potential and support teachers across New Zealand to develop their practice and improve outcomes for their students.