The influence of cognitive coaching on the planning and use of instructional conversations, with a focus on mathematics instruction

Lin, Chen Ju
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2012]
Instructional conversations are a teaching method in which teacher and students discuss academic topics with students' previous experience or knowledge (Tharp & Gallimore, 1988). In order to improve student learning, providing students more opportunities to engage in instructional conversations is often recommended. As research indicates that teachers need external support to promote student talk in such classroom conversations, this study investigated the influence of cognitive coaching on teachers' planning and use of instructional conversations. Participants included 28 K-12 public school teachers who received a year of professional development to learn instructional conversations. This study included two stages of the investigation. In Stage 1, 28 teachers' lesson plans submitted over time were analyzed by using multilevel modeling. In Stage 2, a multicase study was used to examine 8 of the 28 teachers' growth in instructional conversations by analyzing teachers' assignment, coach's feedback on the assignment, and coaching notes. The eight teachers all taught mathematics. The results of the study were consistent with literature on cognitive coaching, instructional conversations, and mathematical discourse. The quantitative and qualitative results suggested that before teachers received their first coaching assistance, their instructional conversation planning scores were low. Once they started receiving coaching, their scores went up with fluctuation in later coaching sessions. Furthermore, three covariates (teaching experience, teaching subjects, and grade levels the teachers taught) were not statistically significant. Qualitative results indicated that teaching experience and the grade level taught did influence teachers' planning and use of instructional conversations.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
cognitive coaching, mathematics instruction
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