KU Center for Research on Learning

KU Center for Research on Learning



Paper: Studying the Impact of Instructional Coaching


Jim Knight and Jake Cornett

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Interest in the form of professional learning loosely described as coaching has grown dramatically in the past ten years. School districts and states are hiring thousands of coaches (e.g., there are currently more than 2,100 full-time coaches in Florida alone). However, little rigorous research has been conducted studying the effectiveness of this approach to professional development. As Michael Kamil (2006, p. 16) has succinctly commented, “At this point, we have absolutely no single piece of evidence that coaching is effective: no published research, no randomized control-style studies.” Given the keen interest in coaching, and the limited rigorous study of this approach to professional learning, further study of coaching is certainly needed. This study is designed to deepen our understanding of the potential impact of one particular approach to coaching: instructional coaching.