Review the list of 10 characteristic of coaching that make it an effective professional development practice that enhances knowledge and improves practice.
Effective Coaching is…
- Consistent with adult learning principles: Coaching allows the learners to share their life experiences relative to content knowledge and practices, to have a say in what they learn and what goals they want to set, to understand how content and practices relate to their work, and to focus on and solve current challenges in their work.
- Focused on building capacity: Coaching builds the knowledge and skills of the learner so that over time the learner is able to function without the intensive ongoing support of the coach.
- Nondirective: Coaching is not telling the learner what to do, but rather giving them the opportunity to reflect on their current practices and discover ways to improve. Effective coaching involves asking questions that promote thinking, awareness of what is happening and what the learner wants to happen, goal setting, and how to achieve set goals.
- Goal oriented: Coaching is an adult learning strategy used to improve practices and achieve goals identified by the coach and learner.
- Solution focused: Coaching is focused on reflecting on current practices and identifying possible solutions and strategies to overcome problems and improve practices.
- Performance based: Coaching is intended to improve a learners performance, knowledge and skills over time. Coaching requires the learner to be an active participant in the process.
- Reflective: Coaching is a reflective process in which learners achieve a deeper understanding of what they already know and discover what new skills or practices are necessary to achieve their desired goals.
- Collaborative: Coaching is a partnership in which both the coach and learner bring knowledge and skills to the relationship. It is not a hierarchical relationship in which the coach has power over the learner.
- Context driven: Coaching is a partnership built on the achievement of goals related to the learner’s current experience and situation. Coaching content is directly related to the context in which the practices are used.
- Individualized: Coaching is as “hands on” as is needed by the learner. The coach may assist the learner in identifying solutions and resources, share information, model an action, or provide feedback on the learner’s actions. The level of scaffolding and support the coach provides is individualized to the learner’s unique needs.
Source: Rush, D.D., & Shelden, M.L. (2011). The Early Childhood Coaching Handbook. Baltimore, MD: Brooks Publishing.