The effects of coaching on teacher knowledge, teacher practice and reading achievement of at-risk first grade students
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The effects of coaching on teacher and student outcomes were compared to outcomes of classes randomized to professional development only and comparison conditions. Twenty-one teachers, trained to implement a Tier II reading intervention curriculum, were grouped by campus then randomized to one of three conditions: professional development plus coaching support (n=6), professional development only (n=7) and a comparison condition (n=8). Teachers in the coached and professional development only (un-coached) conditions were compared on measures of teacher knowledge and implementation fidelity as an indication of teacher practice. Student achievement scores on word attack, reading fluency and reading comprehension measures were compared for students in each of the three conditions. A multiple-gating procedure was used to help teachers identify the five lowest-performing readers in their first grade classrooms. Students completed a battery of seven reading ability assessments prior to and immediately following teacher-implementation of a seventeen-week reading intervention curriculum. Results of ANCOVA analyses indicated students in classes of teachers who received professional development and coaching support did not demonstrate significantly higher scores than teachers who only received professional development training on a battery of reading measures. Further analysis indicated students in the professional development plus coaching condition did have significantly higher scores than those in comparison conditions on five of the seven outcome measures. Teachers in coached and professional development only conditions completed a teacher knowledge survey to measure their knowledge of evidence-based reading practices. ANCOVA analysis revealed no significant differences between groups at posttest. Changes in teacher practice were measured as a function of intervention implementation fidelity. Intervention teachers were videotaped three times over the course of the intervention and taped classes were scored, rated and compared across conditions. Results of a Repeated Measures Analysis of Variance on fidelity scores revealed a statistically significant difference in favor of the teachers who received professional development plus coaching.