Research School Network: Implementing coaching: setting and agreeing goals. Katie White on using the Effective Professional Development guidance to support coaching


Implementing coaching: setting and agreeing goals.

Katie White on using the Effective Professional Development guidance to support coaching

by Kingsbridge Research School
on the

Katie White, Co-Deputy Director of Kingsbridge Research School, on how the EEF’s Effective Professional Development guidance report has helped shape the school’s approach to coaching.

This year we have made huge strides in promoting and normalising instructional coaching at Kingsbridge Community College. The feedback we are receiving daily by email, Steplab, Google forms, or just verbally, has been overwhelmingly positive.

Instructional coaching is the single most effective way to accelerate teacher’s development of expertise and translation of new research into practice and, this changes students’ lives” (Didion et al. 2020; Kraft et al 2018; Lynch et al 2019 and Pellegrini et al 2021).

From this feedback, the most cited source for optimism from teachers is the idea of setting and agreeing goals for their teaching – one of the mechanisms for Motivating teachers in the EEF’s Effective Professional Development guidance report.

Clean Shot 2024 03 12 at 09 17 17

Teachers value the miniature, personalised feedback of instructional coaching because it feels bespoke and achievable. In addition, it helps make cognitive load manageable, ensures that learning is revisited, and, in our model, means goals are reciprocal. Again, this aligns with mechanisms 1 and 2 from the Professional Development guidance:

Clean Shot 2024 03 12 at 09 17 42

It is a great start to a much more meaningful style of PD in which we see how the setting [of] goals substantially increases the likelihood of behaviour change” (Sims et al 2021).

But as well as goal setting, The PD GR has helped us think about implementation more generally. Now that engagement and buy-in is high, we as leaders of implementation have to now ramp up and move onto the next stage of setting and agreeing a broader focus across the whole school. To do this, we have identified a high leverage foci from the data on Steplab and created a hypothesis for a wider whole school goal.

We have tested our hypothesis with SLT guided learning walks. Once we have enough evidence that our foci is in fact meaningful and real, we will ask staff for their voice via a Google form and through conversations. With sufficient agreement, we will make this the entire focus of the next Hub and subsequent coaching; if not, then it is back to the drawing board to start the process again.

This will seem hugely labour intensive, a massive change from the old fashioned” model of a small group of people – and not all of them teaching – sat around a table making often seemingly arbitrary decisions about PD for all. But we all know that with that model, the buy-in was low, the retention poor and the application negligible. By using robust evidence that is data-informed and universally agreed upon, PD has more meaningful benefits that will be felt not only by all of the staff in our school but – most importantly –the students who stand to gain the most.

Related Events

Show all events

More from the Kingsbridge Research School

Show all news

This website collects a number of cookies from its users for improving your overall experience of the site.Read more