*February 6, 2009

Wild and Wacky Research


See handouts

How Does the Research on Literacy Coaching inform Practice?


Nancy Shanklin

Presentation will be on the web site http://www.literacycoachingonline.org  

LCs can change teacher practice and student achievement – can the change in teacher practice actually produce change in student performance as encouraged by LCs

3 studies discussed

1. Literacy Collaborative comes from Reading Recovery (Fountas and Pinnell)

Assessed all students K-3 attending 18 public schools across 8 states in eastern us


literacy assessments on all student in both fall and spring for 4 years to assess change over time in literacy

few ell learners assessed

year 1 treated as baseline students

systematic observation of teacher practice in years 2-4 to document

monthly coach log reports on PD activities – who, what, and how

Teacher surveys years 1 and 4 to assess individual agency, school organization properties, possible changes

Used parts of DIBELS in fall and spring, grades k-2 and fall 3rd (phonemic awareness parts only)

Terra Nova in spring grades 1-3 (comprehension)

Value-added analyses demonstrate an overall positive effect on childrens’ literacy learning across schools

Considerable variability exists between schools

          Some schools show 50% additional learning over usual growth

          Some show substantial increments to average growth after 2 years

18.8% improvement at the end of year 2 (.25 effect size)

27.5% at end of 3rd year

33.4% at end of 4th year

By the final year 33.4% average increase in learning across children, grades, teachers, and schools in that year over baseline year.

2a. Does Literacy Coaching make a difference?

12 literacy coaches, 121 teachers, 3019 students

Coaching logs and student test scores for data

Coaches spend 48% of time working with teachers (normally 20% in other models)

Total gains on DIBELS were significant for grades k-3

Number of coaching hours focused on conferencing was found to be statistically significant in relation to students’ total gains in grades k-2, but not in 3+

2b. Examining the relationship between lc and s reading achievemtn at the primary level

2 districts, students made significant gains by k-3 students on high stakes tests

Appears students who need only some additional support benefit more from coaching than students who require substantial intervention

Results suggest that schools need both literacy coaches and reading specialists

3. Chicago Public Schools

Developed the advanced reading development demonstration project (arddp)

Target: schools at low levels of reading achievement

Each university partnered with up to 10 schools (6 universities)

Focused on increasing teachers’ knowledge, assessments that can inform instruction, infrastructure for teacher leaders and teacher teams to work on building k-8 coherence

CPS committed to resources for positions and for pd in the form of coursework leading to ILL reading credential

Thus schools crated school lead literacy teachers (llt)

By the end of year 5 there were better schools, higher student performance, and a cadre of new school literacy leaders

Common to all studies

-use observation forms or self-assessments to track improvements in teacher instruction

-use logs of how coaches spend their time

-use measures of student achievement and examine the data frequently

-results are not always found in the first year; it takes 3-5 years

No large scale studies at the secondary level to prove the effectiveness yet

Can the effects of coaching be sustained?

          Mobility of teachers and students can make sustaining results more difficult

          Build in practices that make for self-renewing systems

Importance of principal leadership to coaching efforts

          Principals need to set the stage for literacy coaches

          Principals and coaches need to present clear description of coaches role to faculty

          The need to think about “phase-in” models of coaching programs

          Helpful to have PLC-like structures to support looking at data and having critical talks about instruction

What tasks of a literacy coach really seem to matter?

Many studies have coaches keep logs of their practice and interview them about what they find themselves doing

Is great variance in the job.  More so at the secondary level than even the elementary level

Conferring with teachers and one-to-one coaching make the most difference

Why do coaches do so little conferring or one-to-one coaching

          Takes most time of tasks that they might do

          Often, they are assigned too many teachers to work with

          The coach is given other work to do that is not really about improving literacy instruction and students’ achievement

A coach is a high-level master teacher.

How do you coach and what should you be doing that really makes a difference?

1-1   coaching – the goal is to improve teacher practices

Phase 1

coaches provide many indirect suggestions

Phase 2

Coaches asked to record a feedback conversation

Coaches and technology 

integral to many new forms of assessment and data mining,

it is important for communication with each other,

is part of 21st century skills,

important part of instructions – iwb, video, podcast, wikis, email, webquest, internet,

literacy programs with technology components