The Relationships between Coaching and Instruction in the Primary Grades: Evidence from High-Poverty Schools


In this study of 116 high-poverty schools, we explored teaching and coaching in grades K–3. We developed and validated observation protocols for both coaching and teaching. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were computed to identify and confirm factors that explained the protocol data. Three coaching factors were identified in both analyses: (1) collaboration with teachers, (2) coaching for differentiation, and (3) leadership support for coaching. Five teaching factors were identified in the exploratory factor analysis: (1) collaboration, (2) small-group management, (3) effective reading instruction, (4) read-alouds, and (5) assessment. In the confirmatory factor analysis the final teaching factors included (1) small-group work, (2) effective instruction, (3) read-alouds, and (4) management. Structural equation modeling indicated that each coaching factor was a significant predictor of at least one instructional factor, but there were differences by grade level. Implications of these findings for future research into causal relationships between coaching and enhanced instruction are discussed.

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The Elementary School Journal