Preparing instructional coaches to promote reflective teaching: A case of how new mathematics coaches carve their roles as learners and teachers of colleagues

Broderick L Boxley, University of Pennsylvania


This is a practitioner research study that seeks to explore the impact and effectiveness of elementary mathematics coaches. The study examines how the coaches of a particular cohort inquired into their practices and enacted their espoused visions of coaching. Toward that end, the study investigates the use of reflection structures and how they supported reflective or transformative learning experiences for elementary mathematics coaches. Using the literature on peer coaching and reflective teaching practice, the study analyses the learning and work of a cohort of beginning mathematics coaches for the purpose of enhancing coaches' capacity for fostering transformative learning and reflective teaching and subsequently that of the teachers with whom they collaborate. In order to gain insight into conditions for influencing mathematics pedagogy and to examine how beginning elementary mathematics coaches carve their roles as colearners and reflective partners, I conducted a comparative case study of how coaches carried out their work to build their own and others' reflective capacity during an implementation of reform mathematics curricula. The site of the study was a 12,000-student school district in suburban Philadelphia during the 2005-2006 school year. The study focused primarily on the efforts, problems, growth, and effectiveness of the coaches and looked at the value added to their reflective practice by the peer coaching model(s) and collaboration model(s) they enacted. The two primary research questions were the following: (a) How does the elementary mathematics coaches' engagement in their own reflection affect their work to build reflective capacity among teachers during the early implementation of reform mathematics curricula? and (b) Toward that end, how do the organization's espoused vision and enacted vision relate to each coach's espoused and enacted vision for coaching? Ancillary questions included (c) What are the actual practices the coaches use to support teachers' reflective learning within their schools, and why do they think the practices are successful? and (d) How do certain coaches' practices appear to be successful in promoting reflective learning among their teachers?

Subject Area

Teacher education|Mathematics education

Recommended Citation

Boxley, Broderick L, "Preparing instructional coaches to promote reflective teaching: A case of how new mathematics coaches carve their roles as learners and teachers of colleagues" (2006). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3227711.