Coaching for generative learning: A coach learns to take a listening stance

JoAnn M Duffy, University of Pennsylvania


The dominant models of coaching found in many schools today ignore the knowledge teachers bring with them to their local contexts and instead focus on the "correct" implementation of pre-packaged curricula. These types of coaching models view teachers as passive recipients of knowledge generated elsewhere and diminish teacher autonomy and agency. This practitioner inquiry documents and examines the experiences of educators participating in a constructivist, inquiry-based coaching model. The model uses a generative learning approach and is based on Freire's (1970) theory of dialogism in teaching and mentoring relationships. The study draws upon qualitative methods to chart the implementation and results of the coaching sessions that were conducted over a period of four months, in particular, the unfolding of the process and the experiences of five non-tenured teachers working in a district experiencing great change. ^ In addition to data collected during the sessions, data were collected from interviews with teachers at the outset and the end of the sessions as well as a focus group, conducted near the end of the study in May 2013. The coaching sessions, interviews, and focus group were recorded and transcribed. Co-constructed fieldnotes and related documents were collected and analyzed, including reflective memos and a reflective journal. Data from all sessions were triangulated for analysis. This study found that using a constructivist, inquiry-based model of coaching while taking a listening stance (Schultz, 2003) fostered teacher autonomy and agency and motivated the teacher participants to enact more responsive and constructivist approaches to learning while strengthening and expanding their own developing theories. This study contributes to the literature on professional development, teacher research, and coaching.^

Subject Area

Education, Evaluation|Education, Leadership|Education, Teacher Training

Recommended Citation

Duffy, JoAnn M, "Coaching for generative learning: A coach learns to take a listening stance" (2014). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3622638.