Instructional Coaches as Teacher Leaders: Roles, Challenges, and Facilitative Factors
Type of DegreeDissertation
Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology
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Teacher leaders represent change agents within a school and they have formal and informal roles to improve teaching and learning. This study focuses on one of the formal roles of teacher leadership which is instructional coaching. There is a thin body of research which focuses on instructional coaching; therefore, this study will contribute to an emerging body of literature. The central question of the study was: How are the roles of instructional coaches enacted and perceived by administrators, teachers, and instructional coaches? The researcher utilized a multiple-case study approach to capture the essence of the roles instructional coaches play in rural and urban elementary and middle schools in Alabama. Principals, instructional coaches, and teachers were interviewed in their school setting to afford the researcher an opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of their perspectives. The researcher analyzed similarities and differences within and across the three cases. All of the participants perceived the roles of the instructional coach as someone who provides support, professional development, and analysis of student data. The participants perceived the most important facilitative factor for instructional coaches as having support from the principal. However, they stated that instructional coaches did not have adequate time to complete their daily responsibilities, due to the demands of coaching. Instructional coaches were faced with teacher resistance, and role ambiguity hindered their success. The findings from this study confirmed what the literature states about the roles, challenges, and facilitative factors of instructional coaching.