Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. Warren A. Hodge

Second Advisor

Dr. Elinor A. Scheirer

Third Advisor

Dr. Katrina Hall

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Claudia Sealey-Potts

Department Chair

Dr. Chris Janson

College Dean

Dr. Marsha Lupi


The purpose of this study was to examine how teachers describe instructional coaching. Instructional coaching has become a leading form of professional development in educational settings, yet there is a lack of empirical evidence that explains and clarifies it. One aspect of instructional coaching that is not known is how teachers perceive it. In order to gain understanding about instructional coaching, the perspectives of the teachers could provide valuable insight to benefit those involved in the practice. Instructional coaching and the schools where coaching takes place are complex in nature. Through the use of one-on-one interviews, an in-depth look at teachers’ perspectives provided insight into some of these complexities. Fifteen teachers in six child care centers participated in this study.

Two qualitative strategies—inductive analysis (Hatch, 2002) and educational criticism (Eisner, 1998)—were used to analyze interview data from which three themes were formed: (a) instructional coaching is a means of building instructional capacity, (b) instructional coaching requires a supportive environment, and (c) instructional coaching increases children’s learning opportunities. The themes are perspectives from which to view and understand instructional coaching in preschool classrooms.

One conclusion in this study was that all three themes were substantially supported by extant literature and empirical research. The implication for policy and practice is that instructional coaching is contingent upon change and change is difficult due to resistance by teachers and systemic issues. Five recommendations are highlighted in this study: (a) instructional coaches should demonstrate a high level of proficiency in educational knowledge and practice, (b) coaches should be involved in on-going professional development that includes communication training, (c) teacher supervisors should be involved in instructional coaching as

instructional leaders, (d) instructional coaching should be intentional, and (e) instructional coaching should have child learning as its primary focus.

Further research is needed to better understand the perspective of teachers in the field of early childhood education; the perspectives of instructional coaches in the field of early childhood education; and how to effectively involve teacher supervisors in the coaching process to develop teacher leaders and support them to assume the duties and responsibilities of highly effective instructional leaders who influence deep, sustained learning facilitated by problem-solving- and creativity-focused instruction