Literacy coaching in the Texas Coastal Bend: a retrospective diary study of literacy coaches and elementary teachers
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School districts across the nation are hiring literacy coaches, but there is little empirical evidence with regard to the effectiveness of coaching influencing teacher practice in literacy instruction. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of literacy coaches in the Texas Coastal Bend schools and their perceived influence on the self-efficacy of teachers for literacy instruction. The literature review is organized in three themes: (a) the literacy coach defined; (b) the evolution of the role, responsibilities and qualifications of literacy coaches; (c) teachers' sense of efficacy. The data tools for this quantitative study utilized telephone interviews of 11 elementary literacy coaches in the Texas Coastal Bend. The elementary literacy coaches, and classrooms teachers with whom they work, took the online survey, Teachers' Sense of Efficacy for Literacy Instruction Scale (TSELIS), to determine the influence of literacy coaches' work with teachers as perceived by the teachers. The results of this indicate that literacy coaches influenced teachers' overall literacy instruction and ability to provide differentiated instruction (M = 3.60) but did not provide enough support in writing strategies. These findings have implications for the need to hire qualified literacy coaches who spend more time providing job-embedded coaching for teachers. The results also show a need to provide formal training for literacy coaches in reading and writing instruction to have a better impact on helping teachers increase their ability to help students read fluently and provide better writing instruction. This study provides information to school administrators, because in this time of resource challenges, it is important for administrators to know how to use elementary literacy coaches in the best, most efficient manner. Recommendations for future research include examining the long term effects of literacy coaching on student achievement, and what kind of training is most effective to develop a successful literacy coach.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction