Improving Student Talk through Coaching

Nov, 2018 by Geoff Vu Category: Action Research Summaries 2018

Common studies suggest we spend at least 80 percent of our waking hours in some form of communication throughout the day, with the majority of that being in conversation — speaking and listening. In classrooms and schools, we find these measures almost to be inverted, where conversations yield to long, one-sided inputs from teacher and or other stimuli. Even as educators acknowledge the benefits of student discourse as it relates to social-emotional development, constructivist learning, and critical thinking, schools continue to struggle in adopting strategies that support more opportunities for quality student talk. This action research study explores the impact of targeted coaching on planning and implementation of student talk strategies introduced in site-wide professional learning engagements as a means to improve teacher planning and increase opportunities for student conversations. The results of this research suggest that with the addition of continuously responsive and focused coaching, teachers will experience improved cognition in planning and in this case, students dramatic shifts in opportunities to engage in structured discourse. The implications of this study can support leaders and coaches who are looking to maximize transfer of instructional practices introduced and studied in regular ongoing professional development.

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