The effectiveness of instructional coaching and professional learning communities in an alternative setting





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The research question addressed in this project was: how does the effect of instructional coaching and increased opportunities for collaboration through professional learning communities (PLCs) impact teaching practice? It explores how teachers in a small alternative high school setting experienced deliberate and intentional job-embedded professional learning. A goal of on-site professional learning is to strengthen teachers' instructional practice by integrating authentic student data into the learning opportunities. In the study the author describes the numerous challenges encountered by the instructional coach and the teachers as they attempted to implement the practices of coaching and PLCs. She concludes that: 1) instructional coaching is most successful when the school schedule can support consistent coach-teacher interactions 2) the most effective PLCs are teacher led, data-driven and evolve over time, and 3) both practices take time to master, require clear communication and unanimous commitment of all staff to student achievement.

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