Current debates concerning effective professional development for teachers of early reading have focused on the potential benefits of a literacy coach in providing sustained support and guidance for teachers’ learning from a professional development program. In this study, we compare the response of first-grade teachers to a model of professional development that did or did not include a literacy coach (i.e., PD Coach or PD No Coach) by examining teachers’ attitudes toward professional development, their instruction, and student outcomes. We also take into account teachers’ views about their school climate, as these might influence their response to professional development activities. Results showed no differences in teachers’ attitudes toward the professional development, the support of their principal, or opportunities for collaboration with other teachers. The PD Coach teachers differed from the PD No Coach teachers in aspects of instruction relevant to the professional development program. Further, students in PD Coach teachers’ classrooms made greater improvements in word decoding from fall to spring. The support of the principal contributed to these outcomes. The results suggest benefits of a model of professional development in reading that included school-based coaching for first-grade teachers.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 9, 2010
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