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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Getting Connected: the Efficacy of Virtual Teacher Coaching in 4th Grade Mathematics and 5th Grade English Language Arts Classrooms
by Shaffer, Christopher Lee, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2019, 128; 27545042
Abstract (Summary)

The enactment of standards-based reforms has been the key lever of change to improve education through policy over the last three decades. Congruency between the state standards, instruction, and assessment is the common denominator between improved student learning outcomes and standards-based reform (Polikoff, 2012); however, the implementation of standards-based reforms has been stymied by poor-quality content standards characterized by ambiguous language (Hill, 2001), low-quality and misaligned student assessments (Polikoff, Porter, & Smithson, 2011), and deficient instructional resources and teacher professional development (Schmidt et al., 2001).

With the adoption of CCSS, a more challenging set of standards as compared to previous state-level standards (Achieve, 2013), states need to focus on a more coherent approach to curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

This dissertation studies the first component, personalized instructional coaching through the internet (virtual coaching), of the Feedback on Alignment and Support for Teacher (FAST) Program by focusing on an urban school district in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States that has elected to participate in this federally funded research project.

This study uses policy attributes theory as a conceptual framework to describe the characteristics necessary for successful standards-based policy implantation. Since fluctuations of the five policy attributes may exist in standards-based reform models at the school, district, and state levels, the policy attributes theory and framework lends itself well as a tool to analyze comprehensive school reform efforts.

This study utilizes a mixed-methods approach, leveraging both qualitative and quantitative methods to answer my two research questions. Twenty-four K-8 elementary schools participated in the FAST Program; 12 were assigned to a control group, and 12 were assigned to a treatment group. Treatment group teacher participants in 4th grade math and 5th grade ELA received virtual coaching in their grade-group team, as well as individual coaching focused on alignment of instruction to the standards. Teachers in the treatment and control groups were administered a pre- and post-survey of enacted curriculum (SEC) to measure their alignment of instruction to state standards. Based on my analysis of the SEC pre- and post-survey results, I have identified changes in instructional practices that may have occurred as a result of the intervention.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Porter, Andrew
Commitee: Desimone, Laura, Wolford, Tonya
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 81/9(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Elementary education, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Adult learning, Coaching, Engllsh language arts, Math, Professional Development, Fourth grade, Fifth grade
Publication Number: 27545042
ISBN: 9781658478014
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