Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Literacy coaching: Negotiating roles and realities
by Affinito, Stephanie, Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2011, 230; 3489660
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation sought to understand how literacy coaches enact their coaching conceptualizations in practice, examine influences on coaches' decision-making, and explore the impact of coaching practices on teachers. My purpose was to extend the research on how coaches examine and articulate coaching understandings to sustain their daily practices, effectively work with teachers, and grapple with the challenges of the position. I sought to contribute to the growing body of evidence that allows us to arrive at “robust conclusions” about coaching (Walpole & McKenna, 2008).

Case study methodology (Merriam, 1998; Stake, 2005; Yin, 2009) was chosen given the contextual and descriptive nature of this inquiry. I studied three practicing literacy coaches across two school years (2008–2009 and 2009–2010), utilizing multiple data collection methods. These included interviews (with coaches, coached teachers and administrators), observations and descriptive field notes (of literacy coaches in their school contexts), and reflective memos in a coaching journal. Data analysis was ongoing throughout the research period.

The results of this study offer insight into the realities of literacy coaching in today's climate to better prepare and support schools, coaches, teachers and, ultimately, students. Literacy coaching is situated within school contexts and realities that require coaches to engage in multiple roles to support teachers and students. While the nature of coaching is responsive to schools, teachers and students, results from this study demonstrate coaching roles are particularly susceptible to significant shifts and changes over time. In responding to state, school and district structures that influenced their positions over time, coaches changed both their responsibilities and their philosophies of coaching. The continuously shifting nature of the position fragments literacy coaches' roles and responsibilities and impacts coach and teacher perceptions of the role, as well as its effectiveness. Results from this study provide useful implications for both the theory and practice of literacy coaching.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Walmsley, Sean, Dozier, Cheryl
Commitee: Goatley, Virginia
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Reading
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 73/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Language arts
Keywords: Literacy coaching
Publication Number: 3489660
ISBN: 978-1-267-09052-2
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