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UK Coaching Team
Coach Developer

Lessons from Teacher Development

Professor of Teacher Education at the Carnegie School of Education Rachel Lofthouse discusses coaching and mentoring in education, sharing her insight into how teachers learn, how they can be supported to put that learning into practice, and how this can link to coach development

This podcast starts with an overview of how teachers are typically supported in their learning. Rachel explains that teacher support needs to be individualised because it is complex with lots of ‘it depends.’ It is important to respect background (biographies), motivation and the ongoing confidence of the teacher being supported.

To gain an understanding of the individual, the conversations are framed around curiosity and unpicking the ‘who’. This supports both the coach and those being coached to pay attention to areas of performance, becoming more attuned to areas that could benefit development.

The conversation explores the roles of a coach and mentor in education, which may differ from how the roles are perceived in sport. Key areas of difference were around assessment and whether development is focused on the practice of coaching/ teaching or the person as an individual.

Rachel then goes on to share some great examples of learning support from the field of education.

One example is ‘Lesson Studies,’ which is a structured method of peer collaboration where a few teachers get together to explore a specific topic. Learning is co-constructed and generated in the peer group, with peer delivery, observations and reflections providing iterative learning opportunities.

This is a process that could be used with coaches and coach developers.

Toward the end of the podcast, Rachel talks about the tricky subject of measuring impact. Key themes include:

  1. Success of those being taught or coached is dependent on many complex elements and long-term engagement, so coaches and teachers in all parts of the pathway are important and influential.
  2. The skill of a coach is also influenced by their long-term learning and development.
  3. Impact is influenced by the interactions of many elements including the coach and athlete, coach developer and coach, athlete, coach and coach developer and wider system and society.

To wrap up the podcast, Rachel discusses how successful coaching supports and leads to self-coaching.

They explore the importance of how great coaching can lead to more:

  • self-determination
  • self-regulation
  • autonomy.

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UK Coaching Team