- Year 2017
- NSF Noyce Award # 1540712
- First Name Cynthia
- Last Name Callard
- Discipline Other: Math & Science
Raffaella Borasi, University of Rochester, email@example.com
Wendi Heinzelman, University of Rochester, firstname.lastname@example.org
April Luehmann (Associate Professor, Science Education), University of Rochester, email@example.com
Carl Mueller (Professor of Mathematics), University of Rochester, firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrea Polanski email@example.com Rochester City School District Science Teacher, MTF Fellow
Renee Williams firstname.lastname@example.org Geneva City School District Mathematics Teacher, MTF Fellow
Teacher leaders often find themselves in a role without sufficient preparation to engage in leading change with their colleagues. One component of the University Project Noyce MTF Phase II Project ‘Leveraging Unique Opportunities to Develop STEM Teacher Leaders for Urban Schools’ in filling this gap of preparation is to engage our Fellows in Content-focused coaching as learners, then in coaching ‘willing colleagues’ with a mentor, and eventually supporting others in improving their practice.
The overarching goal of this project is to prepare a cadre of K-12 math and science master teachers to create a critical mass of teacher leaders in three diverse urban districts in upstate New York. Content-focused Coaching is one component of our project designed to work towards this goal.
West and Staub’s (2003) model of content-focused coaching pairs a coach (an expert in the desired content domain or instructional practice) with a classroom teacher to collaboratively co-plan, co-teach, and reflect on a lesson. The coach works on understanding the teacher?s underlying beliefs regarding how students learn, the teacher’s interactions with the curriculum materials, and the teacher’s pedagogical content knowledge. In content-focused coaching, the coach often utilizes evidence from student work as the foundation for leading discussions with the teacher. West and Staub explain that in content-focused coaching, the coach offers hints, provides support, gives feedback, models, gives reminders, and poses new tasks aimed at bettering performance (p. 2). There are 3 components to the coaching process: a pre-lesson discussion; teaching, co-teaching or ‘elbow to elbow’ coaching, and a post-lesson discussion.
By supporting Fellows in experiencing Content-focused coaching themselves, they will have opportunities to reflect on their own practice and improve their instructional practices. This will then support them in their leadership as they shift to coaching ‘willing colleagues’ and then others in their schools to support high quality instruction in math and science.
Our project goal is to influence math and science instruction in our urban and ‘urban rural’ partner schools in a way that supports all students learning of meaningful and relevant mathematics and science. Content-focused coaching is one vehicle for doing this.