Teacher-coaching linked to a well-known teaching framework paid dividends for student achievement in the secondary grades, according to a study published this month in the journal Science.
In all, the study found a 0.22 standard-deviation increase—roughly the equivalent of moving from the 50th to the 59th percentile—in the assessment scores of students taught by teachers who received coaching relative to the students taught by the control-group teachers.
For the study, University of Virginia researcher Robert C. Pianta and four colleagues randomly assigned 78 middle or high school teachers to participate in either the special coaching intervention or regular in-service training.
The training was keyed to the Classroom Assessment Scoring System-Secondary, or CLASS-S. It is essentially a modified version of Mr. Pianta’s well-known CLASS framework, which focuses on specific observable interactions between teachers and students, such as behavior management, productivity, and conceptual development, in the early grades.
The training was delivered online. Each teacher taped his or her instruction and then uploaded it to an online portal. Trained coaches viewed the tapes and then discussed particular interactions with teachers by phone.
A version of this article appeared in the August 24, 2011 edition of Education Week as Professional Development