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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Peer coaching : a viable form of professional development Kent, Bonnie

Abstract

This study is based on the experiences of three teachers in a Vancouver elementary school who volunteered to participate with me in peer coaching cycles (Showers, 1982). The purpose of the study was to gain insight into peer coaching as a viable form of professional development It was hoped, that as each participant progressed through two cycles of peer coaching, he/she would experience professional growth. Data consisted of transcripts of pre- and post-observation conferences as well as my personal journal. This data was collected over a two year period, with each participant involved in two reciprocating cycles with myself. These reciprocating cycles consisted of a teacher observing a colleague and then being observed by that colleague. Prior to the observation the pair of teachers would meet for the pre-observation conference to determine the focus for the observation. Subsequent to the observation, the pair would meet again for the post-observation conference where the actual coaching would take place. The data was organized into individual stories and then analyzed for themes consistent with at least three of the individuals. Seven themes were indicated: forced reflection, building on ideas, physical presence, assistance with difficulties, validation, pride and the value of collaboration. The data was further compared to Showers' (1984) five major functions of peer coaching and the Vancouver School Board's goals for professional development. The findings of this study led to the general conclusion that peer coaching is indeed a viable form of professional development. It can stand alone as a method of professional growth.

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