Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
In a rural Title I school district in Georgia, teachers are mandated to implement research-based best practices in their delivery of instructional standards so that K-12 students can master 21st century competencies and meet mandated academic targets. District administrators indicated many teachers lack skills to implement best practices. To address this concern, instructional coaches were hired to support teachers with implementation of instructional practices and address teacher accountability; however, coaches received no training to outline their roles and responsibilities. The purpose of this bounded qualitative single case study was to examine the role of instructional coaches and how they support teachers to improve instruction, and to identify supports needed to assist instructional coaches. Knowles's andragogy theory guided this study. The research questions were used to explore instructional coaches' perceptions of their roles and responsibilities, guidance to support K-12 educators, and professional development (PD) to improve coaching skills. A purposeful sample of 12 K-12 instructional coaches volunteered and participated in open-ended interviews, observations, and document reviews. Data were analyzed thematically using open and axial coding. Coaches perceived their roles as developing good relationships with teachers and garnering administrator support to sustain a consistent instructional coaching model. They also requested PD that featured direct/indirect collaboration with coaching experts. Results of the study were used to develop a 5-day PD session to address coaches' instructional needs. This endeavor may contribute to positive social change when instructional coaches understand their roles in creating systemic transformation in the instructional practices of teachers to benefit K-12 learners' achievement.