Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Rebecca Curtis


Although evidence exists that coaching is an effective method of professional development, there is limited understanding of the collaborative dynamic between coaches and family child care providers during the coaching process. The purpose of this study was to explore family child care providers and coaches perspectives about how a shared understanding is reached during the coaching process, as well as to determine how both parties perceive this shared understanding to influence their perspectives of program quality. This study was grounded in Vygotsky's sociocultural theory, which posits that learning occurs through interactions after a shared understanding between two individuals is reached. A qualitative case study methodology was used for this study. Eleven coaches and 11 family child care providers participated in audio recorded semi structured interviews. Transcripts of the interviews were analyzed using open coding. The resulting analysis showed that a shared understanding can be reached by developing a relationship, working together to meet goals, using a strengths-based, collaborative approach, and being open-minded to each others perspectives. The attainment of a shared understanding shifted the perspective of quality for both family child care providers and coaches. Implications for social change include improved training for coaches working with family child care providers, which may result in increased program quality and improved outcomes for the children attending, as high-quality programming is associated with long-term academic success.