Study of Teacher Coaching Based on Classroom Videos: Impacts on Student Achievement and Teachers’ Practices
U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences
- Five coaching cycles based on videos of teachers’ instruction improved students’ achievement, including for novice teachers and those with weaker classroom practices at the start of the study.
- Eight cycles of coaching was not effective. Eight cycles of the coaching did not affect student achievement, perhaps because teachers had less time during each cycle to work on the practices being addressed.
- The study’s coaching changed the type of feedback that teachers received. Compared to those who did not receive the study’s coaching, teachers who received the coaching were more likely to report receiving feedback that focused on specific teaching practices, included strategies to use in their classrooms, and provided opportunities to observe and reflect on their teaching.
Helping teachers become more effective in the classroom is a high priority for educators and policymakers. A growing body of evidence suggests that individualized coaching focused on general teaching practices can improve teachers’ instruction and student achievement. However, little is known about the benefits of specific approaches to coaching, including who is doing the coaching, how coaches observe teachers’ instruction, and how or how often coaches provide feedback to teachers. This study examined one promising strategy for individualized coaching: professional coaches—rather than district or school staff—providing feedback to teachers based on videos of their instruction. Feedback based on videos gives teachers the opportunity to observe and reflect on their own teaching and allows coaches to show teachers specific moments from their teaching when providing feedback. For this study, about 100 elementary schools were randomly divided into three groups: one that received fewer highly structured cycles of focused professional coaching during a single school year (five cycles), one that received more (eight cycles), and one that continued with its usual strategies for supporting teachers. The study compared teachers’ experiences and student achievement across the three groups to determine the effectiveness of the two versions of the coaching.