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Coaching others to coach
Coaching others to coach

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4.1 Reviewing your current instruction practices

In the following activity you will explore some instruction principles that are based on the work of Neelen and Kirchner (2015) and compare them to your existing practice.

A photograph of a coach at a whiteboard.
Figure 6 Knowing when to instruct coaches, and how to do this well, is a skill that all coach developers use on occasions

Activity 4 Instructional principles all teachers should know

Timing: Allow about 25 minutes

Look at the ten instructional principles in Figure 7, some of which may mirror your own current practices. Work through each principle in turn and reflect on examples from your own coach developer role where you already use all or part of the principle.

How might you implement it more fully in your context? When reflecting, think about both workshop knowledge delivery situations (i.e. class-based ‘instruction’) and practical coaching practice.

Ten instructional principles [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

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This activity highlights the importance of some teaching methods you may not have been aware of previously. For example, the importance of – ideally – daily, weekly and monthly reviews with learners is emphasised in the principles. Evidence shows that finding time for this type of dialogue is valuable; allowing a group or individuals to reflect back on their learning and articulate it is a powerful glue to learning. For example, daily reviews would be a particularly useful method on a coaching qualification course taking place over a number of days.

Peer-to-peer learning is also a useful technique cited both in the ‘daily review’ and ‘ask questions’ principles. In coaching you often use demonstrations to ‘provide models’; this principle (no. 4) emphasises the use of worked examples along with talking through how something is done. The role of ‘guidance’ and ‘providing scaffolds’ (i.e. creating a supporting structure around material) for progress towards ‘independent practice’ is a familiar part of coaching.