Analyzing the Coaching Based Professional Development Process of a Special Education Teacher
Author/s: Hasan Gürgür
Year: 2017 Vol: 17 Number: 5
It is of paramount significance for teachers to develop themselves professionally, improving their theoretical knowledge, practice, and technological skills, as these elements bear a definitive influence on their teaching qualities throughout their entire vocational life. In this regard, one professional development approach is coaching. Adopting an action research design and conducted at the Research Center for the Education of Hearing Impaired Students (RCEHI) affiliated with Anadolu University in Turkey, this study aims to analyze the coaching based professional development process of a teacher-researcher working with hearing impaired students. The participants are a researcher, who is also the author of this article, and an experienced teacher trainer acting as a coach. The data collection tools used are video and audio records, documents, and reflective diaries. Data were analyzed using a systematic analytic analysis procedure. The data analysis revealed three primary themes concerning coaching based professional development; namely, planning and implementing professional development process, problems, and relevant solutions. Noteworthy features of the study are that the process is well-planned, goal-oriented, systematic, and cyclic. In addition, the process also takes into account individual characteristics and is based on effective communication with the coach and the coach’s guidance. In accordance with the findings, it is suggested that guidelines be improved to explain how to benefit from coaching to enhance professional development and that coaching based approaches be made more common. Furthermore, future research may focus on the role of coaching on teachers’ professional development and students’ academic success.