Best Practice

Five ways to avoid ineffective ‘instructional coaching’

The instructional coaching approach is being misunderstood in some schools leading to ineffective support for teachers. David Weston explains why and considers what we should be doing


The word “instruction” in “instructional coaching” is still leading to ineffective and overly directive coaching that is disappointing leaders and demoralising teachers.

But careful attention to the research behind this approach can produce a more impactful and empowering practice.

In America, where the term instructional coaching originated, “instruction” is a word that generally refers to the act of teaching. The term “instructional coaching” is therefore meant to refer to a form of coaching that is focused upon a teacher’s practice.

In the UK, however, the word “instruction” is commonly interpreted as an order or a direction and “instructions” are a detailed list of steps to be taken or rules to be followed.

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