Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education

Date of Defense

11-14-2015

Graduate Advisor

Kim H Song, Ed.D

Committee

Bashkin, James

Alina Slapac

Ralph Cordova

Abstract

While American classrooms are described as linguistically diverse, teachers find themselves unprepared to successfully educate such students. Previous studies indicate that cognitive coaching is one form of professional development that can assist teachers in becoming self-directed practitioners who are able to reflect on their practice and adjust it to meet the needs of various learners, including linguistically diverse students (Batt, 2010; Costa & Garmston, 2002; Joyce & Showers, 2002). This study describes elementary teachers’ perceptions of cognitive coaching in a linguistically diverse school: (1) In what ways do teachers perceive cognitive coaching as professional development? (2) How do observed teacher behaviors reflect cognitive coaching? and (3) What changes in their practice of educating linguistically diverse students do teachers report as a result of cognitive coaching? This basic qualitative study focuses on three elementary mainstream teachers educating linguistically diverse students and one coach who used cognitive coaching techniques. Using data from semi-structured interviews and coaching conversations, this study identifies the following emergent themes: elements of reflective practice, creating new instructional applications, embracing the diversity spectrum, facilitating teacher-driven learning, and promoting shared responsibility. The results of this study indicate that teachers who participated in cognitive coaching believe that they (1) reflect on their practice more and on a deeper level, (2) intentionally plan their instruction, (3) adjust their instructional plan in response to their students' needs using more formative assessments, and (4) value their work with the cognitive coach. In addition, cognitive coaching is linked to more responsive teaching, especially with linguistically diverse students.

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