Publication Date: April 28, 2023
Districts and schools often count on coaching to promote student learning and organizational change. Across the United States, a wide variety of coaches engage in various types of work with teachers as well as school leaders. But coaching is often loosely defined, weakly supported, and ultimately underutilized, and as a consequence, its promise and potential have not been fully realized. In this book, the authors address misconceptions about the goals of coaching, what it involves, and how it aligns with reform efforts. They advance a new, coherent framing of coaching as a lever for strategic, equitable school improvement. Bridging research, theory, policy, and practice, this book provides insights to help educational reformers and district and school leaders strengthen the structures and activities of coaching. This timely book illustrates how to make coaching matter by assembling infrastructure and creating conditions so that coaching advances change in robust, sustaining, and equitable ways.
Sarah L. Woulfin is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at The University of Texas at Austin. Isobel Stevenson is director of organizational learning and Kerry Lord is director of programs, both at Partners for Educational Leadership in Hartford, CT.
“There is no shortage of work on coaching, but finally, here is a book that engages seriously with the practice of coaching and anchors that practice firmly in an educational infrastructure building for continuous school improvement. Making Coaching Matter is essential reading for practitioners, policymakers, and scholars who want to learn about coaching as a component of a systemic and strategic approach to educational improvement.”
—James P. Spillane, Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor in Learning and Organizational Change, Northwestern University
“Making Coaching Matter: Leading Continuous Improvement in Schools lays out a process for maximizing the impact of coaching. It pools together and explains in a single resource what many have been thinking, saying, and writing about the challenges of coaching within educational organizations. As the authors note, effective coaching begins first with decisions about the systemic framework within which coaching exists, and then links directly with the strategic priorities of the system.”
—Joellen Killion, consultant and learning facilitator; senior advisor, Learning Forward; coauthor, Coaching Matters and Taking the Lead
“There are few investments more important than supporting the continuous improvement of our nation's K–12 teacher workforce. Making Coaching Matter illustrates both the power and unfulfilled potential for coaching to transform the skills of individual teachers and the organizational practices of schools as a whole. Woulfin, Stevenson, and Lord interweave insights from their cutting-edge research and rich experience as practitioners to create a roadmap for making coaching an effective and equity-based investment in our nation's education system. This will be the go-to text for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners alike.”
—Matthew A. Kraft, associate professor, Brown University