Group Title: relationship of peer coaching to the frequency of use of effective instructional behaviors in inservice teachers in three selected junior high schools /
Title: The relationship of peer coaching to the frequency of use of effective instructional behaviors in inservice teachers in three selected junior high schools /
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Title: The relationship of peer coaching to the frequency of use of effective instructional behaviors in inservice teachers in three selected junior high schools /
Physical Description: vi, 117 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Craven, Hollace Hamaker, 1946-
Publication Date: 1989
Copyright Date: 1989
Subject: Teachers -- In-service training   ( lcsh )
Junior high school teachers -- Training of   ( lcsh )
Teaching teams   ( lcsh )
Educational Leadership thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Educational Leadership -- UF
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Thesis: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1989.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 108-116)
Statement of Responsibility: by Hollace Hamaker Craven.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099568
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 001518308
oclc - 21992375
notis - AHD1435


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I would like to thank those people who helped in the

completion of this project and supported me in the

process. My committee chairperson, Dr. William Hedges,

was helpful for his editing and suggestions of additional

resources. Dr. Craig Wood, Dr. James Algina, and Dr.

Forrest Parkay all insisted on accuracy of expression and

careful organization. I appreciate their help.

For the people who worked on the "Make a Difference"

project, my thanks go to Dr. Susan Wilkinson and Dr.

Carole Walker for their advice and cooperation in

completing the study. Dr. Homer Coker cheerfully advised

in the scoring. Dr. Mel McCane provided valuable

assistance in the data analyses.

I gratefully thank my husband, Michael, and my four

children, Lacey, Brent, Blair, and Libby, for their

independence and mine.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................................... ii

ABSTRACT ........................................... v


I INTRODUCTION .................................... 1

The Problem ....................................
The Rationale for the Study .................. 3
Theory Base .................................. 4
Inservice Training ......................... 6
Other Factors in Teacher Change ........... 8
Limitations .................................... 11
Definitions .................................... 13
Assumptions .................................... 15
Organization ................................... 15

II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ..................... 17

Introduction ................................... 17
Adult Learning Theory ........................ 20
Staff Development Through Inservice Education. 23
Observation .................................... 30
Considerations for Inservice Training and
the Adult Learner ......................... 33
The Peer Coach ................................. 33
Informal Peer Coaches ..................... 44
Administrative Support .................... 45
Low-Inference Observation Instrument ........ 47
Anecdotal Support for Peer Coaching .......... 49
Summary ....................................... 50

III METHODS AND MATERIALS ........................ 54

Study Design ................................... 55
Study Sample ................................... 58
Instrumentation ................................ 60
Data Collection ................................ 63
Inservice Training ........................... 64
Internal Threats to Validity ................. 67
External Threats to validity ................. 69


IV RESULTS OF THE STUDY ......................... 70

Data Analysis .................................. 70
Observation Instrument .................... 71
Reliability of the Instrument ............. 72
Population Characteristics ................ 74
Sample and Group Means .................... 76
Presence of a Peer coach with
Administrative Support ................. 79
Pretraining Observations by Group ........ 83
Posttraining Observations by Group ....... 85
Comparison of Pairs by Groups ................ 85
Group 1 Compared to All Others ............ 87
Group 2 in Comparison with Groups 3 and 4 87
Group 3 in Comparison to Group 4 .......... 89
Summary of the Results ....................... 90
Demographics ...... ....................... 90
Instrument Reliability .................... 90
Treatment Effect of Individual Factors .... 90

V SUMMARY ...................................... 93

Conclusions .................................... 98
Recommendations .............................. 101


EFFECTIVENESS RESEARCH ....................... 103


REFERENCES ........................................ 108

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ 117

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Hollace Hamaker Craven

December 1989

Chairman: William D. Hedges
Major Department: Educational Leadership

The purpose of this study was to determine if a

relationship existed between the presence of a peer coach

and the increased use of 18 teaching behaviors tied to

student achievement. A second question was to determine

if the level of administrative support for the inservice

training was related to increased use of the 18 teaching


Training in peer coaching was designed and presented

by the researcher. Twenty-seven teachers were observed

before the training and after the completion of training

and practice sessions. The teachers were grouped by the

level of administrative support received and whether peer

coaching was done. Group 4 had peer coaching and high

administrative support, group 3 had peer coaching and

moderate administrative support, group 2 had no peer

coaching and moderate administrative support, and group 1

had no training, peer coaching, or administrative support

for increase in use of the 18 behaviors.

Teachers were observed using the modified COKER, a

low inference observation instrument. The reliability of

the instrument was tested. Cronbach alpha coefficients

were found for the scoring keys of the 18 behaviors, 10 of

which were found to be reliable measures of the behaviors.

Analyses of covariance were conducted initially, but

covariates on only two behaviors were related to the

dependent variable. Therefore, an analysis of variance

was conducted on the posttraining scores of the four

teacher groups, followed by a Bonferroni procedure. The

pattern of pretraining mean scores exhibited a trend

toward higher scores for groups 1, 2, and 3 than for group

4. significant group differences were found on different

behaviors for pretraining and posttraining observations.

In pairwise comparisons high administrative support was

shown as a single element in significant differences

favoring group 4 over group 3. Peer coaching with high

administrative support was found as a combination of

factors that produced significant differences favoring

group 4 over all others.


The Problem

The relationship of a peer coach to the number of

effective teaching behaviors used by inservice teachers in

classroom instruction in three urban junior high schools

was investigated in this study. Inservice teachers who

were trained in the use of a low-inference classroom

observation instrument and a variety of effective teacher

behaviors that affect student achievement were observed

before they received this training and after they had time

to model and practice these behaviors. The question under

investigation was whether or not teachers would use more

of the effective behaviors more frequently with the aid of

a peer coach than teachers who simply received training in

the methods and observation instruments or teachers who

received no training but knew they would be observed on

their teaching behaviors.

The faculty of three schools participated in the

investigation. One of the schools selected for study had

complete administrative support; full administrator and

teacher involvement in the learning about effective

teaching behaviors and low-inference observation

instruments; and all teachers agreed to work together in

pairs to model, practice, observe, and be observed using

these new techniques. Administrators of the second school

partially supported the inservice activities. Teachers

were modestly encouraged to work in peer coaching pairs to

model, practice, observe, and give feedback. Thirty-seven

teachers of 72 in the school participated in the inservice

activities and 6 of these teachers worked in three

coaching pairs. Administrators from the third school

chose not to participate in the inservice training and

coaching at all, but did agree to allow an observer to

code classroom teaching behaviors for 9 of 67 teachers

during the middle and end of the 1985-86 school year.

The specific questions addressed in this study were

the following:

1. Is there a relationship between the presence of a

peer coach in a structured planning, observation, and

feedback role and the frequency of use of effective

teaching behaviors taught and modeled in inservice


2. Does the level of administrative support for the

inservice workshops relate to the frequency of classroom

use of these effective behaviors?

The Rationale for the Study

This study was conducted to determine if a strategy

could be found to encourage classroom teachers to utilize

information learned in inservice workshops in their

classroom teaching. Frequently information learned in

workshops is enthusiastically received by teachers but

less frequently implemented in the classroom. This

discrepancy may occur in part because the transfer from

inservice activity to classroom behavior is too difficult

a task for a teacher to complete without assistance.

There is some evidence to suggest that a peer coaching

strategy may encourage the transfer and help the teacher

maintain the skills learned in inservice workshops

(Showers, 1984a). Modeling and practice of teaching

behaviors to see how they work and if they are effective

in a particular classroom addresses an adult learning need

to see the result of an effort before committing to it.

Focused cueing of specific behaviors in the observation

instrument provides teachers a practical clue to behaviors

that are expected in the classroom. Training in the use

of an instrument that notes teaching behaviors gives

teachers an expectation of what they should be doing and

what it looks like in practice. All of these are

strategies to encourage teachers to be continuous learners

and instruments of change for their schools.

Results of this study serve to bridge the gap between

reports of anecdotal support for peer coaching as a

strategy to enhance teacher behavior change and the more

rigorously-structured research studies on teacher change

to which most school district personnel do not have


Theory Base

The design of the study rests on two theories

supported in the literature, but with less research-based

support. First, learning by adults, in this case

inservice teachers, is assumed to have a different

motivation base than student learning and, accordingly,

can make use of different experiences than in the teaching

of children (Arends, 1983; Guskey, 1985; Knowles, 1984).

Second, peer coaching with observation and feedback and

using a low-inference observation instrument can focus

teacher attention on expected teacher behaviors. Peer

coaching can then provide a trial and error means of

practice and learning that is divorced from formal job

evaluation (Baker, 1983; Blair, 1984; Joyce & Showers,

1982; Sparks, 1986; Talmadge, Pascarella, & Ford, 1984;

Tenenbaum, 1986; Smylie, 1988; Walberg & Genova, 1982).

Subsidiary features necessary to operating a peer coaching

program, that is, administrative support and training in

use of an observation instrument, are addressed in the

literature review to determine the extent of their

relationship to behavior change in the direction of

effective teaching behaviors by means of peer coaching.

The need for this study also rests on practical

grounds. Showers (1984) and Sparks (1986) conducted large

university-designed projects to determine the relationship

of peer coaching to transfer of training and the increase

in use of effective behaviors using strict controls and

multiple staff to manage the information. Most schools or

school districts do not have those resources to provide

training and follow-up evaluation of use of the

information. This project on peer coaching, as part of a

larger school district inservice plan, was designed and

delivered, in part, by a classroom teacher. Data were

collected by that teacher, a second classroom teacher, and

a school vice principal. Time to deliver the inservice

activity was arranged cooperatively with individual

principals. Costs of materials were minimal. Computer

time was available. In short, school-based staff did most

of the work without unacceptable disruption of school

routine. Data-based information on teacher change in

normal classrooms was collected under time and money

restraints with which most school districts operate. This

study should add to the data base as a bridge between

anecdotal information on teacher change and research

studies on causes of change.

Inservice Training

The typical means of introducing new techniques,

strategies, or content to inservice teachers is through

inservice workshops. Since these workshops are planned

and presented to give the greatest amount of information

to the greatest number of people in the shortest time

possible at the least possible cost, workshops often

neglect the specific and personal relevance that a teacher

needs in order to be willing to incorporate the knowledge

gained in the workshop into his or her teaching repertoire

(Good & Brophy, 1978; Pambookian, 1976). Workshop

effectiveness is normally measured by participant

satisfaction with the presentation. Since the assumption

is that inservice activity is conducted with the intention

of changing teacher behavior and influencing student

achievement, it seems appropriate to measure inservice

effectiveness in terms of teacher behavior change in the

direction of knowledge utilization of the inservice

information or by measuring the increases in achievement

for students of those teachers who attended inservice. In

this study only teacher behavior change and administrative

support to accomplish that change were investigated. The

inservice activities are described. The predictor

variable introduced as the catalyst to stimulate the use

of inservice information was a peer coach. The criterion

variable was the inservice information and skills. The

influence of a peer coach on the rate of knowledge

utilization for inservice teacher pairs receiving the same

inservice workshop information was investigated.

Inservice education, through its general focus, has

been perceived as weak (Joyce, Howey, & Yarger, 1976).

This pyramid approach to teaching adults has the experts

(generally university personnel or theorists) lecturing to

teachers on theory or practice. Edelfeldt (1977) believed

that there is no framework for providing inservice

workshops and that teaching, research, and adult learning

theory need to be addressed when providing that framework.

Agne and Ducharme (1977) emphasized that universities are

the appropriate managers of inservice education, since

schools cannot do inservice activities due to a lack of

resources for the task. While stating that universities

and schools are insensitive to each other in their

collaboration on inservice education, the authors failed

to see the insensitivity of their own statement concerning

the ability of teachers to be responsible for their own

learning. In articles advocating school district control

of the inservice function, the need for great outlays of

time and money to first train the trainers has been

stressed. For whatever reasons, probably difficulty and

expense, neither the school district nor the university as

a manager of inservice education has tried to validate its

claim for inservice control by showing increased student


achievement or improved teacher instruction as a result of

its efforts. If one of these two results is not the point

of inservice education, then the time and money spent to

provide inservice education are not justified.

Other Factors in Teacher Change

Social interaction between and among teachers

provides a socially and culturally supportive basis for

continuous learning (Good & Brophy, 1978; Runkel, Schmuck,

Arends, & Francisco, 1979). The school becomes a learning

community for teachers as well as students. The classroom

isolates a teacher from the influence of other teachers

for the majority of working hours. Structured teacher

interaction directed toward school-wide professional

improvement could provide school-based on-the-job training

(Little, 1982) which would not be viewed as a job

evaluation or a waste of teaching time. When teachers see

the implications of inservice information to their own

jobs, they are more likely to try to use that information

in structuring their own lessons (Knowles, 1984; Walberg &

Genova, 1982).

Several authors have written on a perceivable common

attitude within a school. Called by various names,

environment, school culture, ethos (Brookover, Beady,

Flood, Schweitzer, & Wisenbaker, 1979; Deal & Kennedy,

1983; Goodlad, 1975; Moos, 1979; Runkel, 1979;

Walberg & Genova, 1982), this attitude can influence

learning outcomes (Brookover et al., 1979; Rutter, 1979),

and evolves over time in the workplace among the

participants through action (Baldridge & Deal, 1983).

Several features of teacher behavior change have been

noted in the literature. The cycle of observations,

feedback, goal setting, and practice has been mentioned by

Feldon and Duncan (1978) and Joyce and Showers (1980).

The availability of a trusted other, a colleague, peer, or

trainer is needed to provide half of the above-mentioned

cycle (Good & Brophy, 1978). Traditionally, an evaluator,

a principal or other administrator has done the observing

and has provided the feedback. This implies an unequal

status, or power play in what should be a cooperative,

tension-free learning process. Since there is no

immediate intrinsic or extrinsic reward for the inservice

teacher, his or her reward must be the long-range vision

of improved student learning.

Teachers will not be tempted to seek improvement,

however, if there is fear of loss of self-esteem among

fellow teachers or before one's principal. There is less

willingness to experiment and take a chance on failure.

This unequal status power differential may be one reason

that several researchers have found that teachers are not

enthusiastic seekers of knowledge (Runkel et al., 1979),

nor do they seek the autonomy of the classroom from any

sense of need for independence (Fagan & Walter, 1982).

When teachers feel they are included in the process of

influencing, changing, or controlling, they exhibit

increased responsibility for their own progress. The

point of readiness for change in teaching behaviors, the

need to learn, also must be reached for teachers to be

willing to work for change (Knowles, 1984). Change can

occur when teachers are ready to learn, when

administrative support for learning is provided, and when

the focus of learning is that teacher's instructional

weakness (McNeil & Popham, 1973; Sergiovanni & Starratt,


Despite evidence to show teachers as unenthusiastic

seekers of knowledge (Runkel et al., 1979), Arends (1983)

found that teachers continue to learn as inservice

professionals at as high a rate and in a more structured

and formal manner than physicians. While these statements

seem contradictory, state law and school system

requirements for updating of training may have an impact

on the individual teacher's need to seek additional

training. Enthusiasm for additional training may be

lacking, but the need to keep one's job or teaching

certificate may require the continuation of learning in

spite of individual lack of motivation. In cases where a

mentor or colleague partner is available, comparisons of

nurses, policemen, and teachers vary little in vital

statistics (Fagan & Walter, 1982). Unfortunately,

teachers did not exhibit increased tact, honesty,

patience, persistence, or independence as a result of

colleagues working in pairs, as did both nurses and


What factors motivate teachers most strongly to seek

continued training in their profession? Incentives often

listed are release time, college credit, certification,

personal satisfaction, compulsory attendance, and extra

pay for the time spent (Swanson, 1968). Peer coaching

capitalizes on the incentive of personal satisfaction,

minimizes the time spent away from teaching, and uses

inservice strategies to build school culture and

cohesiveness. In addition, peer coaching offers teachers

their own initiative in continuous learning opportunities

that do not threaten their autonomy and self-esteem, but

do offer knowledge acquisition, observation, feedback, a

modeling process for learning, practice, and use of

knowledge gained (Showers, 1984a).


The study was conducted in a large urban school

district. Both the teacher core and the student core are

virtually identical in racial makeup. Although the

individual teachers were randomly chosen from the larger

teacher population of three junior high schools (grades 8-

9), administrators in all three schools agreed to the

observations, and administrators in two schools agreed to

participate in the initial knowledge acquisition phase.

The subject areas taught by the teachers were English,

band, art, home economics, social studies, foreign

language, algebra, biology, reading, shop, and health.

Members of the experimental group agreed to the extra

effort of being coaches, planning, observing, and giving

feedback to their peer partner. Generalizability of

results is limited to the school populations involved due

to the agreement to participate in the extra work and

level of effort within each school, which may have

influenced teachers to participate.

Two 10-minute observations per teacher were done

during the same class period for the preobservations and

also for the postobservations. The variability of

teaching behaviors over different segments of a lesson is

assumed. Therefore, each observation is assumed to be a

percentage of each teacher's potential repertoire of

teaching behavior. Although the schools agreed to

participate in the study, the classroom observations were

unannounced and teachers within each school were selected

by random means. Therefore, the behaviors that were

observed may be assumed to be representative of all the

teaching behaviors of the particular teacher. This

consideration, however, needs to be made and considered an

assumption and limitation in later discussion of

conclusions to be drawn. In addition, the relationship of

coaching and the level of administrative support are

intertwined in the study design and may not be considered

separately in any conclusions to be drawn.


Peer coaches are fellow teachers in the same school,

who agree to work together to model and practice in the

classroom new behaviors deemed effective by the research

(Coker & Coker, 1982a; Medley, 1977) and presented in

inservice workshops.

Knowledge utilization, for purposes of the study, is

measurable behavior change charted on a low-inference

observation instrument in the direction with or in terms

of the specific effective behaviors identified in the

workshops and listed in the training in use of the low-

inference observation instrument.

The low-inference observation instrument is a

modified Classroom Observation Keyed to Effectiveness

Research (Coker) instrument used for the purpose of this

study with permission of the senior developer, Homer

Coker. The modified COKER contains 18 positive teacher

behaviors and all the original student cells, but is coded

as a tally sheet, not as a single occurrence.

Methodology, teacher affect and control are keyed,

however, only once. The term, low inference, is used to

mean observer value judgment is not needed to code

observed behaviors. The observer codes only if a behavior

occurs or not, and how often in a 10-minute observation

period. The instrument was used for two 10-minute

observations before the inservice training and for two 10-

minute observations after the inservice training, so that

it was used as a repeated measure.

Full participation is acceptance of the inservice as

a whole school project, in which all professional staff

attended workshops, all teachers agreed to practice new

skills, and all agreed to observe and be observed by peers

and received feedback on their instruction. The school

administrators attended all the inservice instruction and

trained all of their school's teachers. All the school's

teachers attended all of the inservice and all

participated in the peer coaching component.

Administrators helped teachers observe each other by

covering classes when needed.

Partial participation is participation by some of the

teachers in the inservice, individual teacher motivation

to practice new behaviors, and several teacher pairs who

agreed to work formally as peer coaches. The school

administrators made the inservice available to teachers

but, did not require participation. Administrators

attended some of the inservice workshops, encouraged

teachers to attend, and allowed teachers to observe each

other for the peer coaching component. In terms of

numbers, about 50% of the staff participated in the

inservice, but less than 10% of the staff did the peer

coaching component.

No participation is acceptance of an observer in the

school to code teacher instructional behaviors, total

administrator and teacher nonparticipation in inservice,

no teacher practice of new skills, and no agreement to

work in coaching pairs.


The following assumptions have been made:

1. Individual observations of teaching behaviors

identify a portion of the total teaching repertoire.

2. The difference in time of data collection for

the three schools did not affect the outcomes.

3. It is impossible to totally separate the

relationship of peer coaching and the level of

administrative support to explain an increase in effective

teaching behavior. The two factors are intertwined in the

study design, but treated as separate entities


4. The random selection of teachers from within

self-selected schools will be representative of the school

district teacher population in terms of knowledge of



This dissertation is organized into five chapters.

In the first chapter, the problem and rationale for the


study are presented. The second chapter contains a review

of the literature which was focused upon teachers as peer

coaches, inservice education, administrative support, and

use of low-inference observation instruments. In the

third chapter, the process of the study and the evaluation

techniques used are presented. The fourth chapter

contains a presentation of the data in statistical and

narrative form. In the final chapter, the application of

any conclusions drawn from the data and the

generalizability of that information are presented.



This study was an investigation of the peer coach as

a predictor variable in the learning process of inservice

teachers to determine if the aid of a peer coach in a

structured learning, modeling, observation, and feedback

cycle is related to the frequency of teacher use in the

classroom of effective behaviors taught in inservice

workshops. Part of the role of the peer coach is

predicated on the assumption that effective teaching

behaviors can be identified. However, any single teaching

behavior is not going to be uniformly effective for all

teachers, with all groups, in all content areas, at all

times. Context effects of the teaching-learning process

can make our information on effective teaching behaviors

more precise if we look at differential effects on more

precisely defined groups of students (Soar & Soar, 1983).

Good and Grouws (1977) identified effectiveness with (a)

student initiated behavior, (b) whole class instruction,

(c) general clarity of instruction, (d) nonevaluative

relaxed learning environment that is task focused, (e)

high achievement expectation, and (f) few behavior


Daily classroom instruction is one of the least

supervised aspects of education. To improve student

achievement, daily classroom instruction seems the logical

place to start looking at what happens in teaching, what

the effects of the teaching are, and how teaching can be

improved to provide a consistently acceptable result in

terms of student achievement. The time and money spent on

educational improvement should focus on facets of

classroom instruction, not on any one universal formula to

improve all education in all classrooms. The diversity of

subject matter; school climate; teacher motivation,

preparation, and skill; student motivation; and learning

style all contribute to a varied educational environment

that allows and adapts any change to fit its peculiar

needs. Peer coaching is addressed here as a structure of

training and practice that allows teachers and schools to

work on whatever strategies or skills they deem worth the

effort to implement in the classroom.

Mentoring might seem to be a related field of inquiry

that may be compared to peer coaching in public schools.

In fact, some of the studies of peer coaches really could

appropriately be named mentors projects. But mentors

generally are people of greater status than the people

whom they mentor, often graduate professors in

universities or higher status executives in business who

help people of lower status. The difference in status and

power sets up a very different psychological framework for

learning. The emotional effects of being a mentor--

emotional satisfaction, renewed creativity, and enhancing

of reputation (Busch, 1985)--are similar to the emotional

effects derived from peer coaching, but there is no peer

relationship involved, and the protege has no hope in

teaching of early promotion in the business or a good

recommendation from a famous name as a result of the

pairing. Erkut and Mokros (1984) saw mentors as having

the characteristics of guide, teacher sponsor, exemplar,

or counselor giving moral support and helping without

judging. These activities also describe a peer coach.

Fagan and Walter (1982) conducted a comparative study of

mentoring among teachers, nurses, and policemen, and found

the emotional satisfaction mentioned in Busch. The

purpose of mentoring is an expectation of help in

promotion. The difference in status is necessary, and the

focus of the help is not personal improvement in teaching

methods. For these reasons, mentoring is not a good

corollary topic to coaching.

The specific area of concentration in this study, the

peer coach, is approached in two ways. Research in peer

coaching within the last 10 years is directly addressed as

supportive evidence. Research in adult learning theory,

staff development through inservice education, and

administrative support are addressed as part of the school

change process needed to implement a peer coaching

project. In the order of presentation needed for a peer

coaching project to be implemented, adult learning theory

and then staff development through inservice training are

addressed first, followed by peer coaching, the theory and

practice thereof, and finally the administrative support

needed to make the process work in schools. Additional

support for the use of low-inference observation

instruments and training in use of an instrument is given

to support the choice of the observation tool used in this


Adult Learning Theory

Knowles (1984) found adult learners to be different

from children in their motivations to learn. Research in

the learning of children and animals is not particularly

appropriate for the adult learner. Adult motives for

learning and the time needed to assimilate knowledge for

use are not the same as those of a child. Adults need to

know why they need to learn before they invest the energy

to learn. Adult self-concept demands that the adult

learner be seen as self-directing, but experience tells

the adult learner that as a child all he had to be was a

passive receptor of information and knowledge. In

teaching adults, many make the mistake of trying to treat

adult learners in the same way as dependent child

learners. Adults expect learning to be easy for them,

since they are more experienced than children, but they

resent being required to learn like children. Adults

often avoid learning for this reason.

Adults bring volumes of experience to learning.

Presentation of material to be learned without regard to

the learner is a waste of a learning resource. Knowles

(1984) addressed the richest resources of the adult

learner. He stated that experiential techniques are

"techniques that tap into the experience of the learners

such as group discussion, simulation exercises, problem

solving activities, case method, and laboratory method

S. also, greater emphasis on peer-helping techniques"

(p. 55).

Readiness to learn is also important. Guskey (1985)

found that teachers need to see the effect of instruction

on student learning and achievement before they will value

and accept that change. Focusing attention on areas of

need or modeling superior performance are ways to get

adults to address change. Motivation to learn in adults

is blocked by barriers of limited time and unwillingness

to participate in someone else's ideas of what they need

to know (Knowles, 1984). The ability to use what they

learn in real-life situations is a final crucial

characteristic to address in leading adults to want to


Main (1985) found that teachers may claim to operate

at a higher cognitive level than their students when in a

learning situation based on their experience in learning

in their own fields, but a significant portion of adults

do not operate on a formal level of thinking in the

absence of concrete examples. Thus, outside of their

personal areas of study, teachers in Main's experience

have the same range of cognitive skills as their students.

Adult learning should not assume a high cognitive level.

Guided opportunities to practice new concepts may still be

needed for the adult learner. Main also looked at

learning style differences as avenues to address and make

inservice activities more useful to the adult learner.

Wood and Thompson (1980) suggested aiding adult learners

by learner sense of control of content and method,

allowing choices to address learner differences, practice

of new skills in actual and simulated situations, one-to-

one relationships and group learning settings, self-

learning, and learning from peers. The latter choices are

available to children as learners, but the former

conditions are particularly appropriate for adult


Staff Development Through Inservice Education

Several researchers (Joyce, Howey & Yarger, 1976;

Wood & Thompson, 1980) addressed inservice education as

irrelevant and ineffective and inservice education

programs as weak, impoverished, and relative failures.

Gallegas (1979) found no thought given to long-term

effects of inservice education, nor any input or

discussion of needs and issues. This may be one reason

that teachers are not avid seekers of knowledge about

improvement of classroom instruction because they do not

want to learn what someone else thinks they need to know.

The learning process is not set up to take advantage of

their adult experience, or teachers cannot see an

application of the information to their classes.

Researching topics and sharing experiences and materials

are rare activities for teachers working in the same

school (Walberg & Genova, 1982). Joyce, Showers, and

Bennett (1987) found teachers to be eager learners when

they could see the benefit of the training for their

students. Teachers resist change unless they judge the

improvements themselves (Guskey, 1985) and can control and

adapt the change. School improvement done cooperatively

by teachers would be more likely to bring change (Runkel

et al., 1979).

Farris and Fluck (1986) found that schools do not

provide adequate conditions to train employees. Learning

modes are ignored in order to reach masses of people.

Administrators select inservice activities based on their

perceptions of teacher needs. For those teachers who are

expert in the topics chosen, or those who are totally

ignorant of the topic, the time spent on inappropriate

inservice training is frustrating.

Farris and Fluck recommended that inservice activity

be accountable to the school district and also to the

individual teacher. Teachers receiving individually-

designed inservice workshops are responsible for passing

on what they learn to others, while the school district is

responsible for providing access to a variety of

professional growth programs to its teachers. Steps in

such an inservice program would be the commitment of

teachers and administrators, a committee of both to write

goals for school improvement, prioritizing of goals, and

allowing each teacher to choose his or her role in the

school's goals, and access to a variety of inservice

delivery modes. The needs of this type of program are

time, open communication, and money. Contrary evidence

for individually-focused inservice activity was found by

Corwin and Edelfeldt (1977) who stated that individually-

focused inservice had no impact on change in schools or in

those teachers' peers. They did find that coordination of

the institutional and individual needs was important to

inservice success and school change. No clear format of

inservice structure is to be highlighted by the studies


Neil (1985) listed five reasons for the failure of

inservice education to contribute to school improvement.

These are (a) an oversimplification of the inservice

process in which a one shot fix to schooling problems is

proposed; (b) social ambiguities in the school culture

leave too many cross purposes which are not cleared up;

(c) the difficulty in galvanizing teacher commitment

results in no clear sense of purpose; (d) universities try

to exert normative influence in inservice activity by

controlling quality, quantity, timing, and location of the

inservice program; and (e) the lack of evaluation fails to

pull the whole effort into focus.

One cherished belief of inservice activities that

course credit, compensation time, and stipends are

motivators for teachers to accept inservice was found by

Howey and Gardner (1983) not to be highly relevant. The

incentive to complete inservice training found to be most

effective was release from teaching duties. Fullan (1978)

and Holly and Blackman (1981) shared ideas on what must

change in institutional education for school improvement

to succeed. Fullan stated that group organization,

materials, behavior roles, the level of knowledge and

understanding, and the value commitment of participants

must change for school improvement to move forward. Holly

and Blackman found that commitment to participate in

shared goals; willingness to develop trust and explore

their tasks together; willingness to start to build on

experience and interest by protecting and expanding

individual unique qualities while encouraging active

practice of the new; developing a supportive and flexible

organization with follow-up and evaluation to their tasks;

and allowing the time for reflection, absorption, and

application of the new skills were parts of a change

process that worked in schools.

Holly and Blackman (1981) and Harris (1989) urged

that inservice programs provide professional growth, not

remedial education for substandard schools or teachers.

Harris found staff development to be historically

reactive, not proactive. The growth of all employees was

subordinated to the remedial needs of a few. Harris urged

the acceptance of assumptions that people can learn on the

job, that appropriate learning gives satisfaction, and

that feedback on one's own behavior is needed to make use

of the learning experience. Some learning needs direct

intervention and some does not. Individuals want to learn

some things at some times and under some conditions, but

not all people at all times under all conditions.

Individuals will learn in states of active

participation or under stress. Burden (1983) observed

that teachers have different skills, knowledge, and

behaviors at different times in their careers; therefore,

an inservice model that addressed their strengths at these

different times might be successful. A teacher's first

year is focused on survival. He or she is subject-

centered, has little confidence, and will not experiment.

The teacher in years two through four of his or her career

is learning about planning, implementation, children,

curriculum, and methods of teaching, and has some degree

of self-confidence. The mature teacher is child-centered,

secure, and willing to try new teaching methods. Knowing

the professional development stages of a teacher can help

an administrator anticipate the teacher's needs and

provide opportunities the teacher would be open to

exploring. A first-year teacher would participate in

directive inservice activities. A second to fourth year

teacher will appreciate collaborative inservice programs.

The mature teacher will prefer a nondirective professional

development program. Harris' assumptions seem to be

incorporated into Burden's practice.

Knowing how to address learning with teachers and

knowing the school climate, planners can adapt inservice

features to increase teacher participation and adaptation

of the knowledge gained. Time and opportunity to practice

the skills learned or modeled in workshops give teachers

control and allows them to judge the practices themselves

as they practice and use a new technique. Teachers who


think about and judge instructional practices are engaged

in reflective teaching. The teacher who is aware of the

impact of his or her teaching actions has deliberate

control of his or her actions (Russell & Spafford, 1986).

Discussion with other teachers on these teaching actions

and working through a cycle of learning, practicing,

observing, and giving feedback can enhance self-

confidence. Watching other practitioners and learning as

they reflect on their own teaching led Cruikshank and

Applegate (1981) to these conclusions.

A number of authors pointed to teacher efficacy as a

critical area in effecting change. Poole and Okeafor

(1989) linked efficacy to frequent task-relevant student

teacher interactions, and this to higher levels of

implementation of curricular change. Smylie (1988),

through path analysis, suggested that individual teacher

change is a direct function of personal teaching efficacy;

the teacher judges effectiveness, then practices and uses

information or knowledge or strategies that increase

effectiveness. Sparks (1988), conducting research on

change, found a sequence of activity that was more likely

to result in individual change. Teachers who see a new

practice, judge it, and value it are more likely to

practice and use it. Philosophical receptivity to a new

practice may be a determiner of future use. Dissolving

resistance may need to be an early part of the inservice


training if teacher input and cooperation are not part of

the planning for inservice activity.

Small groups of teachers who were willing to try new

strategies and examine their teaching performance gained

in confidence about their teaching (Sparks, 1988). Once

involved with the support group of teachers given to

experimenting with their teaching behaviors, teachers

became more confident of their ability to improve their

classes and had higher expectations for themselves and

their students. Once begun, the cycle of observing,

experimenting, and discussing seemed to fuel itself and

its members to more teacher learning, practice, and


Porter and Brophy (1988) listed characteristics of

good teachers that restated the characteristics of

effective teacher learning. Good teachers promote

learning, communicate expectations, provide strategies by

which children can monitor their own learning, are

reflective semiautonomous professionals, and give feedback

to students on their learning.

In general, the training of teachers makes no

commitment to long-term growth in independent

entrepreneurial work (Wildman & Niles, 1987).

Professional growth needs autonomy, a chance to direct

self-growth. Peters and Waterman (1982) documented

individual experimentation in successful companies and

also in universities. Technological growth often comes

from university-level research. However, teachers are

expected to maintain the status quo. Wildman and Niles

saw the need for collaboration to expand ideas with a

source of intellectual stimulation. Teachers can break

the isolation of the classroom and find a forum to test

new ideas. A support group designed to provide

stimulation and to give emotional support for

experimentation and change can form and reform based on

individual need. This type of collaboration is not cost

effective but is necessary for learning to be self-

directed, stimulating, and uncertain.


Teacher control of the direction of the change he or

she must make preserves some teacher autonomy. Teachers

perceptions of control over their own behaviors are

enhanced by frequent observations. Natriello (1984)

hypothesized that frequent observations and teacher

perceptions of effectiveness would be a curvilinear

relationship; however, his data do not confirm this. The

results suggested that the more frequent the observations,

the greater the perception of teacher effectiveness. It

was further suggested that teachers need to feel a sense

of control in their classroom behavior and that they are

positively affected by observation. This supports

observation and feedback as elements that enhance

instructional change, with additional researchers lending

evidence to the addition of a peer coach to provide the

observation and feedback parts of the cycle. Blair (1984)

found that teachers trained in the use of a low-inference

observation instrument and involved in peer observation

practiced effective teaching behaviors cued in the

observation more frequently than did teachers given

training in the use of an observation instrument but not

participating in the peer observation component. In fact,

this control group demonstrated teaching behaviors focused

in the direction of ineffective instruction.

The what and where of inservice education were the

questions addressed in a three-state project to examine

inservice practices conducted by Varger and Joyce (1977).

On site, hands-on inservice activities during the school

day at the home school or one nearby was the inservice

workshop for which teachers reported the highest rates of

satisfaction. Use of community resources (that is, the

community, local university, and school employees) brought

these groups closer together and led other diverse

community groups to commit to teacher inservice programs.

These studies by Varger and Joyce support two premises;

first, that the more available the training, the more

likely teachers will take advantage of it; second, local

resources seem sufficient to the training tasks and are

good motivators for education within a community. In a

later study, Joyce, Showers, and Bennett (1987) found

proximity not to be a necessary element to teachers

seeking new information, but availability of inservice

education in the school building may reduce barriers to

the use of new information.

After completing a meta analysis, Wade (1985)

reported factors that make a difference in inservice

education. Effective inservice programs should be

measured in terms of behavior change in the teacher and in

the student, but is most often reported as participant

satisfaction. Wade found that inservice workshops

increase teacher learning in a highly effective manner,

but change behavior only moderately, and affect

achievement results of the students of teacher

participants only mildly. The techniques found most

effective by Wade's analysis were classroom observation,

micro-teaching, audiovisual feedback, and practice.

Coaching, modeling, and mutual assistance were moderately

effective means of knowledge utilization and behavior

change. In response to Wade, Sparks (1985) found coaching

more effective than Wade reported. Sparks reported Wade's

inservice strategy findings and noted that the work was

best done with a colleague or in a small group. Felden

and Duncan (1978) used a combination of variables in a

cycle of goal setting, inservice in effective

instructional behaviors, and systematic observation of

peers to promote instructional change.

Considerations for Inservice Training and Adult Learning

The elements of inservice education that need to be

considered in inservice development are (a) the adult

learner's need for preservation of self-esteem; (b) the

adult learner's need for self-direction in professional

growth; (c) the teacher's need to see and judge the

usefulness of a particular strategy; (d) the experience

resources that teachers have to share; (e) the commitment

to long-term growth; (f) the time and freedom to set one's

own goals, learn, practice, observe, fail, discuss, give

feedback, and support each other; (g) work in small groups

or pairs; (h) motivate and stimulate and allow to

experiment; and (i) allow teachers to control, adapt, and

change as they perceive the need.

The Peer Coach

The use of peer coaches is beginning to appear

frequently in the literature. One of the most prolific

writers on the subject of peer coaching is Showers (1982,

1984a, 1984b, 1985). She defined the purposes of coaching

as the building of a community of teachers who

continuously study their craft, have a shared language and

common understandings, expand the repertoire of teaching

skills, and use peer help. Peer coaching provides the

structure to follow-up training in order to make new

skills and strategies a permanent part of one's teaching.

Training, modeling, observation, and feedback are

common features identified by writers on peer coaching.

But the point of coaching is change in the classroom:

selecting of concepts to teach, reorganizing the

materials, and cueing students in the ways to respond.

Coaching itself is done in the spirit of exploration; it

provides a means to learn and perfect teaching strategies;

it includes elements of the clinical supervision cycle

placed in the hands of teachers who would take

responsibility for their own professional growth. Peer

coaching can provide long-term supervision of instruction.

If school improvement or higher student achievement is a

school goal, long-term growth and gain should be expected.

Improvement will not be reflected in completion of a two-

hour workshop. The application in the classroom of

knowledge learned in the workshop is the critical transfer

that is aided by peer coaching. Instructional change

involves more than an administrative decision that change

is needed.

Felden and Duncan (1978) used a combination of

variables in a cycle of goal setting, inservice activity

on instructional behaviors, and systematic observation to

promote instructional change. In many of the projects

involving peer coaches, the peer coach was defined in

different ways, and the coaches had different

responsibilities. For purposes of this study, a peer

coach was not a mentor, a student-to-student peer coach,

or an official evaluator. The peer coach was a colleague

in teaching who worked in the same building or subject

area, had no responsibility for formal evaluation of job

performance, and agreed to work cooperatively with a

fellow teacher to improve that teacher's instructional


Servatius and Young (1985) called their peer coaches

advisors. These teachers were not school based, but were

volunteers who were trained in classroom management or

mastery learning. At the request of individual teachers,

the volunteers served as advisors, gave training, held

preobservation conferences, did planning and observations,

and gave postobservation feedback. The outcomes reported

were that consistent and correct implementation of the

training occurred. Anecdotally, a positive feeling of

both advisor and advise in renewing teacher confidence in

his or her skills was reported.

Neubert and Bratton (1987) reported on a project in

which language arts coordinators team-taught with teachers

and acted as coaches to teach new strategies, encourage

and support the teachers, and facilitate learning.

Although stretching the definition of a coach, the

coordinators did observe and give feedback, were available

to the teacher, and felt the need to participate in the

teaching to gain credibility with the teachers as

classroom teachers, a factor that a peer teacher in the

building would not need to address.

Moffett, St. John, and Isken (1987) reported a peer

coaching project where beginning teachers were paired with

experienced teachers in the school building during their

first two years of teaching. Coaches were recruited and

trained and paid by receiving either release time or a

substitute's pay for extra days. New teachers were given

one week's training at the beginning of their school year

and worked with a coach, with at least two observation

sessions per month. Many of the advantages of coaching

were available in this project, but a power or status

differential was built in for the purpose of this school

district, and coaching was limited to new teachers.

However, the coaching process was adapted to local needs.

In 1971, the Salem, New Hampshire, school district

began assigning a coach to all new teachers (Zeichner,

1979). Both teachers taught the same subject and had the

same planning period for conference time together. The

coach provided support but no formal evaluation or

assessment. Teachers were trained to use the Flanders

Interaction Analysis and to interpret its results. Most

teachers reported high satisfaction with the program and a

high rate of attainment of its objectives. Again,

elements of a peer coaching cycle were used to the

advantage of the teacher for the district's objectives.

In Oklahoma, teacher consultants fulfill the role of

experienced teacher mentors for new teachers, but the

products of the study match results and terminology of

peer coaching projects, i.e., gains in interpersonal

communication, collegial relationships, openness to new

ideas, nonthreatening learning time in the classroom to

perfect new process skills, and modeling. Consultants

also gained new ideas in teaching from the teachers they

coached and tended to reexamine their own teaching. All

of this was a process of teachers learning from other

teachers apart from any threat of job evaluation.

Sparks (1986) carried out a three-tiered study of

peer coaching for teacher behavior change. Group I

received inservice training in effective academic

interaction. Group II received the same inservice

training and did peer observations, learning to code

student-teacher interactions, and Group III had the

inservice training and were all coached by the inservice

trainer. All three groups were core subject teachers of

low-achieving junior high school students. Success was

measured by the achievement of a specific number of

teaching skills. Group II teachers showed more

improvement than did teachers in Groups I and III in the

increase in criterion number of new skills. Teachers

reasoned that this higher performance to criterion was due

to the peer observation techniques learned that allowed

them to analyze their own teaching behaviors. An

anecdotal result was heightened trust and self-esteem

within Group II.

In the Spencer County, Kentucky, Public Schools peer

coaching was used to induce county public school teachers

and administrators to handle their own professional

development (Rude-Parkins, 1987). The result was a

continuous study of the teaching craft, follow-up for the

inservice learning of teaching skills, an informal use of

the clinical supervision cycle, and common language among

teachers learning more about teaching. The strategy used

was the verbatim, an observation technique that requires

the listing of all teacher actions for a later analysis of

what the behavior was, if it was effective and how it was

applied in the classroom. Changes in teacher behavior

were the increased use of modeling strategies for other

teachers to observe and more frequent use of newly learned

and practiced learning techniques.

The transfer of the techniques learned in workshops

to classroom practice has been the focus of several

projects by Showers (1984a). She found that teachers who

were coached in the learning and use of new skills

transferred the knowledge and maintained the practices

months after training. Students of coached teachers in a

second project performed better on a concept attainment

measure than students of matched but uncoached teachers.

Teachers found that the practice of new skills alone did

not ensure the transfer of knowledge from inservice

workshop to the classroom. The feedback portion of the

observation cycle was a necessity.

In a study of reading instructors, Kurth (1984) found

that the coaching component of an inservice project taught

teachers to recognize effective behaviors through cueing;

she provided one observer to monitor or observe teacher

behavior and one to monitor student behavior. Classroom

teaching results included increases in student

achievement, a decrease in transition time between

lessons, and teacher planning time that became more task


The feedback part of the observation cycle in peer

coaching has been reported as being startling and

frightening to teachers accustomed to being the sole

arbiter of their daily performance. Teachers who

experiment and overcome their own ego protection find

feedback personally and professionally supportive and

affirming (Servatius & Young, 1985). A combination of

training in mastery learning and classroom management

supported by teacher advisors (coaches) and

institutionalized by the school (teachers hired as part-

time coaches) gave experienced teachers the first

supportive instructional feedback in their careers.

In a teacher-directed study (Anastas & Ancowitz,

1987), teachers used self-reflection and peer coaching as

central themes in a self-improvement project. Teachers

videotaped themselves for self-evaluation. They examined

their own teaching in depth. When they learned to trust

their professional egos to the scrutiny of their

colleagues, they shared the videos and discussed

techniques, strategies, and improvements. The teachers

found that they counteracted burnout, boredom, and

isolation by the self-reflection and coaching process and

controlled their own professional growth.

Sparks and Bruder (1987) compared two Ann Arbor

schools which used peer coaching to encourage

experimentation, collegiality, and enhance teaching

effectiveness, one school of which had accepted the

technique before the study began. Sparks and Bruder found

that the training, conference, observation, and feedback

cycle seemed to work well for both schools. Observations

increased 48%, feedback increased 64%, and teachers

advising each other increased 23%. Following the

introduction of the training, conference, observation, and

feedback cycle, there were more teacher-teacher

interactions on teaching improvement, more willingness

among teachers to try new ideas, a persistence in


mastering new strategies (an increase of 40%) and student

learning was enhanced. Better test grades of their

students were reported by 70% of the teacher participants.

In a formal learning environment, the classroom,

teachers in Fort Worth's summer lab school trained in peer

coaching as a strategy to develop collegiality in their

home schools (Leggett & Hoyle, 1987). These teachers were

to become the instruments of change by teaching coaching

to their peers in the fall. In the city of Chicago, peer

tutors were used in formal classrooms to help fellow

teachers retrain in the field of mathematics (Duffie &

Guida, 1986). Beyond college classroom instruction in

mathematics, current math teachers drilled, retaught, and

reviewed mathematics principles to new teacher learners.

The use of the peer instructors decreased anxiety and

significantly increased achievement in Algebra III,

Trigonometry, and Analytic Geometry for teachers in the

coached group. The observation-feedback cycle was not

used in this project, since it was more a traditional

classroom learning setting for teachers, but the presence

of the peer tutors did help.

Several staff development projects dealt with peer

coaching as part of an overall program of improvement.

Impact II, a staff development project funded by EXXON

Educational Foundation, allowed master teachers to

instruct other teachers, and awarded grant funds to

creative teachers to develop and disseminate exemplary

programs. The project offered teacher-to-teacher

exchange, interschool visits, and funded substitute

teachers (Dempsey, 1986). This model has been adopted in

New York, Boston, Houston, and Chapel Hill. Mann (1986)

reported that the most important asset of Impact II is the

network of people that one builds as support. The gains

reported by adaptors of Impact II are similar across all

sites. The factors of respect, self-esteem, and

professional commitment are built into the model. The

details of each project may change but the presence of a

peer in a structured format remains constant.

The concept of cooperative learning as a classroom

practice employed for academic improvement in students

showed positive correlations but no significant direct

results (Talmadge et al., 1984). A possible avenue of

study might be the use of the cooperative learning

techniques in teacher learning since teacher-to-teacher,

self-directed professional growth is the focus of the peer

coaching process. Glatthorn (1987) envisioned peer

coaching as an option for cooperative professional

development. The same team of teachers used various

methods for their own professional development. The

results of his study showed peer coaching resulted in

teachers transferring training to practice and students


achieving better on model-relevant tests than did students

of uncoached teachers.

Joyce and Showers (1980) focused attention on the

process of structured feedback between peers and coaches

in the observation-feedback cycle. They found

unstructured feedback had an uneven effect, but coaching

provided a means of repeated structured feedback which

aided learning. Showers (1985) carried the argument for

coaching in a structured framework further and defined

coaching as a means of building community within the

school, using shared language, and understanding to learn

new skills. She used the training-observation-feedback

cycle and added analysis, study, hypothesis forming, and

testing to the coaching cycle. Requirements of her study

were (a) the inservice trainer is not the coach, (b) the

time involved is over three months, and (c) peer coaches

know the new skills and have access to other classrooms

(release time from their own teaching).

Showers (1985) found that coached teachers generally

practiced new strategies more frequently and developed

greater skill, used them more frequently, exhibited

greater long-term retention of the skill, and were likely

to teach new strategies to students so that they would

understand the purpose of their expected behaviors.

Showers (1985) made a strong delineation between coaching

and supervision. She stated that the status differential


involved in supervision does not seem to work productively

in the military or in education. A difference in the

status of the pair working on a skill tended to make power

the focal point, rather than learning. According to

Showers (1985), if coaching and evaluation are equated, a

lack of creativity occurs. Coaching, on the other hand,

provides a safe environment to learn, practice, make

mistakes, and perfect teaching behaviors. The status and

power questions are minimized, because the coach is a

peer. The peer coach serves as a teacher's support

system. The process was structured to include training,

observation, feedback, and cooperative planning over

extended time. Showers added a corollary to the process

in stating that her program needed administrative support

to succeed. The training and logistics of peer

observation did not have as much impact without the

planning and support of the building principal.

Informal Peer Coaches

Several researchers have detailed the use of peer

coaching and support for groups other than teachers.

Smith and Andrews (1987) described training in peer

coaching for supervisors and principals with teachers so

that the administrators also receive feedback on their

roles while going through the clinical supervision cycle

with their teachers (principals observing principals, and

supervisors observing supervisors, and getting feedback).


Gibble and Lawrence (1987) described principals paired to

do teacher observations together in order to get feedback

on their conference skills. Levine (1987) wrote of peer

support among women in middle management who used each

other as resources for their own professional growth and,

in effect, created a parallel and redefined "old-boy"


Administrative Support

Researchers on effective schools named the role of

the principal in such schools as the instructional leader.

Clear communication of goals and the understanding by all

groups in the school of the instructional focus of the

school are important factors in effective schools. If

peer coaching is selected as a facet of a school program

of instructional improvement, administrative support is

crucial at all phases (Showers, 1985). How can

administrators foster instructional improvement with peer

coaching? Garmston (1987) defined three types of peer

coaching as (a) technical coaching, (b) collegial

coaching, and (c) challenge coaching. Technical coaching

serves to aid the transfer of training, the details of

which are best described in the work of Joyce and Showers

(1982, 1983). Collegial coaching fine tunes teaching

practices, causing teachers to reflect on their own

teaching and deciding on self-coaching for continuous

growth and receiving help to analyze and interpret data.



Challenge coaching provides a means of resolving a problem

by a team of school personnel thereby creating trust,

collegiality, and practical improvement in one package.

In challenge coaching a small group identifies a

persistent problem and/or a desired goal that the entire

school can work on together to resolve. All coaching

positively affects teacher self-concept, work environment,

and professional commitment, but Garmston found that

collegial and challenge coaching do a better job than

technical coaching. He found that 5 of 12 school norms

could be affected by coaching. These are collegiality,

experimentation, tangible support, reaching to teaching

knowledge bases, and open communication. Administrative

support is needed to pick the best model of coaching for

the school improvement goal. The school leader should (a)

know what must be achieved and what resources are needed

to do it, (b) demonstrate the value of improvement by

providing the resources, (c) facilitate the structuring of

coaching teams, (d) acknowledge the practice and devote

staff meetings to coaching topics, (e) set expectations

for frequency of observations, and (f) model a willingness

to be observed and given feedback. Because of the need to

find time for coaching pairs to work together,

administrators must be willing to be creative in planning

and scheduling to help teachers logistically.


Organizational theory and group dynamics offer

support for the peer coach. Little (1982) looked for

organizational characteristics conducive to continued

learning on the job by classroom teachers. She found that

the nature and quality of the assistance was important.

Analysis, evaluation, and experimentation were valued at

schools deemed effective and successful. Teachers valued

and participated in norms of collegiality and continuous

improvement. They pursued a greater range of interactions

with other teachers. A shared technical language aided in

the precision of their discussion. Teachers in more

successful schools were confident as observers, partners,

and advisors. These schools also saw continuous

improvement as a shared task. School improvement was the

responsibility of the school staff as partners in

learning. A collegial stance to discussing, planning,

conducting, analyzing, and evaluating the business of

teaching was emphasized.

Low-Inference Observation Instrument

Training in the use of an observation instrument was

part of many of the studies of peer coaching previously

reported (Blair, 1984). The use of an observation

instrument cues teachers to the importance of the

effective behaviors listed for observation. Knowledge of

the behaviors alone does not seem to improve instructional

behavior (Porter & Brophy, 1988; Showers, 1984a, 1984b).

However, cueing teachers to behavior is important.

Tenenbaum (1986) discussed his study of three methods of

instruction as (a) cueing/participation--reinforcing/

feedback, (b) conventional lecture--practice instruction,

and (c) mastery learning in algebra and science. An

achievement pretest was given and a summative achievement

posttest. For both rote memory and higher thinking

analysis skills in all classes, Tenenbaum found the

cueing/participation--reinforcing/feedback method more

efficient in terms of student achievement. He also found

a very low relationship between prior student achievement

and final student achievement in the cueing/participation

--reinforcing/feedback and the mastery learning groups.

The structure of the observation, feedback, goal

setting cycle ensures the utilization of knowledge gained

in inservice workshops is evaluated by its use in

classrooms. Koziol and Burns (1986) found that teacher

self-report data can become a valid information source if

a focused instrument used repeatedly cues the teacher to

appropriate behaviors. This finding in the Koziol and

Burns study supported the idea that teacher training in

the use of an observation instrument serves the purpose of

cueing the teacher to effective classroom behaviors, as

well as being the instrument for the peer coach to use

when observing. The process of observing with a known

instrument enhances recall and the use of those behaviors

by the teachers trained to use the instrument. In this

study student observations and teacher's self-reports in

27 teaching practices were reported to reach a kappa

coefficient of .70 or better and four practices showed a

coefficient with p < .01 to .001. Observer and teacher

self-reports have been compared on specific behaviors and

found to have correlation on 54-69% of the items checked

(Newfield, 1980). Natriello (1984) also seemed to point

out that cueing by frequent observation with a known

observation instrument reminds the teacher of the

effective behaviors for more frequent use.

Freiberg and Waxman (1988) found, in tests of

reliability of feedback from various sources, that

students and teachers trained in Flanders Interaction

Analysis and Stallings Observation System gave reliable

feedback much in agreement across three different groups.

Pupil reports, teacher observers, and self-analysis by

audio and videotape showed very similar perceptions of

teacher practice. The reliability of the perceptions

encouraged teachers to reflect on their craft and made

teachers less dependent on a single evaluator's feedback

on that teacher's skills in the classroom.

Anecdotal Support for Peer Coaching

There are additional arguments that support peer

coaches as an inservice tool. Peer coaching costs little

more money than an occasional substitute or consultant for

training and provides long-term follow-up to inservice

workshops. Coaches are available to each other every

working day; the inservice is at the school building

level. Peer coaching is a means of group or community

building that can benefit the whole school. The

opportunity for practice and modeling is ongoing; it is

part of the daily teaching-learning process. The

availability of support within the school, the building-

level control, the focus on improvement of teaching, the

self-direction of professional growth, the educational

enhancement of school climate, and the ongoing nature of

the process should be powerful incentives to the school

principal. The negative side of an argument against peer

coaching is that staff must overcome the fear of being

observed by fellow teachers, teachers must learn to trust

other teachers, and principals need to take an active role

in promoting and providing for instructional improvement.

Peer coaching can be a successful ingredient in on-the-job

learning, the process appeals to the self-directed adult

learner and almost all of the resources needed are

available in each school building to begin a process of

instructional improvement and change.


To make use of information learned in inservice

workshops, teachers need help beyond the receipt of the

information. How the information is presented to the

adult learner is a critical beginning to the adult

learner's acceptance of the information. The critical

issue for teachers is whether or not the information or

skill will be useful in the classroom. If inservice

education can be structured to allow a teacher some voice

in the decision on skills to be learned and allows a

teacher to practice a new skill in his or her own setting,

the likelihood of using the new information is enhanced.

Assistance is needed to provide a structure for

continual teacher growth and learning, but it does not

have to be help from outside sources. People within each

school building have experience and training that can be

shared, if professional staff are willing to try. The aim

of each school is to educate children; thus teachers share

a common goal. If they can agree to share a means of

reaching that goal by sharing their time and effort to

learn new skills, the school would benefit from the shared

expertise. Deciding on one's own learning goals, learning

new skills, having time to practice them, receiving

feedback from a concerned peer and not a supervisor making

a judgment, should encourage teachers to try new skills

and teaching behaviors without fear of failure. A peer

coach combined with inservice education provides a formal

structure for experimentation while learning on the job.

Administrative support for peer coaching as on-the-

job training is critical to its success. Providing

teachers with the chance to be responsible for their own

professional growth requires an administrator to let go of

a part of his or her control of the school. Allowing the

flexibility for teachers to meet with other teachers

frequently to conference, observe, and provide feedback is

an exercise in creative problem solving that can result in

a shared understanding of the tasks of the school.

The selection of a low-inference observation

instrument can exclude as much judgment as possible from

the observation and allow feedback that is objective in

nature and related exclusively to the teaching behaviors

designated as effective. For the present study the

modified COKER fit that need, was not difficult to learn,

and was easy to code.

Focus on the behaviors on the low-inference

observation instrument cues the teachers to behaviors that

are effective and reminds them of what was learned in the

inservice workshop when coding and being observed. That

frequent reminder may facilitate retention of the

information for longer periods of time than uncued

teaching information or skills.

It is assumed that teachers have different skills and

different personal agendas for learning on the job. The

combination of teacher decisions on long-term professional

goals, inservice workshops for the presenting of

information, and peer coaching to encourage the transfer


of inservice information to classroom practice is a

structure for long-term in-house professional growth that

has potential for marked school improvement in student

achievement and school climate for teachers.


The relationship of a peer coach to the number of

effective teaching behaviors used by inservice teachers in

their classroom instruction in three urban junior high

schools was investigated. In addition, the relationship

of school level of administrative support to the inservice

project to the differences in effective teaching behaviors

between schools was analyzed.

The following questions were addressed:

1. Is there a relationship between the presence of a

peer coach and the frequency of use of effective teaching

behaviors taught and modeled in inservice workshops?

2. Does the level of administrative support for the

inservice workshops relate to the frequency of classroom

use of these effective behaviors?

In this chapter is a description of the inservice

implementation and schedule. The method of sample

selection and the demographics of the sample group are

detailed. In the instrumentation section the modified

Coker is described and interrater reliability discussed.

The schedule for data collection, the design for

collecting, and the qualifications of the observers are

also included and the inservice training given is


Study Design

This study was designed to investigate the

relationship of peer coaching to teacher frequency of use

of effective teaching behaviors as measured by 18 behavior

descriptions taken from the research of Medley (1977) and

Coker and Coker (1982). The data were recorded on the

modified COKER.

In School A (full implementation) administrators and

teachers committed to nine hours of training in effective

teaching behaviors and the modeling of those behaviors,

teacher expectation and student achievement, how to

conduct peer observation, coaching, and training in the

use of the modified COKER. School A participated in a

series of workshops. They then chose peer partners,

observed in each other's classes, and provided feedback

following the observations on seven occasions.

The principal of School B (partial implementation)

completed two hours of the above inservice. Thirty-seven

of School B's teaching staff of 72 agreed to participate

in the inservice. They viewed the film and videotapes of

the nine hours of inservice during their planning periods.

A guidance counselor was assigned to help promote the

inservice. The videos were viewed over one month's time.

Thirty-seven teachers participated in the overall

inservice, and six of this number did the peer coaching

component which was taught by the researcher.

The faculty of School C decided not to participate at

all in the inservice, but the principal agreed to allow

the author to observe randomly selected classroom teachers

as a comparison group. No teacher or administrator had

any of inservice training, nor did any peer coaching

occur. The observations were done during the same time

frame as those at School B.

For the first study question the teachers were

divided into four groups, those who did the peer coaching

with high support (4), peer coaching with moderate support

(3), no peer coaching with moderate support (2), and no

training with no support (1). Nine teachers at School A

and five teachers at School B participated in all

inservice activities, including the peer coaching

training. The remaining four teachers at School B did

some training but no coaching. No teachers at School C

did any training or coaching. The four teachers at School

B participated in the inservice, but did not select a

partner nor do the peer coaching observation and feedback


For the second study question concerning the

relationship of administrative support to increased

frequency of use of the behaviors, there were three

groups, one from each school. School A had full

administrative support for the implementation of the

inservice training. School B had partial administrative

support for the inservice effort. School C did not

participate at all in the inservice training.

The inservice training involved several components,

of which peer coaching was the final element. Training in

effective teaching behaviors and use of a low-inference

observation instrument were elements of the training that

were practiced during the peer coaching components. The

inservice training was designed by Susan Wilkinson and

this writer and offered to all schools in the district

primarily for the purpose of improving the academic

achievement by improving the teaching skills of teachers.

Administrators in 71 schools agreed to participate and

were scheduled to receive the training during the 1984-85

and 1985-86 school years. Observations were done before

the inservice training and following the completion of all

components of the training. The peer coaching component

was designed and delivered by this writer to School B.

The materials were used by other trainers in School A.

Actual training and observations for School A occurred in

the spring of 1985, for School B in the spring of 1986.

Observations of School C also occurred in the spring of



School A had full administrative participation in the

inservice. Administrators provided logistical help for

the training and observation of teaching and encouraged

teachers to participate. In School B (partial

implementation) the inservice in teaching behaviors and

low inference observation sessions were scheduled and

teachers were allowed to choose to participate during

their planning periods during school hours. In School C,

the non-participation school, no inservice was planned and

no teacher participation was required. The principal and

teachers allowed the researcher to observe teachers on two

separate occasions.

Study Sample

School A elected to participate fully in the

inservice activities. School B elected to allow teachers

to participate if they desired and at their convenience.

School C elected not to participate at all. The three

schools were selected for this study because they all were

junior high schools and each had a different level of

participation in the peer coaching component of the

inservice activities. Treatment was not randomly

assigned, but schools were selected by treatment.

Seventy-one schools participated in the inservice program

to some degree, and 70 schools did not participate at all.

The inservice program was scheduled in shifts over a two-

year period; School A participated in the first shift and

School B participated in the second shift. Among the 7

junior high schools that participated in the training,

principals were polled for agreement to participate in the

peer coaching.

Of the total population of 50 teachers who

participated in School A, nine were chosen for the sample

by use of a random number table applied to a non-

alphabetic list of teacher names. In School B 37 teachers

of a staff of 72 participated in the inservice program.

Of the six teachers who did the peer coaching component as

well as the other training components, five were drawn to

provide a nearly equal balance of numbers of peer coached

and non-peer coached teachers. The other four teachers in

School B were selected from the remaining 31 inservice

participants by use of a random number table applied to a

non-alphabetic list of teacher names by subject area.

Teachers observed in School C were selected by use of

a random number table applied to the teacher roster which

listed names in alphabetic order.

Nine teachers from each school were selected by the

means described above. The schools were three junior high

school (grades 8 and 9) in a large urban school district

in Florida. The schools were selected by their level of

participation in the staff development program which

emphasized increased use of selected teaching behaviors.

Of the 27 teachers selected, 18 participated in the

inservice on teaching behaviors, and 14 of this 18

attended two extra sessions on peer coaching. The nine

teachers from the third school had no training or coaching

at all. The schools self-selected into this project and

were further selected on the basis of level of inservice

implementation. The teachers observed in each school were

selected at random and the classroom observations were

done randomly. All of the teachers knew the purpose of

the overall inservice project, but none of the teachers

was aware of a separate evaluation of the peer coaching

component alone. Generalizations from the study will be

made to the population of the schools in which the sample

teachers worked. Characteristics of the teachers will

also be compared to secondary teachers and all in the


Of the 27 teachers in the sample, nine were male, 18

were female (33%-66%); 20 were white, seven were black

(74%-26%); three (11%) were between 21 and 30, 16 (59%)

were between 31 and 45, and eight (30%) were above 45

years of age.


The instrument used to observe classroom teachers

during a class session was the modified COKER. The

modified COKER isolates 18 teacher behaviors from the full

COKER and is used as a tally sheet for each occurrence of

those behaviors within one 10- minute observation period.

The behaviors selected were the effective behaviors that

encourage student response and involve no correcting or

reprimanding by the teacher. The teacher behaviors fall

into the following sections: presenting, questions,

responding, and personal regard. The student behaviors

are paying attention to the teacher, responding, asking

questions or making comments, and off-task behavior. The

reverse side of the instrument lists 47 different items

concerning teaching methods and supervision style, affect,

and control. The modified COKER is different from the

COKER (Coker & Coker, 1982) only in that it limits the

total number of teacher and student behaviors and is a

tally rather than single occurrence record of the 18

selected behaviors from the COKER. The COKER is an

instrument designed by Homer and Joan Coker (Coker &

Coker, 1982) from their research and from the review of

process-product research by Medley (1977). The modified

COKER was designed by Susan Wilkinson with the help and

permission of the senior author of the COKER.

The scoring of the Modified COKER is done by clusters

of items. The clusters are:

1. Student initiated verbal interactions--10 items

of which "student makes a voluntary comment" is one.

2. Amplifies and discusses student responses--11

items of which "student asks substantive question" is one.

3. Time on task--22 items, for example, students

actively listen to teacher explanation.

4. Prepares and/or uses a variety of teaching

methods and techniques to present subject matter and

encourage student time on task--10 items, focusing/cueing.

5. Promotes a positive self image for students--12

items, focused academic praise.

6. Consistent in treatment of students--nine items

consistent wait time for all students.

7. Establishes rapport--eight items, listening to

student questions and comments.

8. Uses positive teaching methods--nine items,

asking students to amplify on their own ideas or someone


9. Fosters group and individual participation in the

teaching learning process-18 items, open ended

questions, focused academic praise, cueing.

10. Fosters love of learning--nine items, open ended

questions, no wrong answer, allowing comments.

11. Fosters student control of his or her own

learning--21 items, use of recall to application level

questions, allows student comment, checks own perception

of student ideas.

12. Accepts student ideas--eight items, uses student

ideas, allows student to evaluate their own or other's


13. Challenges students to ask questions--six items,

acceptance of probing or procedure questions.

14. Encourages critical thinking--eight items, uses

several types of questioning techniques, several levels of

questions, uses student ideas.

15. Accepts student thought--25 items, asks students

to evaluate their own or other's ideas, asks no wrong

answer questions.

16. Models good listening habits--four items, teacher

pays attention to students, checks his or her own

perceptions of student responses.

17. Gives feedback to students on their own

performance--13 items, focused academic praise, giving

three seconds wait time.

18. Used positive reinforcement--two items,

correction of misinformation, and nonacceptance of

misinformation from any source.

The observers were compared for agreement on the same

sample lesson.

Data Collection

Two 10-minute observations were conducted for each

teacher during a class period before inservice training

began to obtain a baseline of teaching behaviors for each

teacher. For School A, which was in the first session of

the inservice, this occurred in February 1985. The peer

coaching activities were completed by the first week of


May 1985 and two 10-minute posttraining observations took

place during the last two weeks of May 1985. In School B

pretraining observations took place in the first week of

April, 1986. Peer coaching took place between early April

and mid-May. Posttraining observations took place in the

last week of May, 1986. In School C, postobservations

took place in the last week of May, 1986.

Three observers collected all the data for the peer

coaching project. Observers 1 and 2 collected all data at

School A. Observer 3 collected all data from School B and

School C. Observer 1 was a junior high school

administrator. Observer 2 was a junior high school

teacher. Observer 3 was a secondary school teacher. All

three received a three-day training session in the use of

the full COKER and a two-hour training session in the use

of the modified COKER. After several hours of practice

observations in the use of the instrument, either in

classrooms or of videotapes of classrooms, the observers

collected the project data independently. Interrater

agreement was calculated at the end of the project in two

ten minute observations of the same length of a junior

high school English teacher at a nonparticipating school.

The senior developer of the COKER stated that the two

10-minute observations using this instrument would produce

a reliability of a teacher's repertoire of teaching

behaviors of .40 to .50. Sixty minutes of observation

would be expected to yield reliability scores of .70 to


Inservice Training

The total training consisted of information to (a)

increase teachers' awareness of the effects of teacher

expectation, (b) promote teachers' feelings of efficacy,

(c) learn about personality type and differences in

learning style, (d) inform teachers of a limited number

(18) of effective teaching behaviors, (e) model those

behaviors, (f) cue the behaviors on the low inference

observation instrument, and (g) practice the behaviors and

give feedback in observation sessions with peer coaches.

The principal and two lead teachers in the School A

received nine hours of training in January of 1985. The

breakdown of training was: (a) one hour of information on

teacher expectation and student achievement; (b) one hour

training on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator; (c) one half

hour on school climate; and (d) six and one half hours on

effective teaching behaviors, modeling behaviors, use of

the low inference observation instrument, and how to

conduct peer observations. These administrators provided

their staff with this same instruction by the beginning of

April, 1985. Teachers in School A received all the

training together in a series of workshops. The workshops

included a film on teacher expectation based on the work

of Rosenthal and Jacobsen in Pygmalion in the classroom:

Teacher expectation and student intellectual development,

a lecture on Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a lecture on

school climate, and a combination of a lecture and a

training video about effective teaching behaviors and the

coding of a low-inference observation instrument. They

then chose peer coach partners and observed in each

others' classes and provided feedback following the

observations on seven occasions.

The principal of School B received two hours of the

above inservice conducted by the principal author of the

inservice program. Teachers involved with the inservice

had videotapes of the entire nine hours of inservice and

were encouraged to view them during their planning periods

by a guidance counselor assigned to promote the inservice

and coaching components. The training videos were viewed

individually during planning periods over a month's time.

No one was trained at School C. Those principals and

teachers participating in the study and the treatment each

group received are displayed in Tables 1, 2, and 3.

Internal Threats to Validity

The time between pretraining and posttraining

observations was 8 to 12 weeks. No maturation effect was

expected. No specific event external to the treatment was

noted that might have had an effect on the teaching skills

of teachers. The pretraining and posttraining

Table 1

Principal and Lead Teacher Training

All Training Partial Training No Training

School A X

School B X

School C X

Table 2

Teacher Training

Nine hours lecture Two to nine hours None
and film film and video

School A X

School B X

School C X

Table 3


Pre- Treatment 1 Treatment 2-COKER Post-
obs -inservice and peer coaching obs

School A X X X X

School B X X X (5 of 9) X

School C X X


observations were made by outside observers. The teachers

observed were trained in the use of the instrument after

the preobservation. The behaviors were the focus of the

inservice training. Any cue to the behaviors came from

the inservice training, not the pretraining observation.

The same instrument was used for pre and posttraining

observations and the information collected was treated on

the same tests. The observers were compared on the

percentage of agreement while observing the same lessons.

Statistical regression due to subjects selected from

extreme groups was not expected, but the sample was

compared on race and gender to the population of secondary

teachers and found to be a close match by percentage on

race and gender. The school district does not keep

information on age or education level above bachelor's

degree on teachers that could be released publicly. A

comparison on those characteristics could not be done.

Experimental mortality was not an issue. The short time

frame of the study and the relative stability of teachers

during a contract year allowed observations to be done

without loss of subjects. Absence of a subject on a

observation day meant the observer returned at a later

time. By a combination of chance and planning, internal

validity threats were controlled to the extent described


External Threats to Validity

Representatives of the sample to the secondary and

total district populations of teachers is seen in Table 7.

The sample is a valid representation by race and gender of

the secondary teachers of the district. No attempt was

made to document demographic variables in interaction with

treatment effects.

Peer coaching and administrative support were linked

in the study design and thus would not be examined

separately. Some overlap of the two was expected.

Awareness of the experiment and the presence of an

observer in the classroom could have an effect, but the

random nature of the time and day of the observations

should minimize the effect, because the use of a variety

of the teaching behaviors required practice and planning

in the lessons of the teachers. Pretraining observation

should not have sensitized the teachers, who did not see

or use the observation instrument until later.

Interaction of history and treatment effects were not

examined. Interaction of time of measurement and

treatment effect was accounted for in two pretraining

observations and two posttraining observations which were

summed for each pair and taken as two single scores.

Variation was expected and was interpreted as the range of

teaching behaviors for each teacher.


The purpose of the study was to investigate the

relationship of peer coaching to the transfer of inservice

training as measured by the increased frequency of use of

teaching behaviors presented during the inservice

activity. The following questions were addressed:

1. Is the presence of a peer coach related to the

increased frequency of use of effective instructional

behaviors by inservice teachers at three junior high


2. Is the level of administrative support related to

the increased frequency of use of effective instructional

behaviors by inservice teachers?

The results have been presented as follows: (a) the

data analysis, (b) reliability of the instrument, (c)

frequency information, (d) test of peer coaching, (e) test

of administrator support, and (f) demographic comparison

of the sample to the population.

Data Analysis

The tests used to study the observation instrument

and the two study questions were selected because of the

nature of the information sought. Each is explained in

the following sections.

Observation Instrument

The modified COKER was selected as the observation

instrument because it was used as part of the inservice

training; observers were available who were trained in the

use of the modified COKER; the instrument is easy to use

and focuses only on the behaviors of interest in the

training. In order to be able to rely on the information

found with the scoring keys on the instrument, the 18

behaviors were tested for internal consistency. These

scoring keys were developed by the senior author of the

instrument. Tallies from the instrument were keypunched.

The statistical program SPSSX was used to conduct all of

the tests.

Alpha coefficients were calculated for the multiple

observers' ratings on each behavior using the Kuder

Richardson 20 formula to determine if the modified COKER

were a reliable instrument to measure the 18 behaviors

under study. An alpha is equivalent to a reliability

coefficient KR-20 (Kuder-Richardson 20). A criterion of

.40 was determined by the senior author of the instrument

to be the lower limit of satisfactory reliability for the

scoring keys.

The percentage of agreement between and among the

three observers in coding the observations was calculated,

because a difference in the coding of behaviors by the

observers could explain differences in scores for the

study questions. To eliminate coding inconsistencies as a

threat to internal validity, an interrater agreement of .7

was required. Interrater agreement meant that the

observers tallied the same behaviors during an observation

of the same lesson. The total number of cells on which

all observers agreed was divided by the average number of

cells marked by all three observers during the


Reliability of the Instrument

The reliability coefficients for each of the 18

behaviors are reported as alpha coefficients in Table 4.

According to Coker, an alpha of .40 is an acceptable level

of reliability for a low inference survey measure.

The alphas for the scoring keys for 10 of the 18

behaviors are .40 or above. An alpha for the scoring key

for behavior 18 could not be determined because of absence

of variance. The scoring key for behavior 18 had two

cells, one of which had no variance. The scoring keys for

the following behaviors result in reliable scores on the

behaviors. These behaviors are

2 amplifies and discusses student responses

3 time on task

7 establishes rapport


Table 4

Alpha Coefficients for Each Behavior

Behavior Alpha

1 .03

2 .56*

3 .67*

4 .20

5 .34

6 .33

7 .52*

8 .58*

9 .70*

10 .05

11 .43*

12 .37

13 .45*

14 .66*

15 .77*

16 .25

17 .46*


'No alpha can be determined. This scoring key had two
items, one of which had no variance.

8 uses positive teaching methods

9 fosters group and individual participation in


11 accepts student ideas

13 challenges students to ask questions

14 encourages critical thinking

15 accepts student thought

17 gives feedback to students on their performance

Ten of 18 scoring keys met the criterion for reliability.

The interrater percentage of agreement was .75 among

the three observers and was adequate. Observer 1 did not

agree highly with observers 2 and 3 (see Table 5), but

observers 2 and 3 had a high rate of agreement.

Population Characteristics

For the school district as a whole and secondary

teachers as a subset, the pattern of race and gender are

reported in Table 6. A comparison of the district total

and secondary subset on race and gender compared to the

study sample are reported in Table 7.

The teachers in the study sample matched the

secondary teachers in the district exactly on gender, but

varied 2% to 3% on race. The study sample did not closely

resemble the district teacher population on gender but

matched well on race for 1985. Since these

characteristics do not relate directly to teaching skills,

sample results were not generalized to the population.

Table 5

P~ar, ntaan of Observer Aareement

Percentage Comparison to

Observer 1 & Observer 2 .60 Obs. 1 .36

Observer 2 & Observer 3 .95 Obs. 2 .80

Observer 1 & Observer 3 .68 Obs. 3 .87

Observers 1 & 2 & 3 .75

Table 6

Teacher Characteristics

District Secondary
1985 1986 1985 1986

Male 1,117 1,099 932 921

Female 4,137 4,246 1,865 1,895

Black 1,427 1,557 776 789

White 3,827 3,751 2,012 2,001

Hispanic 19 27 14 20

Asian/Pacific 8 9 5 6

Indian/Alaskan 0 1 0 0

Table 7

Comparison of Sample to District

Teacher Population

District Secondary Sample

Male-Female 21%-79% 33%-67%

Male-Female 20%-80% 33%-67% 33%-67%

Black-White 26%-73% 28%-72%

Black-White 29%-70% 28%-71% 26%-74%

Note. Totals for race do not always add up to 100%
because of 1% total teacher population of Hispanics,
Asian/Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans.

Sample and Group Means

The mean scores on each behavior for the entire group

of teachers are presented in Table 8 for the pretraining

observations and in Table 9 for the posttraining


Table 8

Pretraininq Means for the Sample

Behavior Mean Standard Deviation





































Note. N=27

Table 9

Posttrainina Means for

the Sample

Behavior Mean Standard Deviation























12 4.4 4.24

13 1.8 1.36

14 .6 1.28

15 5.0 4.30

16 .5 1.37

17 4.5 3.78

18 1.7 .47

Note. N=27

........nina Means fo te aml


The pretraining group means show group 1 to be higher

or equal to group 4 on 7 behaviors. In combination with

significant increases in the use of these behaviors after

training by group 4 in comparison to all groups, this

evidence provides strong support for the combination of

training, peer coaching, and high administrative support

as factors in the behavior change. Means by group on both

pretraining and posttraining observations are reported in

Tables 10 and 11.

Presence of a Peer Coach with Administrative Support

An analysis of covariance was conducted initially,

but covariates on only two behaviors (10, 13) were

significantly related to the dependent variable. (Pooled

within-group correlations are reported in Table 12.)

Therefore, an analysis of variance was conducted on four

groups of teachers: (a) those doing the peer coaching

component in School A with high administrative support,

(b) those doing the peer coaching component in School B

with moderate administrative support; (c) those not doing

the peer coaching component in School B; and (d) those

doing no training at all in School C with no

administrative support (Table 13).

An analysis of variance was conducted on the

pretraining observation scores to determine if preexisting

group differences existed for any of the 18 behaviors.

Table 10

Pretraining Group Means (n4 = 9, n3 = 5, n2 = 4, n1 = 9)

1 2 3 4
Behavior M SD M SD M SD M SD

1 1.9 1.83 1.0 1.16 2.0 .71 1.4 1.33

2 .9 .78 1.3 1.50 1.6 1.14 2.0 2.83

3 6.3 3.94 8.8 2.06 8.6 5.51 5.7 5.34

4 .4 1.01 .5 1.00 1.2 1.64 2.0 1.32

5 -2.8 1.72 -.3 2.22 -.8 1.64 -.2 .97

6 .0 .87 1.5 .58 1.2 1.79 1.3 1.00

7 .2 .67 .5 1.00 .0 .00 .1 .33

8 .7 1.32 1.8 2.87 1.0 1.00 1.0 2.00

9 -.4 .88 1.0 1.63 1.6 3.30 .7 .71

10 .4 .53 .3 .50 .4 .55 1.1 1.27

11 -.2 1.20 -1.0 1.41 .4 1.82 .7 1.50

12 1.1 1.17 1.3 .96 1.4 1.44 2.4 2.88

13 2.2 1.64 3.3 1.71 2.0 .00 1.0 .71

14 .9 1.69 1.0 1.41 1.2 1.30 .3 .50

15 2.3 2.40 1.8 2.36 2.8 2.17 2.9 4.54

16 .1 .33 .3 .50 .4 .89 1.0 1.12

17 1.6 1.13 2.8 .96 2.8 1.92 1.6 1.94

18 1.8 .44 2.0 .00 1.8 .45 .9 .33

Table 11

Posttraininq Group Means (n4 = 9, n3 = 5, n2 = 4, n, = 9)

1 2 3 4
Behavior M SD M SD M SD M SD

1 .9 1.54 1.3 1.50 1.4 2.19 2.3 1.94

2 .9 .93 1.0 1.16 .8 .84 5.6 4.39

3 5.9 3.14 10.8 5.38 10.2 3.77 21.1 6.23

4 .0 .00 .8 .96 .6 .55 .3 .50

5 -1.3 1.00 -.3 2.36 -2.0 2.45 .9 1.27

6 .0 .00 .3 .96 -.6 .55 1.2 3.67

7 .0 .00 .5 .58 .0 .00 .2 .44

8 .2 .67 1.5 3.00 .4 .55 4.3 2.87

9 -.3 .50 .5 1.00 .0 .71 .6 1.74

10 .1 .33 .5 1.00 .0 .00 1.4 1.01

11 .9 2.09 -1.8 1.26 1.0 1.41 1.4 4.50

12 1.0 1.12 3.8 2.75 2.6 1.95 9.2 3.31

13 1.3 .71 2.5 3.11 1.4 .89 2.2 .83

14 .4 1.42 .8 .96 .2 1.48 .9 1.27

15 2.1 1.36 5.3 2.22 4.4 2.61 8.2 5.63

16 .0 .00 .0 .00 .2 .45 1.3 2.18

17 2.3 1.58 2.8 2.50 3.0 1.58 8.2 4.06

18 1.7 .50 1.5 .58 1.8 .45 1.8 .44

Table 12

Pooled Within Group Correlations

Behavior Correlation

1 .20

2 .18

3 -.04

4 -.01

5 .07

6 .39

7 -.28

8 -.16

9 .18

10 -.44*

11 -.23

12 .12

13 -.40*

14 .17

15 .29

16 -.27

17 -.26

18 -.02

*p < .05

Table 13

Group Differences in Treatment

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4

Training 0 X X X

Peer Coaching 0 0 X X

Support No Partial Partial Full

The analysis of variance was appropriate because a

comparison of all possible pairs of the teacher groups

could be done. The assumption was that no difference

existed between population means for the four groups.

An analysis of variance was also conducted on the

posttraining observation of the 18 behaviors; significant

Fs were followed by pairwise comparisons conducted by

using the Bonferroni procedure. This was done to

determine among which pairs of the above-named groups

significant posttraining differences in teaching behaviors


Pretraining Observations by Group

An ANOVA was conducted on the pretraining

observations by group to determine if differences existed

prior to training (see Table 14).

Table 14

ANOVA nn the Pretrainina Observation Behaviors by Groun

(n4 = 9, n3 = 5, n2 = 4,

n, = 9)

Behavior SS DF MS F ratio of F





















































3 1.83 12.99



















*p < .05

There are significant pretraining differences on five

behaviors by group (5, 6, 9, 13, 18). The differences

were significant at the p < .05 level for three

behaviors(6, 9, 13), at the p < .01 level for one behavior

(5), and at the p < .001 level for one behavior (18). On

none of the five behaviors is the mean for group 4 the

highest mean. Indeed on two of the five behaviors (15 and

18) the mean for group 1 exceeds the mean for group 4.

Posttraininq Observation by Group

An ANOVA was conducted on the posttraining

observations by group to determine if there were a

treatment effect and if it occurred on behaviors with

preexisting group differences or not (see Table 15).

There are significant posttraining differences on

eight behaviors (2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17). The

differences are significant at the .05 level for two (5,

15), at the .01 level for three (2, 8, 10), and at the

.001 level for three (3, 12, 17). For all eight behaviors

group 4 has the highest mean; on five of the variables the

means for group 2 and 3 exceed the mean for group 1.

Comparison of Pairs by Groups

The ANOVA was followed by the Bonferroni procedure on

the posttraining observation for four groups. Group 4 was

nine teachers in School A, Group 3 was five teachers in

School B. Both of these groups received the training and

Table 15

ANOVA on the Posttraining Observation Behaviors by Group
(n4 = 9, n3 = 5, n2 = 4, n, = 9)

Behavior SS DF MS F ratio of F









































































p < .05


did peer coaching. Group 2 was four teachers in School B;

Group 1 was nine teachers in School C. Group 2 received

the inservice training and Group 1 did not. Neither group

did peer coaching. (See Table 16.)

Group 1 Compared to All Others

Group 1 comprised nine teachers in School C who

received no training, did no peer coaching, and had no

administrative support for improving their teaching

behaviors with the training. Group 1 was significantly

different from Group 4 on seven behaviors (2, 3, 8, 10,

12, 15, 17). The mean scores for Group 1 were

significantly lower for seven behaviors than those of

Group 4. Since Group 4 had extensive treatment

intervention and practice in peer coaching with high

administrative support for the training activity, this

difference was the anticipated outcome. Further, since

preexisting group differences existed for none of these

behaviors, it can be assumed that there was a treatment

effect for these behaviors (2, 3, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17).

That treatment consisted of training, peer coaching, and

high administrative support. Group 1 was also

significantly different from Group 2 and Group 3 on no


Group 2 in Comparison with Groups 3 and 4

Group 2 was significantly different from Group 3 on

no behavior. Group 2 differed from Group 4 on three

Table 16

Pairwise Comparisons Using Bonferroni t Test
(n4 = 9, n3 = 5, n2 = 4, n, = 9)

Behavior 1 2 3 4









































































Note. (1) Negative means are possible because several
scoring keys require the absence of certain cells. If
those cells were present, a negative sign was given. (2)
In each row, means with different superscripts are
significantly different.

behaviors (3, 12, 17). The two groups differed on peer

coaching (Group 2 did not do this component of training,

Group 4 did) and degree of administrative support. Group

2 had moderate support for the training; Group 4 had high

administrative support. The combination of peer coaching

and high administrative support as the treatment for Group

4 resulted in significant increases in use of three of 18

behaviors taught in the training activity. One facet of

this comparison warrants a caution, however. Group 2

consisted of only four teachers, and Group 4 consisted of

nine teachers. The low sample size may again be a


Group 3 in Comparison to Group 4

Group 3 differed significantly from Group 4 on seven

behaviors (2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 17). Teachers in Group 4

used these behaviors significantly more often than those

in Group 3. These two groups differed only on degree of

administrative support. Group 4 had high support; Group 3

had moderate support. The distinction in treatment

between groups shows strong results for the level of

administrative support as a factor in teacher behavior

change for seven of 18 behaviors. Administrative support

alone discriminates groups on more behaviors than any

other single characteristic.

Summary of the Results

The results of the study are reported in the

following sections.


The teacher sample may be representative of the

schools in the study by nature of the random selection of

subjects, but may not be representative of the secondary

teacher population or of all district teachers on

characteristics of instruction.

Instrument Reliability

Of the 18 scoring keys for the modified COKER, 10

keys were reliable. Those 10 gave a consistent measure of

frequency of use for behaviors 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14,

15, and 17. Lack of reliability on the remaining

behaviors is reported here, but the sensitivity of the

instrument as a whole to differences in behaviors for

teachers allowed confidence in the instrument as an

information collection device.

Treatment Effect of Individual Factors

The relationship of peer coaching alone as an element

in increased frequency of use of effective behaviors is

seen in the comparison of Groups 2 and 3. There was no

significant difference between these groups. As an

isolated element, this study does not find peer coaching

to be a factor in increased frequency of use of effective

teaching behaviors. But additional study of Groups 2 and

3 finds Group 2 scores on all behaviors but three to be

higher than Group 3. A further problem with Groups 2 and

3 was sample size (n3 = 5, n2 = 4). There may well have

been too few teachers with too few tallies in the scoring

cells for the behaviors. Results of the study isolating

peer coaching from all other factors are not conclusive.

The relationship of degree of administrative support

as the only factor discriminating between groups is found

in comparisons of Groups 3 and 4. Group 4 was

significantly different from Group 3 on seven behaviors

(2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, and 17). Group 4 had high

administrative support. Group 3 had moderate

administrative support. This is strong evidence for high

administrative support as a factor in behavior change in


Training alone as a factor in the increased use of

effective teaching behaviors is seen in the comparison of

Groups 1 and 2. Group 2 with training showed no

significantly higher use of any behaviors. Given that

Group 2 had only four members, training alone seems not to

be a factor for behavior change.

In isolation only one element of this study,

administrative support, showed relationships to more

frequent use of effective teaching behaviors. Peer

coaching did not.


Peer coaching with high administrative support is

significantly different for Group 1 and 4. This is

substantial support for high administrative support of

training alone and also substantial support for the

strategy of peer coaching paired with high administrative



The relationship of a peer coach to the number of

effective teaching behaviors used by inservice teachers in

classroom instruction was the focus of the study. The

relationship of three levels of administrative support to

the number of effective teaching behaviors used by

classroom teachers was a second study question.

Reports of peer coaching reveal anecdotal support for

the peer coach as an element in teacher change. Few

writers report research studies of teacher behaviors

related to peer coaching. This study is an attempt to

provide additional support for a strategy to improve the

teaching behavior of inservice teachers. Information

learned in inservice workshops is often not implemented in

classroom because modeling and practice of the inservice

techniques is difficult for a working teacher to do alone.

Adult learners need to know that what they learn will

be of use to them. Teachers in particular need to know

that what they learn will help their students learn

(Guskey, 1985; Knowles, 1984). Peer coaching with


modeling and practice of new behaviors can provide a trial

and error means of practice without formal evaluation

(Baker, 1983; Joyce & Showers, 1982; Sparks, 1986).

Administrative support for continued learning on the

job was found to be critical to success (Little, 1982).

Garmston (1987) studied administrative support for

coaching. Five of 12 school norms were affected by

Garmston's technical, collegial, or challenge coaching.

Holly and Blackman (1988) and Harris (1989) urge that

inservice education consist of professional growth not

remedial education for unsatisfactory teachers.

Control of one's learning and practice in the use of

teaching strategies are reasons to support peer coaching

for instructional improvement. Focusing and cueing of the

behaviors to be practiced and training in the use of a low

inference observation instrument are also elements of

inservice training incorporated into this project.

The need for the study rests on practical ground.

Peer coaching with a high level of administrative support

allows on-the-job training selected by the learners and

practiced at their pleasure within a structure that

results in teacher behavior change.

The teacher sample was selected from three schools

involved in a district-wide inservice training. School A

had full administrative support for the training. School

B had partial administrative support and School C did not

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