Culturally Responsive Cognitive Coaching for Inclusive Practices

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Culturally Responsive Cognitive Coaching for Inclusive Practices. Elaine Mulligan TASH December 9, 2010. Where this coaching model originated. Focused, cognitive coaching is an integral feature of the NIUSI- LeadScape community of inclusive schools. . - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


NIUSI-Leadscape Guide for Coaching Dialogues

Culturally Responsive Cognitive Coaching for Inclusive PracticesElaine MulliganTASHDecember 9, 2010

1Where this coaching model originated

NIUSI-LeadScape is a comprehensive support system for helping school leaders transform practices to be inclusive of ALL students. The LeadScape platform connects professional learning and school improvement in a powerful, unified, system for change.

NIUSI-LeadScape supports inclusive schools with: a) ongoing, collaborative professional learning; b) tools to help educators plan universally designed, differentiated lessons so that ALL students can improve outcomes on assessments; c) topical briefs and professional learning modules to help develop culturally responsive practices to improve outcomes for ALL students; and d) accessible, comprehensible data displays to give school leaders just-in-time data for daily decision making.

In order to effectively manage these multiple levels of support, schools maintain records of universal screenings, academic and behavioral supports, and changes in student performance. NIUSI-LeadScape provides a platform for accessing these multiple sources of data in a consolidated location, with visual displays to contextualize the data within buildings and classrooms. By bringing these multiple data sources together, we give schools the ability to access both academic and behavioral progress monitoring for every student.

In addition, NIUSI-LeadScape member schools receive ongoing coaching support to help principals attend to the complex variables of school transformation using our unique Framework for Culturally Responsive Cognitive Coaching.

2Coaching for Inclusive PracticesFocused, cognitive coaching is an integral feature of the NIUSI-LeadScape community of inclusive schools.

We know that coaching is integral to effecting substantive, transformative change.

NIUSI-LeadScape coaching supports school leaders in their work to lead change, as well as serving as a model for school leaders to coach teachers and staff in implementing inclusive practices.Our coaching framework was developed in collaboration with our LeadScape principals in order to address their particular challenges in creating inclusive school communities.3

Coaching: An Integral Part of the School Improvement Process

Coaching is a tool that is used in schools in a variety of ways in order to build capacity and continually improve practice. Its a way to mediate understandings and beliefs (ways of being) in order to influence daily activities and interactions (ways of doing). This is something thats often done with a technical focus by Literacy or Curriculum coaches. For school improvement, coaching is crucial to creating substantive change, because systemic change is complex and elusive. School improvement is a long-term, complex process, and ongoing reflection is an important activity for school leaders to be able to review progress, identify new areas of focus, and ensure that efforts are strategic and purposeful.

4Why this kind of coaching?Through NIUSI-LeadScape coaching, we are supporting systemic change.

School leaders often engage in coaching in order to respond to a problem or react to a specific incident.

1Marzano, R. J., Walters, T. & McNulty, B.A. (2005). School Leadership that Works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

These kinds of conversations are necessary to manage school operations, but they do not address the type of deep change necessary to transform school practices to be inclusive of all students. 1Weve found that traditional coaching models dont provide the kinds of frameworks and strategies needed to truly transform practice.5

Coaching = Mental models and scripts for guiding action and solving problems.The purpose of coaching is to provide new ways of thinking about practice so that the coachee responds in new ways to dilemmas of practice as they occur. Rather than simply a vehicle for solving problems with or FOR a coachee, NIUSI-LeadScape coaching begins with the understanding that the goal is to help change ingrained patterns of thinking in order to be able to approach problems of practice in new and more effective ways. This is a process of COGNITIVE RESTRUCTURING working together to develop new mental models and internal scripts to use when issues arise.


CognitiveWhen we coach, we are working to change thinking patterns so that people respond differently when problems of practice arise. The coach works with the coachee to develop internal scripts that frame events and problems in new ways in order to change daily practices. NIUSI-LeadScape coaching for inclusive practices is not just coaching in the traditional sense of GIVING answers to problems, it involves teaching new ways of thinking, and creating mental models so that the coachee can see things differently in daily interactions. We are consciously working to CHANGE the way people respond to situations in their everyday practice.

7Culturally Responsive: ThirdSpace


In addition to being cognitively based, NIUSI-LeadScape coaching is culturally responsive: It includes the acknowledgement of each persons unique frame of reference and a negotiated suspension of perspectives. This creates a ThirdSpace that allows both perspectives to integrate to form a new perspective together.

In order to be able to develop ThirdSpace, three main principles must be maintained: Respect, Reciprocity, and Responsiveness. We must Respect the identity of others recognize boundaries and allow differences to be accepted.We must practice Reciprocity by valuing each person in an interaction as equal with the understanding that one point of view need not dominate or exclude a diverse point of view there is no need to force an either-or choice. We must practice Responsiveness by integrating strengths of diverse identities to create greater and more inclusive options.

ThirdSpace focuses on creatively reframing into paradoxes the contradictions encountered as diverse cultures come into contact with each other. Rather than labeling perceptions as right or wrong, ThirdSpace promotes the holding of two or more divergent and even seemingly contradictory views in one mind at the same time WITHOUT forcing a choice between them.8Inclusive Outcomes

While traditional coaching allows the coachee to determine the desired outcome, the NIUSI-LeadScape coaching model explicitly targets the desired outcome of inclusive school practices. Strategies and planning tools help the coach to maintain focus on inclusive outcomes throughout the coaching process.9The Development of Coaching for Inclusive PracticesCoachingCognitive Coaching

Culturally Responsive Coaching

Cognitive, Culturally Responsive Coaching for Inclusive Outcomes

So, in effect, the broad concept of coaching has been refined to utilize the practice of cognitive coaching through a culturally responsive lens in order to achieve the desired outcome of inclusive schools


Use ThirdSpace to develop a shared understanding of inclusive practiceCollaborate to create shared expectations of collaboration, participation, and differentiated instructionUse cognitive strategies to help others broaden their perspectivesDont spend all of your time in a problem-solving space!An aside about Technical Assistance: Coaches can often so get caught up in responding to immediate needs that systemic, long-term planning and reflection activities are left unattended. When a coach is coaching a teacher, often the teachers immediate classroom management needs preclude spending time on exploring the teachers identity and teaching philosophy.

A NIUSI-LeadScape coach can easily get drawn into technical problem-solving conversations with a coachee and put off the deeper critical reflection that is crucial to an effective coaching relationship. Be mindful of that danger when youre planning your coaching when you help a coachee change thinking patterns, learn to broaden perspectives to be culturally responsive, and develop a real understanding of inclusive practices, you are giving HER the tools to solve technical problems of practice.

11Components of a Coaching ConversationIn any coaching relationship, you must :Engage the coachee in a dialogue about an issue of practice or an examination of a situation -- create an environment where your coachee feels comfortable and supported in talking about beliefs and issues; Work with your coachee to create that ThirdSpace through a suspension of perspective in order to integrate multiple perspectives; Help the coachee to develop insights based on the new, broadened perspective; Reframe the relevant situation from the new perspective; Work with the coachee to develop and practice scripts that will help to see things from this new perspective in the future;Set goals with the coachee for monitoring their own implementation of the new scripts to change the way they think.

12Coaching DiscussionCritical prompts guide the coachee to examine her own beliefs and practices in supporting inclusive education. CriticalTechnical coaching conversations support coachees in solving problems of practice in their schools.TechnicalContextual prompts reveal underlying beliefs and cultural practices of a school that can either support or resist inclusive practices.ContextualThree ways of entering coaching discussions A coaching relationship is a supportive professional interaction that provides school leaders with opportunities for reflecting on school culture, policy, and daily practices in an intentional manner.

Coaching conversations can initiate from technical, contextual, or critical perspectives.

NIUSI-LeadScape coaches plan their coaching approaches so that they can help coachees learn to interrogate their own practices to do the kinds of critical, reflective work that is necessary to change schools.

13Technical coaching conversations support coachees in solving problems of practice in their schools. Technical coaching processIdentify current practices around the issuePlan moves/activities to initiate changeDetermine what changes need to be madeEvaluate effectiveness of current practicesIdentify coachees role in initiating changeEstablish how progress will be monitoredTechnical conversations will usually be coachee-initiated and focus on a problem that they are encountering in their school. They will follow a cycle over time to identify practices, evaluate effectiveness, determine changes needed, identify roles, plan moves, and monitor progress. These should be short-term discussions; the coach is responsible for making sure that the coaching relationship doesnt get stuck in this mode.14Example of Technical PromptsThe significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. Albert EinsteinFocusDifficulty implementing co-teaching practicesIdentify practices

In what ways have you ensured that your teaching team works together during shared planning time?

Evaluate effectiveness

How are your planning sessions helping with differentiat-ing lessons for students?

Determine changesWhat procedures need to be established to make these sessions more effective?

Identify roleWhat will your role be in establishing these procedures?

Plan moves

What actions are needed?Evaluate progressWhen and how will you determine if the new procedures are effective?

Heres an example of a series of prompts examining a teams implementation of co-teaching practices. In order to facilitate an effective reflection on this topic, the coach would need to plan prompts for each step in the process of problem solving. You may not use these exact words and phrases, but having prompts planned before the coaching conversation is invaluable in keeping the discussion on track and focused on the goal. Its highly unlikely that youll work all the way through the process to evaluation in one conversation, so youll want to keep notes and return to the technical dialogue in subsequent sessions.

Heres an example of a coaching relationship: I am coaching Bob, who is a special educator who is working in a co-teaching team. He has expressed frustration with the collaborative process, so Im planning prompts to help Bob to improve his teams functioning. These are specific prompts that I plan ahead of time to keep me and the conversation on track to solve Bobs problem of practice.

15Contextual prompts reveal the underlying beliefs and cultural practices of a school that can either support or resist inclusive practices.Contextual coaching processIdentify contextual factorsPlan moves/activities to initiate changeSurface institutional valuesIdentify historical patternsIdentify coachees goalEstablish how progress will be monitoredContextual coaching conversations help to make school culture transparent. In order to transform educational practices, one must be keenly aware of the context of the school. School cultures are complex environments, encompassing all of the experiences, beliefs, and behaviors of teachers, support staff, students, and administrators. These factors are strong influences in supporting or opposing inclusive practices, and therefore must be addressed in coaching if changes are to stick in the long term.16Example of Contextual PromptsWe dont see things as they are, we see them as we are. Anas NinFocusProfessional learningGuiding prompts

How have team members participated in selecting topics for professional learning?

Identify patterns

What are some of the recurring topics that pop up each year?

Surface institutional values

What do the topic selections tell you about whats important to your peers?

Identify goal for change

What kinds of topics would you hope the teacher leaders would choose?Plan moves

What are some strategic actions you could take to bring these topics up?

Evaluate progress

How will you know if you are influencing teacher leaders selections?

Heres an example of a series of prompts examining the schools culture around professional learning.

Again, well use the example of Bob, who has now become concerned that the classroom teachers with whom he is teaming have not engaged in professional learning around differentiation and has expressed interest in changing how we spend our Professional Learning days.

In order to facilitate an effective reflection on this topic, I would need to plan prompts for each step in the process of contextual examination. I may not use these exact words and phrases, but having prompts planned before the coaching conversation is invaluable in keeping the discussion on track and focused on my goal. Its highly unlikely that Ill work all the way through the process to evaluation in one co...


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