When told with the perspective of hindsight, many improvement stories can seem relatively clear and straightforward– a team isolates a problem, does some tests, learns some things, and a few iterations later, they’ve made progress. In practice, however, applying improvement science principles, tools, and methods to solve a problem in an educational context can be an incredibly nuanced undertaking, calling on leaders, teams, and networks to decide what to work on first, interpret messy data, adjust a change idea that maybe isn’t getting results, and shift mindsets and behaviors (their own and those of others). It can be a lot to navigate. Every context is different, and there is no singular path that each improvement team will follow. The only way that transformative change can take place is when all involved are committed to continuous learning, and coaching is absolutely essential to fostering a safe and productive space to ideate, discuss challenges, engage in healthy thought partnership, and provide support and encouragement. The practitioners and leaders featured in this release understand coaching to be a foundational practice in their work and offer guidance based on their experiences and network goals.
Whether you are coaching an improvement team, facilitating learning within your network, or looking for guidance during the first stages of an improvement project, the resources from the Carnegie Foundation, Bank Street Education Center, and Yonkers Public Schools can help you set conditions for adult learning, guide your processes, and empower agents for change. Explore common challenges improvers face when coaching for improvement, and leverage the power of networks and collective learning in order to “fail fast and learn quickly”. Hear from coaches in well-established networks offering concrete practices for creating student-centered, equity-driven spaces for adult learning. Finally, learn how to use and teach the essential tools that can be applied across a network to create a common language for testing improvement ideas. We invite you to dig into these resources with the understanding that we must develop our coaching skillsets to create truly transformative learning experiences for practitioners, districts, networks and the students they serve.
The following sets of resources are provided:
Set 1: Common Coaching Challenges
Set 2: Equity Centered Coaching
Set 3: Supporting Continuous Improvement and Adult Learning
Set 4: Coaching PDSA Cycles