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Abstract

Instructional coaching for reflection has traditionally not been part of teacher preparation. In addition, there is limited understanding of developmental coaching relationships within the context of field experience in teacher preparation programs. Reflection has increasingly been recognized as a central element of professional growth during teacher preparation. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the essence of instructional coaching between teacher candidates and an instructional coach as it relates to reflection of practice. Teacher educators would benefit by knowing more about the learning that occurs within the directed conversations between the instructional coach and teacher candidate. This study provided new information regarding the structure, context and content of coaching conversations, in order to better understand factors that facilitated learning that led to more reflective practice. By participating in coaching conversations with an instructional coach, teacher candidates were able to engage in reflective practices that may not have been achieved alone. With the support and guidance of an instructional coach, the teacher candidates were able to identify noteworthy events, analyze these events to gain new understandings about teaching and learning, and set goals based on the newly acquired knowledge. In this article, we will explore a coaching model that has been implemented at a university’s teacher preparation program as well as share key learnings, successes, and next steps for developing reflective practitioners.

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