Perceptions and experiences of the role and process of coaching in the Gauteng Primary Language and Mathematics Strategy : a case of four teachers, their coaches and supervisors.

This study explores the coaching component of the GPLMS over the past 3 years, how it has been implemented as well as the lessons learnt with the view to understanding the coaching conditions required to assist teachers in changing their instructional practices. The GPLMS intervention consists primarily of instructional coaching which has to mediate lesson plans to teachers. This research specifically looks at the teacher-coach relations, the nature of coaching support and monitoring and its impact on teachers. Research data were collected through interviews of teachers in one FP school and one Intersen school in the Johannesburg South district as well as from two coaches and their supervisors. A Peer Learning Group (PLG) meeting in one school and a School-Based Workshop (SBW) in the other school were observed. GPLMS documents which include lesson plans and teacher observation sheets were analysed. The data analysis reveals that instructional coaching combined with high quality lesson plans are promising interventions with potential to improve teachers’ instructional practices. Much progress, however, depends on the coaches’ interpretation of their role as well as their attributes and qualities as far as the level of their subject knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge and the respect and trust between themselves and their teachers are concerned.
Coaching, Teacher support and monitoring, Teacher change, Professional growth