Content-focused coaching shows positive effects

This article from Learning and Instruction presents findings from a group-randomised trial investigating the effect of Content-Focused Coaching (CFC).

A key element of CFC is “Questioning the Author (QtA)”, a discussion-based approach to reading comprehension. According to the article, QtA encourages teachers and pupils to work together to construct the meaning of a text during the reading process. Teachers strategically pose questions to pupils at key places in a text that promote understanding, interpretation, and elaborated response, and encourage pupils to share and challenge each other’s ideas to grapple with these questions.

Schools assigned to the treatment condition received a CFC-trained coach, and schools in the comparison condition continued with the literacy coaching that was standard practice in their school. The final sample included 29 US schools serving a high proportion of pupils with English as an Additional Language (EAL) and pupils from low-income families.

Findings showed a positive effect of the CFC programme on observed classroom text discussion quality. Findings also showed a positive effect on pupil reading achievement, as measured on a state assessment test, with stronger effects for EAL pupils compared to their English-proficient peers.

The authors note that additional research is needed to examine the effectiveness and feasibility of adopting CFC on a wider scale.

Source: Literacy Coaching to Improve Student Reading Achievement: A Multi-level Mediation Model (2013), Learning and Instruction, 25.