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Early Childhood Coach Qualities and Practices

Paula J Thompson, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This study explored early childhood (EC) coaching behaviors through analysis of individual interview data, a series of audiotaped EC coach-teacher conversations and surveys of self-reported perceptions of two EC coaches. These quantitative and qualitative data provided valuable insight on utilized coaching behaviors. To assess the coaching behaviors, 24 audiotaped coaching sessions were reviewed, identifying use of specific EC coaching behaviors utilizing the Early Childhood Coaching Conversations (ECCC) coding system (Knoche & Bainter, 2012). Demographic information for the two EC coaches was collected through survey and the EC coaches’ self-perceptions of coaching efforts and their coaching relationships through interview and survey. Information about what EC coaches say and do in conversations with EC teachers as coachees can be used to better define EC coaching and design pre-service and in-service training and/or support. The ECCC coding system provides information on behaviors often promoted for successful EC coaching practices (Friedman, Woods, & Salisbury, 2012; Rush & Shelden, 2011). The frequency of these 13 behaviors in a series of EC coaching sessions, across varied topics and meeting purposes, provided opportunity to profile EC coaching based on the conversation behaviors of two EC coaches in beginning and established EC coach-teacher relationships. Finally, EC coaches’ reflections on the behaviors used in coaching conversations with EC teachers and their perceptions of good and challenging coaching sessions provided an opportunity to explore EC coaching self-efficacy and the need for training, feedback and ongoing support to EC coaches on their efforts with EC teachers. Finally, demographic information and the EC coaches’ ratings of their confidence as EC coaches and their perceptions of their relationships with EC teachers as coachees were used to complete the picture of an experienced, skilled EC coach.

Subject Area

Special education|Early childhood education

Recommended Citation

Thompson, Paula J, "Early Childhood Coach Qualities and Practices" (2019). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI27666349.