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Relational Trust in Group Coaching with First-Grade Teachers: A Single Case Study

Jentry Stoneman Barrett, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Coaching has become a prominent professional development tool for helping early childhood teachers implement curriculum and research-based practices in their classrooms. One of the coaching strategies found to create positive changes in teacher practice and child outcomes is building trust between the coach and teacher(s). Despite what is known in terms of the benefits of these positive relationships, there is limited understanding of the nature of trust-building between coach and teachers, in general, and particularly in group coaching configurations. There is also scant literature exploring the nature of trust between teachers participating in group coaching sessions. Researchers call these two kinds of trust, out-group trust (between an outside coach and the teachers)and in-group trust (between the teachers who already have a relationship). The purpose of this case study was to explore the nature of relational out-group trust between the coach and teachers, and the in-group trust between the two teachers in a group coaching context over a 10-week intervention. The first finding was that high in-group trust between the teachers created a baseline for the development of out-group trust between the teachers and coach. The second finding were the moves the coach used to build and deepen outgroup trust with the teachers, including showing individual care and attention to their students. The third finding was that the coach was eventually able to transform out-group trust into in-group trust, so that by the end of the 10 weeks the teachers saw her as a member of the school staff. The potential of group coaching is also discussed. Implications for future coaching practice and research in addition to limitations are also presented.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Elementary education

Recommended Citation

Barrett, Jentry Stoneman, "Relational Trust in Group Coaching with First-Grade Teachers: A Single Case Study" (2022). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI29165562.