Masters Research: Primary School Principals’ Experience of Coaching in Facilitating Leadership Development and School Improvement.

Masters Research - Primary School Principals’ Experience of Coaching in Facilitating Leadership Development and School Improvement.

The purpose of this research was to investigate the impact of coaching as perceived by established principals in terms of leadership development and implementation of school improvement. This study is intended to add to our understanding of the ways in which coaching supports the continuous professional development of experienced principals in a context of ongoing change and reform. A qualitative research approach was used which included interviews with six experienced principals. The study was based on the following research question: What is the perceived impact of coaching in terms of leadership development and implementation of school improvement? The participants reported positive feelings about their coaching experiences. Specifically, they described that they appreciated the confidential nature of the coaching relationship which provided a trusted holding space conducive to learning, reflection and further development. In terms of their learning, participants reported that through the context relevant and personalised learning experience coaching offered, they developed an enhanced sense of emotional intelligence. This allowed them a greater understanding of themselves and others, enabling them to build more effective collaborative relationships, which lie at the heart of implementing school improvements, as identified by the quality framework: Looking At Our Schools 2016. The research concludes that coaching for established principals is a valuable experience because the unique needs of each individual principal are addressed by the personalised, professional learning which the coaching experience affords.

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Aoife Fleming


CSL is funded by the Teacher Education Section (TES) of the Department of Education (DE)
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