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What is coaching in Education?

At Growth Coaching Online, we believe that having a clear, shared understanding of what is meant by "coaching" is essential for schools, colleges and universities who are implementing coaching initiatives.

We use the following definition of coaching:

"A one-to-one conversation focused on the enhancement of learning and development through increasing self-awareness and a sense of personal responsibility, where the coach facilitates the self-directed learning of the coachee through questioning, active listening, and appropriate challenge in a supportive and encouraging climate."
(van Nieuwerburgh, 2012)

Coaching is a conversational activity that aims to support people to learn and develop, therefore enhancing their ability to achieve more of their untapped potential. This way of understanding coaching highlights how it is perfectly aligned with the purpose of educational organisations. By highlighting the "self-directed" nature of the interaction, we are distinguishing coaching from mentoring. Coaching is not about teaching--it is about creating the environment in which people can learn for themselves by connecting with their natural curiosity.

In addition to traditional coaching interactions (one-to-one conversations), we believe that there is a variety of ways in which coaching can have a positive and transformational impact in schools. These are described in detail in our Coaching Portals framework (van Nieuwerburgh & Campbell, 2015). In addition to the traditional use of coaching, school leaders, educators and students can use coaching skills in everyday interactions, adopt a "coaching approach" or work towards the creation of coaching cultures.


References:
  • van Nieuwerburgh, C. (Ed.) (2012). Coaching in education: Getting better results for students, educators and parents. London: Karnac.
  • van Nieuwerburgh, C. & Campbell, J. (2015). A global framework for coaching in education. Coach Ed, The Teaching Leaders Coaching Journal. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1IfDF6w .

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