Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Nicholas J. Sauers

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard Hendricks

Third Advisor

Dr. Tamara Candis

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Sheryl Cowart Moss


Some schools and school districts have implemented instructional coaching programs to improve teaching practices and increase student achievement. A review of the literature revealed the varying roles of instructional coaches including building relationships with teachers, improving teaching practices, and providing feedback to teachers. Additionally, literature examined highlighted the important role that school leaders play in planning and preparation when implementing an instructional coaching program, and the importance of careful hiring, training, and financial considerations. This qualitative research study examined the decisions that one Title I elementary school principal made when designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating an instructional coaching program. The theoretical framework of instructional leadership anchored and organized this study.

This dissertation study was conducted in one Title I elementary school in an urban school district that has made gains in student achievement over the past three years. Participants included the principal, two assistant principals who are involved in the instructional coaching program, two instructional coaches, and four teachers who have worked with an instructional coach or coaches. Data collected includes interviews with all participants, observations of interactions between participants, and the collection of artifacts.

The key themes that emerged after the triangulation of the data were (a) instructional leadership driven decision-making, (b) instructional coaching support in the classroom, and (c) collaboration and preparation for collaboration. As more schools and principals consider instructional coaching as a framework for improving teaching practices and increasing student achievement, a sound understanding of the key instructional leadership driven decisions becomes increasingly essential. By gaining a full understanding of the practices of an effective instructional coaching program, school leaders have the potential of significantly and positively improving their school’s performance.