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School Leaders Who Coach: Exploring the Effect of Coaching on Their Leadership, Learning, Self-Efficacy and Professional Agency

Porritt, David; (2021) School Leaders Who Coach: Exploring the Effect of Coaching on Their Leadership, Learning, Self-Efficacy and Professional Agency. Doctoral thesis (Ed.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

ABSTRACT This interpretive, mixed-methods research explores the experiences of school leaders who coach. Located within International and UK Schools, it uncovers the effect that being a coach has on school leaders’ leadership, learning, self-efficacy and professional agency. The topic is approached through a framework of Bandura’s self-efficacy and agency theory, critically exploring the coaching experiences of school leaders and a small sample of leaders working in adult learning settings. Fieldwork includes a two-part online survey blended with twenty-one semi-structured, in-depth interviews. Findings reveal that along with elevated levels of self-awareness, school leaders who coach experience the benefits of generativity, coupled with increased knowledge, understanding and skills in coaching and leadership. Furthermore, leaders develop increasingly patient listening, more profound reflexivity, increased abilities in posing resonant and relevant questions, enhanced attentiveness to others’ needs, greater empathy in building rapport and trust, and the capacity to develop emotionally safe environments in which colleagues can develop. Coaching appears to contribute to the leaders increased levels of self-efficacy belief, which acts as both a catalyst and a reinforcing mechanism for their agency. The thesis addresses a gap in research by exploring coaching in schools from the perspective of the coach, noting that there is little or no difference between the experiences of school leaders who coach and the sample of leaders who work in adult learning environments. The research advances the argument for school leaders to develop and use coaching skills in their work with colleagues. Using coaching as a tool to support the development of others, appears to sustain leaders who coach in their leadership and mitigates the pressures and challenges of their professional work. The thesis concludes with suggestions for an increase in knowledge, understanding and skill development of coaching and a wider uptake by school leaders.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ed.D
Title: School Leaders Who Coach: Exploring the Effect of Coaching on Their Leadership, Learning, Self-Efficacy and Professional Agency
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10128440
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