• Teacher coaching is distinct from teacher training: it is ongoing, individualized support of teacher development.
  • Coaches support a teacher’s classroom performance as well as his or her professional development.
  • Systematic reviews have identified teacher coaching as an effective approach to improving learning in developing country contexts.

Ensure that teacher coaches are highly skilled in the coaching process, and receive ongoing supervision and support.

Coaching is most efficient and effective when teacher coaches are prepared and know how to interact well and build relationships with teachers. Key characteristics of a successful coach include strong leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills. Coaches should also be well versed in the course content and act as positive role models. After coaching has begun, supervision and support of coaches is essential in order to ensure they are performing well and are effectively addressing the needs of the teachers. See also Supporting Early Childhood Practitioners.

School-and-Cluster-based Teacher Professional Development: Bringing Teacher Learning to the Schools

This report highlights the importance of developing a strong relationship between coaches and teachers.
MacNeil, D.J., 2004
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The Power of Coaching: Improving Early Grade Reading Instruction in Developing Countries

This guide details the what makes an effective coach and the importance of preparation for coaching.
USAID, 2014
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Who is an OLE Ghana Coach?

Pages 3-4 of this guide describes the qualities of a good teacher coach.
OLE Ghana, 2013
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EGRA Plus: Liberia Program Evaluation Report - Training of Coaches

Page 16 of this evaluation highlights how it is important to train coaches in the same way as teachers.
USAID
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EGRA Plus: Liberia Program Evaluation - Supporting Coaches

Page 17 of this evaluation gives examples of how to provide support to coaches including having experts visit coaches once a semester and providing coaches with mobile phones so they can contact experts with specific questions.
USAID
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Use a combination of individual and group coaching.

Coaching can take on a number of different forms, including working one-on-one with teachers or facilitating group sessions. Coaching is most effective when a program uses a combination of individualized and group techniques, enabling support to be customized to a specific teacher’s needs while also allowing teachers to learn from one another.

The Power of Coaching: Improving Early Grade Reading Instruction in Developing Countries - Group and individual techniques

Pages 12-13 provide an overview of group and individual coaching strategies and detail the evidence of effectiveness for each.
USAID
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Models and Best Practices in Teacher Professional Development

Starting on page 20, this document lays out the purposes and methods of three types of teacher professional development: standardized, school-centered, and individual. The strengths, limitations, and cost implications of each are described.
GESCI
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Provide tools so that coaches and teachers can together track teacher performance.

Coaching should be catered to the specific needs of the teacher and the school. Teachers and coaches should consistently use observation and assessment tools to assess initial teacher performance, identify areas for growth, develop a plan to improve these areas, and track progress over time.

Teacher Needs Assessment

This report details features of teacher needs assessments conducted by Educational Initiatives.
Educational Initiatives, 2010
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EGRA Plus: Liberia Program Evaluation Report - Observation and tracking tools

Pages 16-17 describe how this project provided coaches with logs to track teacher performance as well as classroom observation tools.
USAID (2010) Liberia
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Teacher Classroom Observation Checklist

This tool, developed for and currently being piloted by the East Africa Quality in Early Learning Project, allows observers to record a teacher's ability to prepare students for a lesson, manage a classroom, and facilitate learning.
Aga Khan Foundation
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How to write a supervision checklist

Guide and template for writing checklists to assess an individual's performance (e.g. that of a teacher, discussion group leader, etc).
tools4dev
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Parent Education Programs for Early Childhood Education

Page 174 of this report discusses how it is important to engage with parents in a non-threatening context.
Jessica Baker (2004)
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Classroom Observation Tools

This resource provides classroom observation forms, checklists for positive teaching behaviors, and guidelines for observers. The tools can be used by coaches to assess and share feedback with teachers.
USAID, 2003
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Coaches should use visual tools and activities when working with teachers.

Simple visual tools and aids, preferably adapted to the local context, are recommended for working with teachers, given potential language barriers and low teacher education levels. Videos can help show teachers how to implement a specific activity.

Videos: Techniques for Effective Teaching

These videos, designed for low-cost private schools in Ghana, provide guidance for child-centered, interactive teaching and learing practices in low-resource settings.
IDP Foundation, 2014
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School Support and Development and District Partnership Project

Learn about this program, which develops in-service training and coaching models for under-resourced and under-performing schools in South Africa and emphasizes the utility of visual tools, including videos, in coaching.
Pearson MARANG Education Trust
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Techniques for Effective Teaching

This teacher guide leads teachers through several approaches to improving instruction, including teacher reflection and planning exercises on topics including teaching with low-cost resources, pupil-centered learning, time management, etc. The modules are aligned to the videos also provided in this section.
IDP Foundation, 2014
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Technology may be able to effectively support coaching programs.

Technology (such as videos, tablets, and Skype) can be useful in increasing the frequency of teacher-coach interactions while reducing costs. However, further research is needed to demonstrate positive impacts of technology use in coaching.

The Power of Coaching: Improving Early Grade Reading Instruction in Developing Countries - Technology

Pages 14-15 of this guide discusses the potential role of technology in supplementing coaching.
USAID (2014)
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Primary Math and Reading Program (PRIMR)

Learn about the Primary Reading and Math program (PRIMR), which seeks to improve quality of learning in early primary years in Kenya and uses tablets as part of its approach to teacher coaching.
RTI International Kenya
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Distance Education for Teacher Training: Modes, Models, and Methods

Chapter 7 (Mobile Technologies for Distance Learning) starting on page 107 highlights the ways in which various devices can be used in initial teacher training and follow-up support; also notes the limitations of mobile technologies for distance teacher training.
Education Development Center, Inc., 2011
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BridgeIT

Learn more about BridgeIT, a program that uses mobile phones to deliver professional development materials and educational resources to teachers in ten countries. The program's aim is to enhance teacher and school system capacity through comprehensive professional development, working closely with local partners and organizations on the ground.
BridgeIT
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Teacher Coaching Programs

Click the links below to see profiles of programs using teacher coaching in their programming.

Education Beyond Borders

Education Beyond Borders developed a teacher training model that focuses on learner-centered methods
Education Beyond Borders
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Health and Literacy Intervention

The Health and Literacy Intervention aimed to improve the health and learning outcomes in communities off the coast of Kenya. Part of the initiative included teacher training, the development of 140 semi-scripted lesson plans, and text message support throughout the academic year.
Health and Literacy Intervention Project Kenya
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Primary Math and Reading Program (PRIMR)

The Primary Reading and Math program, which seeks to improve quality of learning in early primary years in Kenya, places great emphasis on training teachers, with coaches and tutors modeling best practices, observing lessons, and providing feedback to teachers.
RTI International
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School Support and Development and District Partnership Project

This program develops in-service training and coaching models for under-resourced and under-performing schools in South Africa.
Pearson MARANG Education Trust
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Explore rigorous research and analysis showing how teacher coaching can improve learning outcomes.

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Early Reading: Igniting Education for All

This report reviews the state of early literacy in developing countries and outlines a number of recommendations, including putting in place language policies that support mother tongue instruction.
RTI International, 2010
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Pedagogy, Curriculum, Teaching Practices and Teacher Education in Developing Countries

This literature review recommends six effective teaching practices in developing country contexts, as well as four ways in which teacher education can best support instruction and learning, including targeted and sustained professional development.
EPPI-Centre, Institute of Education & University of London, 2013
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School-and-Cluster-based Teacher Professional Development: Bringing Teacher Learning to the Schools

The authors review the literature on in-service teacher professional development programs and identify the factors common to effective programs, which include matching to students’ and teachers’ needs, and collaborating with the school staff and community in designing the program.
MacNeil, D.J., 2004
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Where It's Needed Most: Quality Professional Development for All Teachers

This guide highlights the need for, and recommendations for strengthening, teacher development in fragile and conflict-affected states.
Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies, 2015
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Teacher professional development: an international review of the literature

From an examination of teacher training (focused mainly in the United States), this book offers several recommendations for effective and sustainable professional development, which, the authors argue, should be a long-term process that begins with pre-service training and continues throughout a teacher’s career.
UNESCO, 2003
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Teacher Professional Learning and Development

This booklet provides a list of general best practices in teacher professional learning and development that have positive impacts on student learning outcomes.
International Bureau of Education
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Review: Teacher Support and Development Interventions

This review emphasizes the importance of continuing professional development, rather than “disjointed one-off courses,” and identifies trends among effective teacher support and development interventions in low-income countries.
Save the Children
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The Effects of First-and-Second-Language Instruction in Rural South African Schools

The READ program in South Africa, which provided culturally relevant reading materials in the mother tongue and included an intensive teacher training and development component, found students in intervention schools to perform better than those in control schools.
Sailors et al., 2010
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The Power of Coaching

This report provides an overview of the literature on teacher coaching in developing countries and recommendations for best practice.
USAID (2014)
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EGRA Plus: Liberia Program Evaluation Report

This evaluation of a program that provided intensive teacher training in formative assessment found that treatment group students saw dramatic increases in all sections of the EGRA.
USAID, 2010
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Identifying Effective Education Interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa: A meta-analysis of rigorous impact evaluations

From a meta-analysis of dozens of education interventions, Conn finds pedagogical interventions or teacher training— “programs that affect the method(s) of instruction and learning”— have the greatest pooled effect size; and effective teacher training programs involved sustained, individualized teacher coaching.
Conn, K. 2014
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What Really Works to Improve Learning Outcomes in Developing Countries?

In a systematic review of six systematic reviews that evaluate interventions to improve learning outcomes in the developing world, the authors find that “individualized, repeated teacher training” is one type of intervention that is frequently recommended.
World Bank Group, 2015
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Research Brief: Evaluating strategies to improve early grade reading on the Kenyan Coast

A program in Kenya strengthening literacy instruction in early primary school through teacher training and text message support was found to improve student reading skills. A buddy reading program also resulted in small improvements in student attitudes towards reading.
Health and Literacy Intervention Project, 2015
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