Date of Award
Master of Arts in Education
Early Childhood Education
Practice-based coaching, mentoring, professional development, family childcare, infant-toddler care, early childhood education professional standards
The field of early childhood education has long relied on professional development strategies to support teachers with varying degrees of education who enter the field from a variety of disciplines. Research indicated educators needed intensive and individualized professional development efforts that were integrated into daily practice (Rodgers, Kennedy, VanUitert, & Myers, 2019). Practice-based coaching has been used as a professional development strategy in early childhood classrooms to develop educators’ knowledge and skills in best practices for young children. Thirty-two empirical studies conducted since 2011 on the process, effectiveness, and assessment of practice-based coaching were reviewed to identify coaching components, processes, and the strengths and weaknesses of the strategy to consider how coaching could be used to develop professionalism within the diverse early childhood education workforce. The results indicated practice-based coaching was an effective strategy in the classroom to build teacher skills and knowledge and aid in children’s development. Practice-based coaching aligned with NAEYC’s professional standards. Studies in inclusive school classrooms, family childcares, small and large programs were reviewed to determine practice-based coaching’s effect in diverse settings. Results indicated literature was lacking in the full range of diverse settings and provider demographics, exposing a gap in research and an opportunity for future study. Exceptions to the long-term outcomes of coaching in some of the research suggested future studies were needed to consider additional support strategies after the coaching process ended (Unver, 2016).
Keywords: Practice-based coaching, mentoring, professional development, family childcare, infant-toddler care, professional standards