Introduction to Peer Coaching

Peer Coaching to Support Student Success

Peer coaching teams enhance professional development efforts and offers support for teachers implementing new strategies. The model includes a pre-lesson conference, lesson observation, and post-lesson conference. Based on the long-standing research of Beverly Showers and Bruce Joyce, Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) has made peer coaching an integral part of their district professional development support.

In the Migrant Education Program, the peer coaching model is used to support elementary and secondary Migrant Teachers and tutors in the PUPILS program. At the secondary level, PVUSD uses the Abriendo Caminos peer coaching approach developed by PVUSD Migrant Coordinator Janet Johns. Abriendo Caminos provides teachers the opportunity to develop and incorporate culturally relevant strategies into their teaching practice while drawing directly from the principles of multicultural education.

Joyce and Showers' 20-year body of research found that coached teachers 1) generally practiced new strategies more frequently and developed greater skill, 2) used their new strategies more appropriately, 3) were more likely to explain their models of teaching to their students, ensuring that students understood the purpose of the strategy and behavior expected of them when using the strategy, and 4) exhibited clearer understandings of the purposes and uses of the new strategies. Peer coaching allows teachers to learn from one another while planning instruction, developing materials, watching one another work with students and thinking together about the impact of their behavior on their students' learning.

On the next pages, you'll see  the peer coaching process at the elementary and secondary level including the pre-lesson interview, teaching demonstration, and post-lesson reflection.