Graduation Year

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

George M. Batsche

Keywords

data-based decision-making, educators, organizational/systems change, problem-solving model, professional development, school-based coaches

Abstract

This study examined the extent to which coaching facilitates the successful implementation of the Problem-Solving/Response to Intervention (PS/RtI) model in schools, as well as the extent to which coaching enhances the fidelity of implementation of PS/RtI practices in those schools. Data from 34 schools in seven districts participating in three years of a statewide initiative to implement PS/RtI practices with assistance of a PS/RtI coach were used to evaluate the relationship between coaching activities and levels of implementation and integrity outcomes. Data on various coaching-related factors (i.e., perceived coaching quality, coach continuity, frequency and duration of training and technical assistance), educator beliefs and perceived skills, and PS/RtI implementation and fidelity levels were collected and examined utilizing a series of multilevel modeling (MLM) procedures. Results of the analysis suggest that a number of coaching variables were related to growth in specific measures of PS/RtI implementation and fidelity over time. Specifically, shorter, more frequent training sessions were related to higher levels of staff consensus and fidelity of problem analysis implementation over time after controlling for the quality of the coaching delivered. Growth in PS/RtI implementation over time was predicted positively by the continuity (the degree to which coaching was delivered by the same individual over the three years of the study) of the coaching received. Educators' perceptions of their own PS/RtI skill levels related to manipulation of data and use of technology in schools predicted increases in fidelity of problem identification implementation over time after controlling for quality of coaching. Fidelity of program evaluation/RtI implementation was predicted by the quality of coaching received across time. The relationship between coaching and infrastructure development, as well as the relationship between coaching and fidelity of intervention development and implementation, were unclear. Potential explanations for the findings from this exploratory study and implications for future research are discussed.