Research Paper By Georgios Manos
(Life Coach, GREECE)
The present research is conserved with the use of coaching tools in education. Using thematic analysis method and with the help of interviews we try to ascertain if educators are available and open in the use of coaching tools in the education process.
In this context the social skills and the adaptability towards new educational data are examined since coaching is applied thereto.
Finally, based on the conclusions indicative proposals are made for the development of coaching tools, according to the needs of the educational community today.
Key Words: coaching tools, education, adaptability, flexibility, new perspectives
The process of thinking is crucial to livelihood along with the operation and support of the educational community. Honestly the challenge of instruction goes along with learning with special concentration on the learner’s creative thinking. Therefore, the educator’s role acquires a new dimension which is concentrated on his moral purpose towards students. (Fullan, 1993).
Innovation in learning can potentially be associated with the competency in critical thinking, opinion share and exchange, alternative option encouragement and thought discussion. (Deci & Ryan, 1985). On these grounds the introduction of coaching to education can function as a new innovative means by which the educational culture is supported and reinforced.
The educational system as well as corresponding organizations can flourish through coaching. In some educational areas coaching has already been a reality to support and enhance teaching and learning effectiveness. Furthermore, it is also a manner of reconnecting the members of the educational community
According to Creasy and Paterson (2005) coaching in education is based on a desire to make a difference to student learning.
This is a key motivation factor for educators. Additionally, it is noteworthy that coaching and education share common grounds on learning and development.
The following skills and abilities for an effective Coach – Educator have been indentified through the research:
- Accurate empathy and listening are very significant factors
- Relating well with students boosts communication
- Positive and strong personality features can be traced
- Open – mindedness and non – judgmental attitude enhance student self esteem
- Positive challenge can lead to potential achievement
- Focus and flexibility are significant to goal attainment (Cornett & Knight 2009).
Bloom, Castagna, Moir and Warren (2005) describe
relationship building, listening, observing and questioning as the fundamental skills of coaching.
These are the primary characteristic skills for a coach
- Empathy along with respect and confidentiality
- Tolerance and openness to different values, opinions and beliefs
- An encouraging and gentle approach towards the coachee
- An attitude of service towards their coachees, supporting them to progress themselves
- Humour and a positive aura
The aforementioned skills and attitude are as necessary to educators as to the whole educational system. Indeed, many educators demonstrate these skills on a regular basis.
The word “Johari” is taken from the names of Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham, who developed the model in 1955.
The “Johari Window” is a communication coaching model which is utilized towards improvement and understanding between individuals.
The tool includes two key ideas:
- Building trust with others through disclosing information about yourself.
- Getting feedback from others enables one to learn about oneself and come to terms with personal issues. In this respect, any form of feedback should be direct, specific and not – attributive. Kegan, R., & Lahey, L. (2001).
The “Johari window” basically helps the educator to identify the learner’s actions in order to determine the learner’s needs and thus set aims and objectives for future educational sessions.
- The arena – this is the area where both trainer and trainee are aware of the latter’s weaknesses; the learning needs are actually noticed in this box.
- The facade – in this box only the trainee is aware of a weakness
- The blind spot – at this stage the trainer is aware of a weakness but the trainee is not.
- The unknown – This is the area, neither the trainee nor the trainer notices the weakness.
The aim of JoHari’s window is to minimize the unknown box and maximize the arena box throughout the training period (Mehay, 2012).
Education shall be directed to the full development of human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948).
Questionnaires have been used to carry out the present research. Their purpose was to investigate whether educators use coaching tools in education and how open they are towards the implementation of innovations. Moreover, it has also been investigated whether educators are positively predisposed to coaching and whether they apply this innovative tool in education.
The sample consists of ten educators from different specializations. It is random and was used the logic of snowball sample method. The research was conducted among educators of Attica. The interviews were transcribed from the recordings and analyzed with a thematic way and have been abided by the ethical requirements as listed in the American Psychological Association (APA).
As it became clear from the interviews, the majority of respondents express a positive opinion to Coaching. In particular it seems clear that it is all in favor of the coaching skills’ and tools’ use in education. Nine of the ten say they use coaching tools. As it’s appreciated from the interviews they would love to indulge even more.
Yes I use them, I have searched, I have been informed, and it has helped me a lot, (Natasha, 27, English teacher).
I would love to know more things about coaching; It will be very helpful in my work, (Vasso 34, Physicist).
At the beginning of the interview, respondents were invited to comment on the use of Coaching in the areas of life, three of which felt excited and already knew its usefulness.
But of course I know, I find it very important especially in education and as trainer’s skills, (Chris, 38, Chemistry teacher).
Two people of the sample said that they do not know what coaching is but one of them wants to know whereas the other does not.
No I do not care at all, I teach the classic model. (Kate 28, Philologist).
From these responses it appears that trainers have a good relationship with coaching. The whole has heard at least at average deposit the term “Coaching” which indicates that they are interested subjects. The issue here is whether they have been updated with the correct way and if they actually know what coaching is or they use incorrectly the coaching tools.
Another issue to explore is the method they use in teaching. Through this methodology it will be observed if the participants have knowledge on coaching and if they know what they have read, they have heard or learned in order to use them correctly in practice. The majority states that it is trying to teach through an experiential dialogue and not through lecture.
As shown, the Socratic Method dominates as it is believed that, this way, teachers can motivate their students to learn. More specifically state that they loathe the lecture as it does not have to give anything in the learning process.
I prefer to ask my students and they to respond, through their answers doff and other questions so basically I am trying to take off from inside their answers, (Maria, 28, Art teacher).
Nonetheless, a number of them believe that dialogue has not any essential learning outcome.
I prefer to grab the attention to the tone of my voice and give a lecture at the time of teaching., (Kate 28, Philologist).
From the above, it is effortlessly extracted that dialogue motivates learning, helps teachers to indulge in the learning process and even make themselves simultaneously, transmitters and receivers.
Educators feel that they should be in a good mood, emit positivity before and during the educational process as well as confidence and security to their students. They also need to have the same incentives to properly prepare their students in the teaching practice. They consider substantial listening and empathy.
From the above it seems that some of them use it but we do not have universal participation. For example, everyone uses some features but without being common to all. This indicates that they may have adopted some coaching skills; have adapted on themselves; and apply some of these are working in the team. A small percentage, however, believes that the teacher should have only knowledge and gives it to the students.
When I have a question in class I am trying to catch the pulse of the class’. (Anna36, Historian).
Before the homework, we are looking for the need of it, (Michael, 32, Sociologist).
The trust and the shared code of communication is one of the first things that they build on top of their teaching period and are two valuable elements which are tested during their educational action.
The educators change their teaching practices according to the needs of their audience because the audience plays an important role in carrying out the curriculum. All 10 respondents agreed to change the way, whether it is about experiential dialogue, or in the case of the lecture with hand movements and change of tone and posture.
When I see that yawning during class time I get up from the seat, I am writing on blackboard, or I change the tone of my voice., (Kate 28, Philologist).
There is the case where the student is not available to attend the course and this is transmitted to the whole class, I ask them how it could make their lesson most interesting and play a Brainstorming game., (Diana, 38, Biologist).
Within the code of communication instructors consider the use of questions lucrative not only to relations but also in the learning process. Dynamic and open questions and exceptional crisis help the student to look inside and discover the knowledge.
What is the lesson here? Is one of my favourites questions,(Peter, 36, Mathematician).
The questions themselves can not work if there it’s not someone willing to listen; this is something about which the total sample agrees.
Examining the motivations used by educators in the learning process leads to the identification of ethical rewards. One of the tools teachers choose to use is encouragement. Accentuating the positive and powerful features enhances student motivation with a positive approach and enthusiasm.
I encourage every day! I use the encouragement even in cases where the student can simply feel tired during class time. (Alice, 27, Music Teacher).
The majority of teachers stated that unless motives are provided the whole process is at risk whereas the minority believes that the motivation is received by the students through the taught subject.
When a student does not meet the requirements of the course, educators consider the route by way of their teaching way until the absorption by the student.
I look the way I presented the lesson in case it does not become perceived, (Natasha, 27, English teacher).
I watch the student if he feels more comfortable I am getting experimenting because each student receives the knowledge and learns differently, (Vasso, 34, physicist).
Johari Window conveys information such as feelings, experience, views, attitudes, skills, intentions and motivation which can be found either in a person or a team. The specific information is related to the team from four perspectives
Through the interviews the professors who are in favor of using coaching tools in their learning process are aware and make use of the Johari Window model.
The JoHari Window helps me identify learning needs, (Peter, 36, Mathematician).
It is important for me to create an open and safe educational environment so that the student can reveal learning needs that are ‘real’ and necessary, (Michael, 32, Sociologist).
Discussion & Conclusions
The mission of coaching in education is to promote student achievement and personal development as well as preparation for global competitiveness by fostering student development and performance enhancement. The implementation of coaching in education is an innovative means by which a person’s potential and performance is maximized.
Substantial learning and development are enhanced when the educator is focused on increasing self-awareness and responsibility through questioning, active listening, and appropriate challenge in a supportive and encouraging.
Coaching therefore, as a process is inextricably linked with the educational practice. The educational model, as adjusted continuously, needs to respond to the technological advances of our time. The teacher’s role is changing and becomes
learner – centered.
In this sense an educator must have the necessary skills that will allow to come in contact with students, for being more responsive, not only in educational but also in social needs. In an era where students come in contact with a multitude of stimuli, the role of motivation reactivates the learning practice and the teacher has to discover and use the tools of coaching and new ways of contacting the student audience.
Even in the educational process coaching, as a logical and practical application, can help the educator be more adaptable and move away from the authoritarian model, enhancing democratic skills and trying to encourage, advise and inspire positive motivations.
The above standpoint is hereby confirmed by the present research as educators of all disciplines emphasize these needs and are open to an educational new reality. The issue here is the combination of traditional teaching with new data, which results in a student being educational and emotional winner.
The coaching tools that can be used to education are empathy and accurate listening; focusing on positives and finding strengths; maintaining an open minded and non – judgmental stance; being able to challenge others to achieve more of their potential; showing flexibility and keeping their focus on their goal. (Grant, 2006). Based on training the educator can learn how to apply them in practice. (Isaacs, 1999). The issue here is the proper evaluation after the learning process and the received feedback by the teacher from the students to assess the educational reality and actually to be flexible by altering them according to the students’ benefit.
All the tools totally correspond to all students’ cases. Depending on the circumstance specific tools must be selected so as to help in any case.
It is believed that a more qualitative or quantitative research will help to export safer conclusions and it is placed in our immediate plans.
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