Assoc. Prof. Irina Ivanova, Assoc. Prof. Penka Kozhuharova,
Prof. Rumyana Todorova
Konstantin Preslavsky University of Shumen (Bulgaria)
Abstract. Rapid changes in society and education, and the demand for high professional standards as a prerequisite for successful student learning, necessitate a constant update of teachers’ professional knowledge and skills. In this context, coaching is seen as a powerful tool for self-development and self-actualization, which unlocks learners’ potential and maximises their achievements. The article focuses on ensuring sustainability in teachers’ professional development and improving teachers’ competence by introducing them to basic coaching skills which they can use to improve learners’ results and their relationships with educators. The discussion is based on data from the implementation of a coaching-based teaching methodology comprising 3 modules which deal with different aspects of coaching. The modules were piloted and evaluated on the basis of their overall effectiveness, and teachers’ and learners’ development. The participants in the study included 39 educators working in educational institutions in 6 European countries. The analysis is based on data collected by means of questionnaires for the participants, post-piloting focus-groups and individual interviews. The findings suggest improvement in teacher – student relationships, creativity, motivation, goal-setting, and job satisfaction. In terms of benefits for teachers, the highest values were given to the development of professional competence, and improving the effectiveness of teaching. In terms of module content, the participants preferred the linear progression from general to specific, thus choosing to focus on coaching essentials and basic coaching skills before moving on to their application in working with learners. In their feedback the participants singled out the topics of self-reflection, active listening and focusing on solutions as most interesting and useful. As for modules’ usefulness for learners’ development, the highest values were given to learners’ ability to set goals, followed by improving creativity, improving communication, and increasing motivation.
Keywords: coaching; sustainability; professional development; teachers; learners