The relationship between literacy coaches' theoretical orientations and the content of their coaching
The purpose of this study was to examine how literacy coaches' theoretical orientations relate to the content of their coaching. More specifically the Theoretical Orientation Reading Profile (TORP) instrument was used as a base to establish the participant reading orientation, along with recording literacy coaches coaching statements during a simulated and live coaching event. This study addressed the following question: How do literacy coaches' theoretical orientations relate to the content of their coaching? The study involved a collective case study of six literacy coaches. The six literacy coaches each completed the TORP survey. Individually six literacy coaches observed a simulated video of a small emergent reading group. Following the observation of the simulated video each coach discussed how they would coach the teacher. Two of the literacy coaches also observered a small group reading lesson on their campus following the observation of the live coaching event the literacy coach coached the classroom teacher. The literacy coaches reading orientation according to the TORP established a skills, phonics, or whole language orientation to teaching reading. Following the simulated and live coaching, the coaches coaching transcripts were coded were coded for skills, phonics or whole language statements. Findings revealed that the literacy coaches' theoretical orientation to reading according to the TORP was closely matched to their coaching statements. Five of the six literacy coaches TORP range of skills orientation matched to their skills coaching statements during the simulated coaching. One of the literacy coaches TORP range of phonics orientation did not match her skills coaching statements; however, according to DeFord phonics and skills orientation have similarities. The findings from one literacy coaches TORP range of skills and her live coaching statements of skills was a match. The second literacy coaches TORP range of skills and her live coaching statements of whole language were not a match; however, according to DeFord skills and whole language have similarities. In DeFord's (1985) research of the TORP she found that phonics, and skills, skills and whole language had similarities. She did not find any similarities to phonic and whole language. In this study the two to the participants had phonics and skills similarity, and skills and whole language similarity. In addition, it appeared overall the literacy coaches' theoretical orientation to reading seemed consistent to their coaching statements.