Relationships Between Coach Support and Teacher Instructional Practices Preliminary Findings from the Nigeria Reading and Access Research Activity (RARA)

Presentation delivered at CIES2017 (Atlanta). As part of the USAID-funded Nigeria Reading and Access Research Activity (RARA) (2014-2015), RTI International developed and evaluated, through a randomized control trial, an approach to improving early grade literacy instruction and reading outcomes in Hausa in Northern Nigeria. The intervention package included the provision of teaching and learning materials, teacher training, and periodic support to teachers by pedagogical coaches. This presentation will focus on the role of the coach support; 24 reading coaches were trained to support 72 teachers in 60 public primary schools in two states over a period of six months during the 2014-2015 school year. The coaches provided support in the form of recurring site visits, lesson observations, and a coach-teacher discussion after the lesson. The underpinning theoretical framework for this research assumes that ongoing engagement with a pedagogical mentor promotes positive changes in teachers’ instructional practices over time. The research activity collected data on the frequency, duration, content, and nature of the coach-teacher interactions during the intervention and tracked changes in the teachers’ instructional practices from baseline to endline. This presentation will share findings on the relationships between changes in teachers’ instructional practices and the degree and nature of support they received from their coaches. The objective of the presentation is to add to the body of knowledge about effective ways to use and improve pedagogical coaching to influence teacher instructional practices in similar low-resource contexts.