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Perceptions of the roles and responsibilities of elementary school mathematics coaches

Drew Polly (Department of Reading and Elementary Education, UNC Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA)
Robert Algozzine (Department of Educational Leadership, UNC Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA)
Christie Sullivan Martin (Department of Instruction and Teacher Education, University of South Carolina at Columbia, Columbia, SC, USA)
Maryann Mraz (Department of Reading and Elementary Education, UNC Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA)

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education

ISSN: 2046-6854

Article publication date: 8 June 2015

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Abstract

Purpose

In the USA, school districts are funding mathematics coaching positions to provide school-level support to teachers. The purpose of this paper is to survey school personnel whose job responsibilities included mathematics coaching in order to examine their job responsibilities and what they felt that their job responsibilities should be.

Design/methodology/approach

In all, 67 elementary school mathematics coaches completed a survey that included 30 aspects of the job of elementary school mathematics leaders.

Findings

Quantitative analyses indicated that there were statistically significant differences between their actual roles and their preferred roles on 24 of the 30 items. This means that coaches reported that the aspects of their current role did not align to what they thought their job should be.

Research limitations/implications

The findings indicate a need to collect further information in a longitudinal study, potentially from a combination of surveys, interviews, and observations, about elementary mathematics coaches’ job responsibilities and the impact that coaches have on both teachers and students.

Practical implications

The findings indicate a need for school leaders, mathematics leaders (coaches), and classroom teachers to work together to utilize mathematics leaders more effectively so as to best support teachers’ instruction and students’ learning.

Originality/value

While some research has been published on literacy coaching, the research base on mathematics coaching is scant. This study contributes to the knowledge base about the roles and duties of coaches in elementary school settings.

Keywords

Citation

Polly, D., Algozzine, R., Martin, C.S. and Mraz, M. (2015), "Perceptions of the roles and responsibilities of elementary school mathematics coaches", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 126-141. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMCE-08-2014-0030

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited