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Literacy Coaching for Agentive and Sustainable Teacher Reflection: Joint Action within a Gradual Release of Responsibility as Apprenticeship

The Gradual Release of Responsibility in Literacy Research and Practice

ISBN: 978-1-78769-448-4, eISBN: 978-1-78769-447-7

ISSN: 2048-0458

Publication date: 26 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose – This study explored agentive and sustainable teacher development as part of literacy coaching that employed a reflective framework and video with an apprenticeship stance. This chapter examines principles of apprenticeship and the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) model to analyze the transition of responsibility for reflection from coach to teacher.

Design/methodology/approach – An earlier seven-month multiple case study of literacy coaching with four secondary level teachers revealed seven joint actions (i.e., revoice, build, ask questions to develop understanding, ask dissonant questions, suggest, disagree, reconceptualize) and four categories of joint action (i.e., directive/consonant, directive/dissonant, responsive/consonant, and responsive/dissonant) within a model of joint action for literacy coaching (Reichenberg, 2018). This analysis mapped those joint actions onto the GRR model (McVee, Shanahan, Hayden, Boyd, & Pearson, 2018; Pearson & Gallagher, 1983). This chapter explicates reasoning for variability in responsibility and the potential relationship between variability and the development of teachers’ thinking and action through in-depth analysis of a single coaching session. Examples from other teachers’ coaching sessions are included.

Findings – Synthesis of the two models shows that joint actions initiated by the coach that were directive/dissonant fell on the left side of the GRR model with primary coach responsibility. Actions initiated by the coach that were classified as directive/consonant came next on the journey toward the middle, followed by responsive/dissonant actions. Responsive/consonant actions encompassed the middle region of shared responsibility. The same actions initiated by the teacher mirrored this progression. Principles of apprenticeship in this gradual release of responsibility highlight the bi-directionality of expertise in situated action informed by historical and dynamic context (Mercer, 2008). Evidence of teachers’ growing agency and sustainability were present in joint actions they initiated within the context of literacy coaching.

Research limitations/implications – Analysis of the actions of a literacy coach and teacher as directive, responsive, consonant, and dissonant add complexity to the discussion about how to transfer responsibility for reflection from coaches to teachers. Awareness of how joint actions map onto the GRR model can inform coaches’ and teachers’ decisions as they thoughtfully move toward greater teacher agency within coaching interaction.

Practical implications – The reflective framework employed in this study is applicable to a variety of settings such as instructional coaching across the disciplines, coaching by in-service literacy specialists, and the preparation of pre-service literacy coaches. The model of joint action for analyzing coaching interaction could be used by in-service literacy coaches, pre-service literacy coaches, and teachers who are being coached.

Originality/value – This chapter analyzes the transition of responsibility for reflection from coach to teacher. Principles of both the GRR model and apprenticeship theory provide a theoretical explanation for how these teachers achieved greater agency and sustainable development of a reflective stance.

Keywords

Citation

Reichenberg, J.S. (2019), "Literacy Coaching for Agentive and Sustainable Teacher Reflection: Joint Action within a Gradual Release of Responsibility as Apprenticeship", McVee, M.B., Ortlieb, E., Reichenberg, J.S. and Pearson, P.D. (Ed.) The Gradual Release of Responsibility in Literacy Research and Practice (Literacy Research, Practice and Evaluation, Vol. 10), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 169-187. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2048-045820190000010011

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited