Collaborating with States on Professional Development Planning

WCER Working Paper No. 2013-03

Daniella Molle and Christy Reveles

May 2013, 25 pp.

ABSTRACT: This study investigated a 2012 coaching process in which state educational representatives (SEAs) from six states were coached by staff from the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) consortium. The purpose of the project was to enhance the quality of the professional development offered by states to their educators. The project was a pilot in which each SEA was paired with a WIDA coach. At the end of the coaching process, SEAs and their coaches co-constructed an actionable professional development plan for the following academic year that was anchored in a vision for the professional learning of educators working with English language learners. The research study revealed that the process was highly valued by all stakeholders and had different but equally significant benefits for both veteran and new WIDA member states. These benefits include positive shifts in the professional development provided by SEAs related to English language learners and a stronger grounding of the planning process in the needs of educators. The research also highlighted several factors that contributed to the success of the coaching process. Finally, the research traced the development of the WIDA coaches during the collaboration process. Based on the research study, the authors offer a number of recommendations for how the collaborative process can be strengthened in future years.

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keywords: Coaching; state representatives; professional development; English language learners.