Professional Development

Book Description

Publication Date: January 30, 2003 | ISBN-10: 0325004625 | ISBN-13: 978-0325004624

What kind of supports would keep teachers well equipped to help all of their students succeed? What if these same supports kept teachers energized, passionate, and informed about their fields? Content-Focused Coaching offers just such a sustaining system. CFC is a long-range professional development practice in which coaches work individually or with groups of classroom teachers to design, implement, and reflect on rigorous, standards-based lessons that promote student learning. Authored by two educators closely involved with the design of CFC, this book is perfect for K-8 staff developers, teacher leaders, administrators, and others interested in improving mathematics education.

Lucy West and Fritz Staub explain the general tenets of CFC and the fundamental foundations upon which it rests. Then they provide a wealth of examples of coaching in action in New York City’s Community School District #2, a district known nationally for its progressive, innovative, and rigorous focus on professional development. To give readers a richer picture of what CFC entails, the three accompanying CD-ROMs contain extensive video footage of coaching sessions, including the preconference, lesson, and postconference. Full transcripts of the video segments can be used with the book or as independent tools for study groups.

Improve mathematics education. Rekindle teachers’ passions for their profession. Read West and Staub and implement Content-Focused Coaching in your school or district.


Product Details


“Teachers helping teachers is a great way to create a powerful instructional staff. Knight offers practical and useful tools to help teachers achieve excellence.” (Dale E. Moxley, Principal )”Provides valuable insight for mentors who are in the field working daily with novice teachers.” (J. Helen Perkins, Assistant Professor )

About the Author

Jim Knight is a research associate at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning and the president of the Instructional Coaching Group. He has spent more than a decade studying instructional coaching and has written several books on the topic, including Instructional Coaching: A Partnership Approach to Improving Instruction published by Corwin and Learning Forward (2007). Knight co-authored Coaching Classroom Management. He also edited Coaching: Approaches and Perspectives.

Knight has authored articles on instructional coaching and school improvement in publications such as The Journal of Staff Development, Principal Leadership, The School Administrator, Kappan, and Teachers Teaching Teachers.

Several research projects directed by Knight include an IES-funded qualitative and quantitative assessment of coaching and Pathways to Success, a comprehensive, districtwide school reform project for the Topeka Public School District in Kansas. Knight also leads the coaching institutes and the Annual Instructional Coaching Conference offered by the University of Kansas.

Frequently asked to guide professional learning for instructional coaches, Knight has presented and consulted in more than 35 states, most Canadian provinces, and in Japan. He has a PhD in Education and has won several university teaching, innovation, and service awards. He also writes the popular blog.

Now, Jim Knight is offering his expertise in an online professional development opportunity!



Coaching Teachers to Implement Mathematics Reform

Abstract:  Historically, teachers implemented mathematics reform recommendations by infusing new activities into the curriculum. However, mathematics instruction continues to be teacher centred, challenging professional developers to find new ways to encourage teachers’ growth. This study used activity-reflective cycles (Tzur & Simon, 1999) to examine different coaching approaches to support teachers’ use of rich mathematical tasks and questions to promote students’ mathematical thinking. We suggest a new coaching approach characterised as “evoking teachers’ pedagogical curiosity” to advance teachers’ professional growth. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)


The Transition from Experienced Teacher to Mathematics Coach


This study draws on the theoretical underpinnings of the research literature in identity and investigates the transition from experienced teacher to novice mathematics coach. The 4 components of a math coach’s identity (coach as supporter of teachers, coach as supporter of students, coach as learner, and coach as supporter of the school-at-large) that this study highlights were enacted by the beginning coaches on their school stage and negotiated with their audience (i.e., teachers, principals) as they attempted to fulfill these roles within the school environment. By examining the roles, expectations, and interactions of first-year mathematics coaches, we deepen our understanding of the demands placed on novice mathematics coaches as they assume new roles and identities.


  • An interactive writing style that “coaches” educators
  • Powerful “what to do” and “how to do it” tools
  • Case illustrations and success stories
  • Protocols for leading collaborative inquiry
  • Journal reflections
  • Leadership team activities

This practical guide’s step-by-step approach is easy to follow, research-based, and steeped in common sense. Closing the Teaching Gap is the next best thing to having a seasoned coach give you the playbook for becoming a successful instructional leader.



Thomas Gusky Webinar on Assessment practices









Instructional Coaching Web Site (Jim Knight)

Research into communication in Senior Math Classroom



Closing Ach Gaps











Dev Readers

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