Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, EDD

Committee Chair

Ingle, W. Kyle

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

DeFerrari, Kathryn

Committee Member

DeFerrari, Kathryn

Committee Member

Munoz, Marco

Committee Member

Buecker, Harrie

Author's Keywords

urban; accountability; instructional coaching; mentor; mentoring; staff development


Academic instructional coaches have long been used to support teacher development and student learning. As a recent position in the education field, there is little information regarding the development of staff in this role. This study sought to better understand how academic instructional coaches are mentored and developed within challenging school contexts. The theoretical framework for this research is guided by the social constructivism epistemology. In alignment with this framework, a collective case study was utilized to better understand the relationship between the principal and the academic instructional coach. Exploring this relationship emphasized how principals support academic instructional coach growth. Findings highlight the importance of academic instructional coach and principal relationships in forming clear opportunities to have honest dialogue and foster feelings of support. The research shows there is an overall lack of systems to support coaches and develop necessary relationships although coaches desire and seek out these opportunities. The Accelerated Improvement School context presented numerous challenges for principals and coaches. However, this particular context does offer some benefits including an atmosphere of collegiality, team support, and friendship that propagated relationships.