Coaching In Education

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As Director of our Executive Leadership Coaching Practice at Viventé, this week I took a detour into looking at the applications of evidence-based coaching for teachers and students in schools.

The session was led by Dr Christian Van Nieuwerburgh, Director of the Coaching Psychology Unit, University of East London.

From Corporate Coaching to… Making a Difference to Teachers and Students through Coaching

Firstly it started with exploring the role of schools – are they for building knowledge and skills for academic performance to get into university and get a job?  Or are they about assisting students to be independent, resilient human beings who are learners?  Increasingly the answer seems to be moving to both.  And that’s where coaching comes in.

Sir John Whitmore (2002) defined coaching as ‘unlocking people’s potential to maximise their performance’.  And further, ‘helping them to learn rather than teaching them’.

Dr Nieuwerburgh defines coaching in education as ‘a one to one conversation  focused on the enhancement  of  learning  and  development  through  increasing  self-­‐awareness  and  a  sense  of  personal  responsibility’ where the coach uses the same skills such as questioning, active listening, constructively challenging and giving feedback that corporate coaches use.  It is not another term for tutoring.

The Many Forms of Coaching in Education:

  • Providing coaching to teachers to maximise their performance as teachers
  • Training principals and teachers to be coaches
  • Embedding teachers’ professional development learning
  • Training interested adults outside of the school to be coaches of students
  • Equipping students to be coaches of others (and hence to be coached by peers).

And it works.  Dr Nieuwerburgh’s research has proven that being coached nd learning to be a coach enables teachers and leaders to be become good or excellent practitioners.  For students, coaching enhances what he calls ‘cognitive hardiness’, hope and sense of well-being as well as meeting academic targets.

To find out more about coaching in education, take a look at

To find out more about leadership coaching program for corporations and its impacts, talk to us at Viventé.