Despite the press for instructional coaching as a form of effective teacher professional development (TPD), there is still a need to understand what instructional coaching is and how its operations look like. Meanwhile, the coaching literature provides scant guidance particularly about the coaching implementation in the Malaysian context. For the purpose of this study, we explored the processes of instructional coaching in Sarawak, particularly focusing on conceptualising the coaching processes to fine-tune teaching practice. Employing a qualitative case study design, we conducted non-participant observations on coaching conferences of four coach-teacher pairs on a one-to-one basis. We analysed the data obtained using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) six-phase thematic analysis. The findings suggested that the coaching cycle consisted of three stages: pre-observation conference, classroom observation and post-observation conference. An additional stage of intervention was identified in the coaching cycle. Coaching support to the teachers was provided on an average of one session per month. Structuring coaching conversations was a key aspect in conducting coaching support for the teachers. For future research, we offer recommendations of larger-scale studies to discover the impact of instructional coaches that include the intervention component as a part of the coaching cycle to enhance teacher instruction and student achievement. We would also suggest studies based on comprehensive theories and empirical evidences into the development of fully articulated models of instructional coaching related to the Malaysian context.


Instructional Coaching, Teacher Education and Professional Development, Qualitative Research, Teacher Professional Development, TESOL, Elementary Education and Teaching, In-service Teacher Training, Coaching and Mentoring in Education

Author Bio(s)

Kho Siaw Hui has a Ph.D. in Professional and Teacher Education from Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang. Her research interests include English Language Teaching and Learning, Instructional Coaching and Teacher Professional Development. She is now involving in numerous projects on READS (Reading Evaluation and Decoding System) and Instructional Coaching with Dr Thapanee Khemanuwong and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Shaik Abdul Malik Mohamed Ismail. She was appointed as a School Improvement Specialist Coach Plus (SISC+), an instructional coach position based in Kuching District Education Office, Sarawak, Malaysia before pursuing her doctoral degree. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: khokylin@gmail.com.

Thapanee Khemanuwong (Ph.D.) (Corresponding Author) is currently a lecturer from the Faculty of Liberal Arts, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Bangkok, Thailand. With a background in both TESOL and English Language Study, she has a particular interest in English Language Assessment, Online Assessment and English Reading Assessment Methodology as well as Instructional Coaching. Her research interests are principally about READS (Reading Evaluation and Decoding System). Her current project is collaborating with Dr. Kho Siaw Hui, and Associate Professor Dr. Shaik Abdul Malik Mohamed Ismail from Universiti Sains Malaysia, on Instructional Coaching and Teacher Professional Development in Malaysia. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: thapaneekhe@gmail.com.

Dr. Shaik Abdul Malik Mohamed Ismail is an Associate Professor at the School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, in Penang, Malaysia. He is currently the Dean of the school and recently been appointed as the Chair of the Malaysian Education Deans’ Council. He received his PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. His specialties include Curriculum and Instruction, English Language Studies, and Educational Administration. While his research focuses on Reading Benchmarking, Reading Assessment, Curriculum Development, Educational Management and Leadership. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: samohame@gmail.com.

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