Exploring Educational Psychologists' Views and Experiences of Coaching
Date: 5 August 2019
University of Exeter
Educational, Child and Community Psychology
Coaching psychology is an emerging sub-discipline of the practice of coaching and represents a unique approach to practice in educational psychology. To date, there has been little research into the use of coaching in this field (e.g. Adams, 2016), suggesting that it is an emerging area of practice and highlighting the need for further ...
Coaching psychology is an emerging sub-discipline of the practice of coaching and represents a unique approach to practice in educational psychology. To date, there has been little research into the use of coaching in this field (e.g. Adams, 2016), suggesting that it is an emerging area of practice and highlighting the need for further research. As such, this research sought to explore educational psychologists’ (EPs) views of coaching and the experience of those using it in practice. Phase 1 of the research focused on obtaining the views of coaching held by EPs whilst Phase 2 explored the experiences of a selected group of EPs who use coaching in their practice. All participants were EPs, either qualified or in training. Both quantitative and qualitative data was collected, through the use of online questionnaires in Phase 1 (N=119) and semi-structured individual interviews in Phase 2 (N=10). Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive and frequency statistics, Chi-square analysis, independent t-tests and Tukey HSD tests, whilst the qualitative data was subject to a mixture of content and thematic analyses. The findings of this research suggest that there is ambiguity in both the understanding and practice of coaching. 81% of participants felt that coaching fits with practice and the majority agreed that its impact is or would be positive. 93% felt that coaching will have a future in educational psychology and many agreed that it should be included in doctoral training. However, a number of barriers to practice were identified, including a lack of professional confidence and the type of service in which EPs work. It was felt that this may affect the time and opportunities available for EPs to practice coaching. A conceptual map exploring the link between EPs’ views and the future of coaching is presented, with reference to Lewin’s Change Management and Force Field Analysis models (1947, 1951). Consideration is given to the implications of this research for the future practice of EPs, and suggestions for future, evidence-based research are presented. The findings of this research offer a unique insight into the practice of coaching in educational psychology and suggest that coaching may represent a unique avenue for future practice and research.
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