Building Teacher Capacity

Classroom Coaching

50 minute modelled lessons which focus on the things that make the biggest difference to student learning.

Teachers will see:

  • A warm-up, in the form of a game, challenge or number talk,
  • a challenging task and the use of enabling and extending prompts to adjust the task to ensure that all students get to learn something new,
  • the four proficiencies in action; fluency, reasoning, problem-solving and understanding,
  • three distinctly different stages of the lesson based on the launch, explore, summarise instructional model,
  • formative evaluation techniques/resources to help students understand where they are at and the next steps for them to take in their learning,
  • teacher questions and prompts to encourage student discourse, risk-taking and patient-problem solving.

A crucial step in building teacher capacity using lesson study is to allow time at the conclusion of the lesson for teachers to make sense of the lesson, consider its implications for their own teaching and plan implementation ideas. (Sparks, 2002; Loucks-Horsley, 2010) A 40 minute guided discussion gives teachers time and space to do this. By building on the strengths of teams and individuals and challenging attitudes and beliefs, lesson study builds teachers’ capacity to be the architects of the change they want to see in their classrooms.

Modelled lessons can be responsive to individual and teaching team goals and is informed by the school’s improvement focus in mathematics (ie AIPs, AITSL, FISO, HITS).

Why Coaching?

Coaching has a number of research-proven advantages for building teacher capacity: deeply embedded classroom context (Russo, 2004) longer term focus on implementation and followup (Sparks, 2002; Loucks-Horsley, 2010) collaboration and open feedback (Tunks, & Weller, 2009; Hay Group, 2014; Hord et al, 2014) observation of student success. (Loucks- Horsley, 1995; Sparks, 2002; Tunks & Weller, 2009)

Developing a Whole-School Strategy

I can also support school and curriculum leaders target specific areas for whole-school improvement, ie lifting student engagement or targeting Naplan growth within or across specific bands of achievement. Additionally, I can help you develop a shared vision of what maths teaching and learning could look like in your school and support numeracy leaders to map out and implement the steps that are needed in order to work towards this vision. Innovation Configuration (IC) Mapping has a whole-school focus but crucially, it recognises the practice of building teacher capacity as an individual process, as opposed to an event. When teachers co-construct IC maps they build agreement about what an innovation looks like and understand the process as one that emphasises growth regardless of current levels of implementation.

Sample IC Map Component

In the example pictured, the school wants to embed the Launch, Explore, Summarise instructional model across the school as a component of its vision for teaching and learning. The teachers described what this innovation would look like at different levels of implementation (a-f). The central column (c) is a description of what the innovation will look like at the desired level of implementation. Columns d, e and f describe the steps that precede this level while b and a provide above-and-beyond descriptions of the innovation.

IC maps give curriculum leaders a framework for monitoring progress, providing strategic support and the means to recognise and celebrate measurable growth across the school. When teachers understand that IC mapping is interested in growth as opposed to surveillance, they feel empowered to identify their current proficiency and take an active role in planning further implementation.


Anstey, L., & Clarke, B. (2010). Leading and Supporting Mathematics Teacher Change: The Case of Teaching and Learning Coaches. Mathematics Teacher Education and Development, 12(2), 5-31.
Hord, S., Rutherford, W., Huling, L., & Hall, G. (2014). Taking Charge of Change (1st ed.). Austin TX: SEDL.
Joyce, B., & Showers, B. (1980). Improving inservice training: The messages of research. Educational leadership, 37(5), 379-385.
Loucks‐Horsley, S. (1995). Professional development and the learner centered school. Theory into practice, 34(4), 265-271.
Loucks-Horsley, S., Love, N., Stiles, K. E., & Mundry, S. (2010). Hewson. PW (2003). Designing professional development for teachers of science and mathematics, 2.
Russo, A. (2004). School-based coaching. Harvard Education Letter, 20(4), 1-4.
Tunks, J., & Weller, K. (2009). Changing practice, changing minds, from arithmetical to algebraic thinking: an application of the concerns-based adoption model (CBAM). Educational Studies in Mathematics, 72(2), 161.