Understanding and Measuring Coach–Teacher Alliance: A Glimpse Inside the ‘Black Box’
Coaching models are increasingly used in schools to enhance fidelity and effectiveness of evidence-based interventions; yet, little is known about the relationship between the coach and teacher (i.e., coach–teacher alliance), which may indirectly enhance teacher and student outcomes through improved implementation quality. There is also limited research on measures of coach–teacher alliance, further hindering the field from understanding the active components for successful coaching. The current study examined the factor structure and psychometric characteristics of a measure of coach–teacher alliance as reported by both teachers and coaches and explored the extent to which teachers and coaches reliably rate their alliance. Data come from a sample of 147 teachers who received implementation support from one of four coaches; both the teacher and the coach completed an alliance questionnaire. Separate confirmatory factor analyses for each informant revealed four factors (relationship, process, investment, and perceived benefits) as well as an additional coach-rated factor (perceived teacher barriers). A series of analyses, including cross-rater correlations, intraclass correlation coefficients, and Kuder-Richardson reliability estimates suggested that teachers and coaches provide reliable, though not redundant, information about the alliance. Implications for future research and the utilization of the parallel coach–teacher alliance measures to increase the effectiveness of coaching are discussed.
KeywordsTeachers Coaching Alliance Implementation of evidence-based interventions
We thank Celene Domitrovich, Wendy Reinke, Keith Herman, and Jeanne Poduska for their consultation on the alliance measures used and tested in the Double Check Project. Support for this work comes from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (R324A110107; R305A150221, R305A130701), Spencer Foundation, and the National Institute of Mental Health (T32 MH019545-23).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.
- Allen, S. J., & Graden, J. L. (2002). Best practices in collaborative problem solving for intervention design. In A. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology (4th ed., pp. 414–435). Bethesda: National Association of School Psychologists.Google Scholar
- Becker, K. D., Darney, D., Domitrovich, C. E., Keperling, J. P., & Ialongo, N. S. (2013). Supporting universal prevention programs: A two-phased coaching model. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 16, 213–228. doi: 10.1007/s10567-013-0134-2
- Bordin, E. S. (1979). The generalizability of the psychoanalytic concept of the working alliance. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice, 16, 252–260. doi: 10.1037/h0085885
- Bottiani, J. H., Bradshaw, C. P., Rosenberg, M. S., Hershfeldt, P. A., Pell, K. L., & Debnam, K. J. (2012). Applying Double Check to response to intervention: Culturally responsive practices for learning disabilities. Insight on Learning Disabilities: Prevailing Theories to Validated Practices, 9, 93–107.Google Scholar
- Bradshaw, C. P. & Rosenberg, M. S. (2016). Supporting schools in cultural proficiency and student engagement. Unpublished book.Google Scholar
- Bradshaw, C. P., Pas, E. T., Domitrovich, C. E., Reinke, W. M., Herman, K., & Poduska, J. M. (2009a). Measure of Coach and Teacher Alliance-Teacher Report. Unpublished Measure. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University.Google Scholar
- Bradshaw, C. P., Pas, E. T., Domitrovich, C. E., Reinke, W. M., Herman, K., & Poduska, J. M. (2009b). Measure of Coach and Teacher Alliance-Coach Report. Unpublished Measure. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University.Google Scholar
- Cowan, R. J., & Sheridan, S. M. (2003). Investigating the acceptability of behavioral interventions in applied conjoint behavioral consultation: Moving from analog conditions to naturalistic settings. School Psychology Quarterly, 18, 1–21. doi: 10.1521/scpq.188.8.131.5277
- Datnow, A., & Castellano, M. (2000). Teachers’ responses to success for all: How beliefs, experiences, and adaptations shape implementation. American Educational Research Journal, 37, 775–799. doi: 10.2307/1163489
- Domitrovich, C. E., Bradshaw, C. P., Poduska, J. M., Hoagwood, K., Buckley, J. A., Olin, S., . . . Ialongo, N. S. (2008). Maximizing the implementation quality of evidence-based preventive interventions in schools: A conceptual framework. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 1, 6–28. doi: 10.1080/1754730x.2008.9715730
- Domitrovich, C. E., Poduska, J. M., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2008b). The Coach-Teacher Alliance Scale. Penn State University: Unpublished technical report.Google Scholar
- Domitrovich, C. E., Poduska, J. M., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2008c). The Teacher-Coach Alliance Scale. Penn State University: Unpublished technical report.Google Scholar
- Domitrovich, C. E., Bradshaw, C. P., Greenberg, M. T., Embry, D., Poduska, J. M., & Ialongo, N. S. (2010). Integrated models of school-based prevention: Logic and theory. Psychology in the Schools, 47, 71–88. doi: 10.1002/pits.20452.
- Domitrovich, C. E., Pas, E. T., Bradshaw, C. P., Becker, K. D., Keperling, J. P., Embry, D. D., & Ialongo, N. (2015). Individual and school organizational factors that influence implementation of the PAX Good Behavior Game Intervention. Prevention Science. doi: 10.1007/s11121-015-0557-8 Google Scholar
- Frank, J. L., & Kratochwill, T. R. (2014). School-based problem-solving consultation: Plotting a new course for evidence-based research and practice in consultation. In W. P. Erchul & S. M. Sheridan (Eds.), Handbook of research in school consultation (2nd ed., pp. 13–30). New York: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
- Hamre, B. K., Pianta, R. C., Burchinal, M., Field, S., LoCasale-Crouch, J., Downer, J. T., . . . Scott-Little, C. (2012). A course on effective teacher-child interactions: Effects on teacher beliefs, knowledge, and observed practice. American Educational Research Journal, 49, 88–123. doi: 10.3102/0002831211434596
- Hershfeldt, P. A., Sechrest, R., Pell, K., Rosenberg, M. S., Bradshaw, C. P., & Leaf, P. J. (2009). Double-Check: A process of cultural responsiveness applied to classroom behavior. Teaching Exceptional Children PLUS, 6, 2–18.Google Scholar
- Muthén, L. K. & Muthén, B. O. (1998–2014). Mplus User’s Guide (Vol. 7). Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
- Nadeem, E., Gleacher, A., & Beidas, R. S. (2013). Consultation as an implementation strategy for evidence-based practices across multiple contexts: Unpacking the black box. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 40, 439–450. doi: 10.1007/s10488-013-0502-8
- Pas, E. T., Bradshaw, C. P., & Cash, A. H. (2014). Coaching classroom-based preventive interventions. In M. D. Weist, N. A. Lever, C. P. Bradshaw, & J. S. Owens (Eds.), Handbook of School Mental Health: Research, Training, Practice, and Policy (2nd ed., pp. 255–267). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pas, E. T., Bradshaw, C. P., Becker, K. D., Domitrovich, C. E., Berg, J., Musci, R., & Ialongo, N. S. (2015). Identifying patterns of coaching to support the implementation of the Good Behavior Game: The role of teacher characteristics. School Mental Health, 7, 61–73. doi: 10.1007/s12310-015-9145-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Power, T. J., Soffer, S. L., Mautone, J. A., Costigan, T. E., Jones, H. A., Clarke, A. T., & Marshall, S. A. (2009). An analysis of teacher investment in the context of a family–school intervention for children with ADHD. School Mental Health, 1, 107–117. doi: 10.1007/s12310-009-9005-x CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Reinke, W. M., Herman, K. C., & Sprick, R. (2011). Motivational interviewing for effective classroom management: The classroom check-up. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Reinke, W. M., Herman, K. C., Stormont, M., Newcomer, L., & David, K. (2013). Illustrating the multiple facets and levels of fidelity of implementation to a teacher classroom management intervention. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 40, 494–506. doi: 10.1007/s10488-013-0496-2 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Wanless, S. B., Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., Abry, T., Larsen, R. A., & Patton, C. L. (2014). Engagement in training as a mechanism to understanding fidelity of implementation of the Responsive Classroom Approach. Prevention Science, 1–10. doi: 10.1007/s11121-014-0519-6