Term of Award

Fall 2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Sabrina N. Ross

Committee Member 1

Meca Williams-Johnson

Committee Member 2

Marlynn Griffin

Committee Member 3

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 3 Email



The purpose of this research was to understand how instructional coaching in schools affects teachers and, specifically, whether increased teacher empowerment was associated with instructional coaching based on the framework of the Partnership Principles (Knight, 2007). A goal of the research was to find out whether, and to what extent, teachers identified themselves as empowered. Using Critical Theory (Freire, 2012) as the theoretical framework for this analysis, the study also sought to develop an understanding of how teacher empowerment may develop as a result of working with instructional coaches who utilize the Partnership Principles. Six teachers in a rural district in the U.S. Southeast participated in a semi-structured interview in order to understand more about how coaching that uses Partnership Principles affects teachers in ways that support or increase empowerment. The survey findings indicate that instructional coaching can contribute to empowerment, but that it can also lead to teachers feeling disempowered. Analysis of the interviews revealed important themes about teacher-coach relationships, teacher engagement with the coaching process, how coaching improves instruction, and how addressing teachers’ professional learning needs supports their empowerment, all of which can inform the work of instructional coaches.

Research Data and Supplementary Material