This report is the first in a series of studies focused on the changing roles of educators as a result of the shift in instructional models in K-12 learning environments. The series examines various newly emergent positions and roles within the field of education and highlights how the individuals who fill those roles approach their work, including virtual learning mentors, specialized instructional coaches, and others. This report focuses on blended learning coaches. These educators, working for an outside organization, provide guidance to teachers, administrators, and other school- and district-level personnel about how to holistically and meaningfully customize face-to-face and online learning for K-12 students.
Coaches work with schools in a variety of ways, sometimes holding singular professional development events for a specific group of staff members and other times setting periodic meetings with individual teachers. Using the Clayton Christensen Institute’s blended learning definition and framework, coaches promote the development and implementation of high-quality blended instruction through training, consultation, and individual coaching.
This study examines a number of artifacts produced by blended learning coaches in the state of Michigan, including various correspondence, recordings of planning meetings, interviews, and focus groups, in order to gain an understanding of how blended learning coaches approach their work, what they envision for the future of education, and how they illustrate the philosophy and motivation behind their practice.
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