University of Illinois at Chicago
PARK-DISSERTATION-2022.pdf (1.31 MB)

The Coach Experience: Forming Coach-Teacher Alliance and Facilitating Teachers' Emotion-Focused Teaching

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posted on 2022-08-01, 00:00 authored by Christen E Park
There is robust evidence that teacher coaching is effective in improving early childhood teachers' practices to better support children's academic success and social–emotional development. Coaches engage in several activities to support teachers; however, the work to build a coach-teacher alliance is central to coaching. The alliance-building process is less understood, especially in the context of coaching of emotion-focused teaching. In addition, there is less understanding of what coaches do to facilitate teacher improvement in emotion-focused teaching practices. As a part of a larger evaluation of the UIC Alternative Licensure Program (ALP), I conducted a mixed-methods study to examine two key coaching practices: how coaches form and maintain alliance with teachers over time and how coaches support teachers' development in emotion-focused teaching skills. Participants included teachers (N=28) who began the ALP in Fall 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic and the coaches (N=6) working with them. I interviewed coaches at multiple time points during the 12-week semester to capture the coaching and alliance-building processes. Quantitative examinations included how alliance was associated with teachers' emotion-focused teaching and emotion regulation. Observational data of emotion-focused teaching and teacher self-reports of emotion-focused teaching and emotion regulation were collected before and after the semester. The current study provides a glimpse into what coaching in an early childhood context looks like longitudinally by hearing from coaches themselves to learn about their experiences and coaching processes. Findings from the current research will contribute to the understanding of alliance building in coaching in early childhood education contexts, particularly coaches' efforts to repair weak alliances. I provide recommendations on supporting coaches, who are members of the early childhood educator workforce, in their coaching work to navigate alliances and support teacher learning in emotion-focused teaching. This study also seeks to inform continuous improvement and practice of ALP work.



Zinsser, Katherine M


Zinsser, Katherine M



Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Doctoral

Degree name

PhD, Doctor of Philosophy

Committee Member

Sheridan, Kathleen Schonert-Reichl, Kimberly Curby, Timothy Suarez-Balcazar, Yolanda

Submitted date

August 2022

Thesis type



  • en

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