Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

DeAnna Laverick

Second Advisor

Shirley Johnson

Third Advisor

Kelli Paquette


This qualitative, phenomenological research study examined instructional coach perceptions regarding their role in empowering teachers to change or to improve their teaching methods and practices. The participants’ (N = 30) experiences were connected to empowerment theory and situational leadership theory. Participant experiences revealed their perception regarding personal actions and behaviors utilized to empower teachers. The data from this study helped to understand the strategies and relational components necessary to positively affect the coaching outcome.

A fifteen-item questionnaire and semi-structured interviews were used as data sources for this study. The researcher transcribed, organized, and coded the data. The directed-content analysis method was used to analyze the data and identify emerging themes. The themes were categorized by research question.

The results of this study found that participants (N = 30) viewed themselves as having an active role in attempting to motivate teachers to assume responsibility for their own growth and development; however, they identified various barriers that made this task challenging. The participants revealed a direct relationship between the coaching strategies utilized and teacher empowerment to improve. The participants identified strategies that they found effective in empowering teachers.

The participants considered many variables which influenced the way that a coaching task was approached. In addition to a teacher’s professional knowledge, the participants considered teacher experience and teacher strengths and weaknesses. The coaching approach used by the participants was related to the outcome. A positive outcome resulted when certain variables and relational approaches were present. Lastly, the success of coaching approaches related to situational leadership theory (Blanchard, 1985). The participants provided evidence to support that they considered a teacher’s needs prior to responding to the coaching situation.