Practice-Based Coaching and Professional Development: Supporting Teacher Facilitation of Whole-Class Text-Based History Discussion
Abby Reisman

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



University of Pennsylvania

Primary Discipline

Teacher Education/Teaching and Learning
Teacher educators have long recognized the instructional potential of classroom video. The emergence of new online video coaching platforms—with user-friendly upload and tagging features—holds great promise, especially for in-service professional development. This study explores how eight secondary social studies teachers, who first participated in four days of professional development on document-based history instruction, engaged in a follow-up online video-based coaching intervention focused on whole-class, text-based historical discussion. Teachers were assigned to one of two groups: peer feedback (Group A) or expert feedback (Group B), and using the online platform, participated in five weeks or “rounds” of video-based analysis and feedback, alternating between personal and case videos. The study answers three calls in the literature: the first is to ground teacher professional preparation in instructional practice; the second is to better understand the role of instructional coaching in professional development; and the third is to focus professional development research on key design features during early stages of program development. The findings will contribute to our understanding of how to support teacher facilitation of text-based discussion, a practice widely lauded and rarely seen.
About Abby Reisman
Abby Reisman is an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education in the Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Division. Prior to her arrival at Penn GSE, Reisman was a visiting professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, and a researcher at the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing at UCLA. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University, where she directed the “Reading Like a Historian” Project in San Francisco, the first extended history curriculum intervention in urban high schools. Her 2011 dissertation won the Larry Metcalf Award from the National Council for the Social Studies. An article that emerged from her dissertation won the 2013 William Gilbert Award from the American Historical Association. Dr. Reisman began her career in education as a classroom teacher in a small, progressive high school in New York City. Her work has appeared in Cognition and Instruction (2012), Journal of Curriculum Studies (2012), and Teachers College Record (2015).

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