Cognitive Coaching Initiative

Maggie McGatha

Dr. Maggie McGatha, Associate Professor, Department of Middle and Secondary Education, is the University and CEHD's Training Associate for Cognitive CoachingSM.

Cognitive CoachingSM is a form of mediation that can assist teachers, coaches, and administrators as they support others in becoming more self-directed. In the Cognitive Coaching Seminar ® participants learn the skills, strategies, conversation maps, and communication tools needed to be a mediator of thinking. Participants learn three structured conversations for planning, reflecting, and problem resolution. They also develop knowledge and skills for expanding teacher thinking.

To date, 734 resource teachers, classroom teachers, coaches, and administrators from Jefferson County, the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative (OVEC) region, and beyond have participated in the 48-hour Cognitive Coaching Seminars®. In addition, 254 UofL cooperating teachers, UofL supervisors and assistant principals have participated in Cognitive CoachingSM Overviews that range from three hours to two days in length.

Cognitive CoachingSM recently created a new coaching map designed to engage teachers in assessing their own performance related to a set of standards like the Kentucky Framework for Teaching used in the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES). The goal is for teachers to share responsibility for self-assessing, and then self-prescribing personal responses to the assessment rather than simply being recipients of an evaluation. Calibrating conversations ask teachers to reflect on personal practice in the context of the Kentucky Framework for Teaching and to assimilate it so that they can integrate the insights gained into their practice (Costa, Garmston, and Zimmermanm 2014).

Adaptive Schools Training

Cognitive Coaching session

Cognitive CoachingSM recently merged with Adaptive Schools to form the Thinking Collaborative. Dr. McGatha became an Agency Trainer for Adaptive Schools in response to requests from local schools.

In the Adaptive Schools Foundation Seminar, participants will learn practical frameworks and tools for developing collaborative groups that bring collective responsibility in student learning. Participants will study ways to influence and attain more productive and satisfying meetings in which members develop new norms and skills for collegial interaction, goal clarification, problem solving, and decision-making.

This seminar is specially designed to support administrators, teachers, district personnel, and instructional coaches who convene and manage work teams, site councils, shared decision making groups and faculty committee.

Cognitive Coaching℠ and Adaptive Schools have merged to become the Thinking Collaborative. Visit the Thinking Collaborative website to learn more.

For more information about Cognitive Coaching℠, or Adaptive Schools, contact the Nystrand Center at 502-852-6471.

Contact Maggie McGatha for information about Cognitive Coaching℠ or Adaptive Schools training.
maggie.mcgatha @ louisville.edu, 502-852-0584

Quotes from Participants

"A fabulous, meaningful experience that has impacted my ability to be effective in my work with others."

"Very useful, relevant, and interesting. One of the best trainings I've had."

"This is the best professional development we've had. I wish every administrator, mentor, and coordinator could have this experience."

"I have already been able to apply much of what I have learned in my everyday duties. I would recommend this program to anyone who is considering professional development."