Date of Award

Summer 6-2-2020

Document Type

Education 590 Project

Degree Name

Master of Education



Department Chair or Program Director

Epps, Beverly

First Advisor

Vernimb, Peter

Major or Concentration



Educators in the American school system have been under pressure to increase academic achievement among all students especially within the past decade. Government initiatives and high-stakes testing have ushered in a new era of accountability. Many attempts at school reform have been made with little success. Current research has found that the variable with the greatest impact on student achievement is the quality of the instructor. Attempts at improving teacher effectiveness have included merit pay, professional development, utilizing a scripted curriculum, and coaching. Studies have shown that professional development embedded within the classroom is most beneficial in terms of improving instruction and increasing student achievement. Continuing the professional development after the initial delivery can prove to be difficult. Both Professional Learning Communities and peer coaching are techniques used to support instructors in implementing new concepts. However, Cognitive Coachingsm on a one-on-one basis has greatly influenced change in teacher behaviors, increasing teacher efficacy, and elevating student achievement scores.