Overview of Cognitive CoachingSM
Cognitive CoachingSM is a supervisory/peer coaching model that capitalizes upon and enhances cognitive processes. Art Costa and Bob Garmston, the founders of Cognitive CoachingSM, define it as a set of strategies, a way of thinking, and a way of working that invites self and others to shape and reshape their thinking and problem solving capabilities. In other words, Cognitive CoachingSM enables people to modify their capacity to modify themselves. The metaphor of a stagecoach is one used to understand what a coach does—convey a valued person from where s/he is to where s/he wants to be.
In Cognitive CoachingSM, the person being coached, not the coach, evaluates what is good or poor, appropriate or inappropriate, effective or ineffective about his/her work. This is a powerful approach to enhancing performance and building learning organizations. It is not conventional evaluation or performance appraisal.
Cognitive Coachingsm is based on the following four major assumptions:
Thought and perception produce all behavior.
Teaching is constant and decision-making.
To learn something new requires engagement and alteration in thought.
Humans continue to grow cognitively.
A coach is actually a mediator, one who figuratively stands between a person and his thinking to help him become more aware of what is going on inside his head. It is not enough for a person to behave in a certain way--what's important is the thinking that goes on behind the behavior. A large part of the roles of a mediator is based on trust and rapport with the person being coached.At the heart of Cognitive Coachingsm is the concept that each of us has resources that enable us to grow and change from within. Costa and Garmston call these resources (also referred to as capacities or energy sources) "States of Mind." It is the States of Mind that the coach mediates, allowing the person to use her inner resources more effectively. There are five States of Mind: consciousness, efficacy, flexibility, craftsmanship and interdependence. When a person functions at her resourceful best, she is said to be holonomus. Holonomy is a term that was coined by the physicist, Arthur Koestler; it means to be simultaneously whole and part. A holonomus person is competent and confident as an individual in the organization, and at the same time critical to the effective functioning of the organization.Visit www.cognitivecoaching.com for more information.
CERRA’s Role in the Advancement of Cognitive CoachingSM
In 2002, CERRA and the State Department of Education offered the first Cognitive Coaching Foundation Seminar in Charleston, South Carolina. Since that beginning, more than 400 teachers, mentors, administrators, district-level personnel and higher education faculty members have completed the eight-day seminar.
As a result, Cognitive CoachingSM continues to develop as a staple for the continuing development of mentors of beginning teachers, National Board Certification candidate support providers, administrators interested in developing more self-directedness in teachers, and coaches being developed by the Math and Science Units at the State Department of Education. This work continues to expand and become integrated in systems of support and professional development throughout the state and the world.
Many school districts consider the Cognitive Coaching Seminar as an option for continuing professional development for administrators and mentors.
Currently, the Center for Cognitive Coaching endorses two Associate Trainers located in South Carolina. These Associate Trainers deliver the Foundation Seminars and other related workshops and seminars and support the development of Agency Trainers at the district and school levels.
For more information about Cognitive Coaching or to access a list of approved trainers, visit www.cognitivecoaching.com or contact Jason Fulmer, CERRA Program Director.