Coaching is an important PBL system feature. Coaching supports a school team to build their capacity to effectively implement and sustain PBL.

Coaching: 2 teachers discussing PBL at training.

  • is an effective professional learning strategy to support teachers and teams to apply learning in their school or classroom
  • enhances PBL implementation by supporting school teams to increase the effectiveness of implementation, adapt systems and practices to local context and improve sustainability
  • provides expertise and detailed knowledge of the PBL problem solving process and PBL continuum.

Coaches work with the teams, gather information and offer feedback and support based upon the PBL problem solving process. Coaches encourage teams to become self-analytical by asking questions to promote professional reflection.

It is suggested that schools consider adopting a coaching model that uses an 'external' coach. It is also recommended that schools  adopt an 'internal' coach, for sustainability. Local Educational Services PBL teams can provide information and support to schools who wish to pursue a coaching model that meets the needs of their local context. 

External coaches usually come from the network of schools who have trained to implement PBL and have experience and expertise in the PBL process. Internal coaches are selected from within existing school personnel, for example, school counsellor, LaST, executive or a teacher.

Skills needed by an external coach:

  • knowledge of  the PBL process (data, systems and practices across a three-tiered continuum)
  • knowledge of PBL assessment tools
  • capacity to work with multiple schools
  • knowledge of data based decision making and function-based behaviour interventions
  • mentoring and coaching skills
  • experience supporting team problem solving
  • knowledge of behavioural and learning support practices
  • understanding of how schools work
  • strong interpersonal skills.