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AI IN SISC+ COACHING

Eow Yee Leng, PhD


Putrajaya Federal Territory Education Department
eow@moe.gov.my

ABSTRACT
The article explored the potential of applying Appreciative Inquiry (AI) as a
theory and practice by School Improvement Specialist Coach (SISC+) in
coaching Mathematics teachers. This action research also discusses on what
works and what has been difficult in coaching teachers. Being a coach, we
are given the choice to look at human system as containing life-giving forces
or a collection of problems and obstacles waiting to be solved. By applying
AI theory and practices in the coaching framework, a coach would choose to
focus on what is good and working well on teachers. Since the
conversations and discussions with teachers focused on positive practices
applied by teachers in class, these would lead to positive images being
dominant in our minds, and subsequently leading to positive actions at both
the conscious and unconscious levels. Nevertheless, researcher admitted
that the negative images and practices observed in the class are seductive.
Most of the time, these negative aspects lead to the misdirect paths during
coaching. Practitioner needs to keep reminding herself to get back to AI
theory and practices during coaching. The initial stage was tough as
researcher need to hold on to AI theory and practices strongly and not to be
disillusioned by negative images. Nevertheless, AI is a recommended theory
and practice to be applied in coaching framework.

KEYWORDS: Appreciative Inquiry; coaching; Mathematics teachers


1.0

INTRODUCTION

Malaysia has embarked on an ambitious 12-year program, which is the National Education Blueprint
2013 2025, targeting goals with immediate and far-reaching impacts (PEMANDU, 2014). Since the
international environment is becoming increasingly challenging with students from neighboring
countries starting to pull ahead in terms of their student performance, we need to invest more effort
and initiatives in making Malaysia globally competitive. Therefore, the government is committed in
transforming Malaysias education in the next one and a half decades Malaysia Education Blueprint
2013-2025.

1.1

SISC+

District Transformation Program (DTP), under the effort of Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025
is to enable states and districts to significantly improve schools (Ministry of Education, 2012).
School Improvement Specialist Coach (SISC+) is established through DTP to support teachers in
translating written curriculum into classroom teaching. SISC+s role encompasses the responsibilities
of taking new curricula and assessments to the classroom, coaching teachers on pedagogical skills and
monitoring the effectiveness of the implementation (Ministry of Education, 2012).
Thus, the
introduction of the SISC+ will have the dual benefits in reducing the number of tiers involved in
curriculum and assessment delivery and providing on-the-ground training to teachers.

This teacher coaching program was initially introduced under GTP 1.0 in year 2013. However, the
program began in Federal Territory of Putrajaya on February 2014. Under DTP, SISC+ focuses on
coaching teachers. More than 60% of the SISC+s time is spent on coaching activities (Ministry of
Education, 2012). The program provides teachers with more direct on the ground coverage.
Coaching will be more tailored to the teachers needs as SISC+ observes teachers in classrooms and
provide instant feedback. Teachers quality is one of the most significant factors in student learning
(DuFour & Mattos, 2013).
Teachers are required to deliver the existing syllabus in a manner that emphasizes skills and
competencies critical for the 21st century (Ministry of Education, 2012). Pedagogical skills are
boosted to improve student-centered teaching. The focus of SISC+s coaching sessions are on the
mastery of key pedagogical skills such as developing of higher-order thinking skills, teaching children
of different abilities level and assessing students effectively. Therefore, SISC+ would not have direct
contact with students in the classroom as SISC+s clients are teachers.

1.2

Coaching

Professional coaches work with clients by carefully avoiding to get involved in their problems, to
propose answers or to offer options and solutions (Cardon, 2008). On the other hand, coaches
accompany their clients to find their own solutions by asking coaching questions. A coach needs to
learn the power of asking great questions. Great questions include of remaining silent, being
empathy, caring and establishing common ground. The saying If you want to be interesting, be
interested. If you want to be fascinating, be fascinated is great wisdom to be applied in coaching
(Corts, 2011). Therefore, the power of listening is as great as asking empathy questions.
Based on the coaching framework recommended by Cardon (2008), all clients are to be considered a
priori intelligent and well-informed people. Thus, coaches should believe that clients know all there
is to know on the technical dimensions of their issues and either to solve their own problem or to
achieve much more performing results than those they have done in the past (Cardon, 2008). Each
client is perceived as the sole person capable of finding original and appropriate answers to achieve
his or her personal or professional objectives. Therefore, each and every client can and must be
considered to be an expert in his or her field.

1.3

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Theory

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Theory was originally developed by Professor David Cooperrider and his
colleagues (Cooperrider, Whitney, & Stavros, 2008). Appreciative and inquiry are defined as
(Cooperrider et al., 2008, p. 1):
Ap-preci-ate, v., 1. to value; recognize the best in people or the world around us; affirm
past and present strengths, successes, and potentials; to perceive those things that give
life (health, vitality, excellence) to living systems. 2. to increase in value, e.g., the
economy has appreciated in value. Synonyms: value, prize, esteem, and honor.
In-quire (kwir), v., 1. to explore and discover. 2. to ask questions; to be open to seeing
new potentials and possibilities. Synonyms: discover, search, systematically explore,
and study.
The AI Theory consists of 4Ds Model (Discovery, Dream, Design, Destiny) (Figure 1). The model
was adapted from Cooperrider et al. (2008). Based on Figure 1, the core of the 4Ds model is an
affirmative topic choice. Therefore, the practices of AI Theory do not embark from the negative
perspectives of the teachers. It started from a positive view in which teachers have advantages that
could be manipulated. AI Theory focuses on the co-evolutionary search for the best in people and the
relevant world around them (Cooperrider et al., 2008). Thus, the 4Ds model of AI Theory is designed
to merge the past and present capacities such as achievements, assets, unexplored potentials,

strengths, elevated thoughts, opportunities, highpoint moments, and visions into possible futures
(Cooperrider et al., 2008). By putting the 4Ds Model into practice, instead of focusing on problems,
what is not working and why; it seeks to discover what is working particularly well with the teachers
and students, as well as what they desire to achieve (Cooperrider, Whitney, and Stravos, 2005;
Lebrun, 2007).

Figure 1: 4Ds Model (Cooperrider et al., 2008)


AI is both theory and practices (Cooperrider et al., 2008). As a theory, AI offers a perspective, a set of
principles, model and beliefs about how human systems function. In terms of practices, AI
acknowledges the best in people and helps them moving towards their potential. The major
philosophy underlying AI Theory is the belief that when our expectations, hopes, and dreams are
positive, our human systems will turn in that positive direction (Martinetz, 2002). AI is compatible
with the coaching frame as all teachers are considered intelligent and well-informed people. A coach
has to believe that teachers know all there is to know on the subject matter. What teachers need most
is the motivation to move forward and take volunteer actions.

2.0

RESEARCH FOCUS

Researcher has the experience in applying AI Theory in facilitating students in developing their own
computer games with the purpose to enhance students creativity and intrinsic motivation (Eow, Wan
Zah, Rosnaini, & Roselan, 2010a, 2010b, 2011) Based on previous experience, researcher wished to
generate her own understanding and knowledge on the application of AI Theory in real practices at
educational setting, within the local context, with different focus group and purpose. The focus group
for the current research was on Mathematics teachers with the purpose in facilitating the process of
coaching more effectively.
Teachers, like other professions, requires continuous learning (Sullivan & Glanz, 2009). Therefore,
teachers need constant process of assessment and renewal of practices. The District Transformation
Program, which is under Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 addresses SISC+s accountability
in supporting teachers continuous professional development on ground. Thus, SISC+ does not
assess, judge nor evaluate teachers actions in classrooms. On the other hand, we only observe
teachers practices in classrooms. These observations do not meant to discredit nor making teachers
stressing out. What have been the practices in Malaysia was school inspectorate, senior teachers,
head of department and principal would enter a teachers class and evaluate teachers capabilities in
carrying out their teaching and learning process. As a result, teachers in Malaysia are feeling phobia
when they know someone is coming into their classes.
The purpose of the study was to discover appropriate ways in coaching teachers to improve their
classroom practices without teachers feeling being problematical, unvalued and unmotivated. This
would subsequently improve students learning and achievements. The application of AI Theory in
coaching starts in individuals. AI Theory believes that we cannot wait for change to start at the top as
change in small pieces affect the whole system (Martinetz, 2002). This action research also discusses
on what works and what has been difficult in coaching teachers of various ages, title and experiences.

2.1

Research Questions

The research question highlighted in this study was How AI theory was applied in coaching teachers
with different ages, titles and experiences? To date, the research is still ongoing. Nevertheless, it is
possible to draw some early conclusion on the research question.

2.2

Methodology

The action research carried out in this study was a combination of three elements, which are action,
research and participation (Greenwood & Levin, 2007). Action component provides researcher a
platform in addressing practical issues during the research. It takes the form of change, improvement
or implementation. The research component is not for proving anything or comparing one thing with
another to determine the best possible available (Johnson, 2008). It was meant to learn and
understand the applicability of AI Theory in coaching. Participation occurs when each interaction
with teachers helps researcher in making better links between AI theory and practices. Researcher has
the immersion opportunities into the research context.
In this study, the action research focused on the study of the researchers action in putting AI Theory
into practices in order to induce positive transformation in the mathematics teachers being coached. It
emphasized more on the practical applications and transformational possibilities. Researcher held on
to the notion that action research is not a problem-based journey as it goes well with the AI theory and
practices. The action research process utilized in this study was adapted from Kemmis and
McTaggarts model, which consists of reflect, plan, act and observe (Kemmis & McTaggart, 1998).
The subjects of the study are secondary school mathematics teachers in Putrajaya. This is because the
researcher is in charge of coaching the concern group. At the moment of writing, researcher had
observed the teaching of 51 secondary mathematics teachers within 4 months. The total of secondary
mathematics teachers in Putrajaya on May 2014 was 100 teachers. Teachers being observed and
coached is an ongoing task under District Transformation Program in Malaysian Blueprint 2013-2025.
Since it was a participatory action research, I regarded myself as part of the research. I am in my 13 th
years of service in education. I begin my career as a teacher. However, I do not have specialized
qualification in teaching Mathematics, as I graduated with Bachelor Science of Bioindustry, Diploma
in Education (specialized in Living Skills and Designing), Master of Science (Educational
Technology) and Doctor of Philosophy (Educational Technology). Nevertheless, I was given the trust
by my first posted school to teach Science and Mathematics for upper secondary level. The principal
of my second school was even bolder, by entrusting me to be the head of Additional Mathematics
subject and engaged me to teach solely on the concern subject. I have never taught the subjects I was
trained in during my service as teacher. Thus, I specialized in teaching Mathematics through
experiences, and not paper qualifications.
My post-graduate study manipulated action research as methodology. Therefore, I make action
research as a habit in my profession. Articles produced and presentations at conference and seminars
are part of the research products. Those are my added advantage as compared to the veteran,
excellent and experience teachers. My published works proved my cognitive capabilities. During my
PhD endeavors, I did my research on Appreciative Inquiry, which I am convince that it would help me
in my profession and my life as well.
Meanwhile, by taking account on the ethical consideration of the study, all the teachers names
mentioned in this study were represented with acronyms (S1S51) in order to protect their
confidentiality. When people talk for extended periods, they often speak of very private matters,
revealing highly problematic events or even potentially harmful information (Stringer, 2008). Thus,
teachers well-being and rights are being upheld in this study. The ethical considerations of the study
are seriously in the researchers thought as to ensure no harm was done to the teachers through this
writing.

Teachers Coaching Tool (TCT) was used during the observation of teachers teaching in the classroom
and Teachers Development Plan (TDP) for the planning of teachers further improvement. However,
the discussion is mainly on the qualitative part of how researcher applied AI Theory during coaching.
It was a research on the researchers own practices in understanding the subjects thinking and
perceptions, generating trust, and building good relationships with teachers. The coaching was oneto-one basis. This was to create a non-threatening and free to express situation for teachers.
If we want to get more than weve been getting, then we need to figure out how to do things
differently than weve being doing (Sagor, 2005). Since every research setting is unique and
specifically contextual, no one research could fit every situation (Robinson & Lai, 2006). The only
research framework that offers the opportunities for researcher to take actions and initiating
improvement on the application of AI Theory at local situation is action research methodology.
Therefore, action research was justified as the research design for this study.

2.3

Planning and Implementation of Action

During the first month, School Improvement Partner (SIP+) and SISC+ made social visits to school
and explain briefly to the school administrators on our duties. I have to admit that Puan Hjh Roaini Bt
Jaafar, SIP+ of Putrajaya, gave me a big hand in dealing with the school administrators. During the
social visits, I would take the chance to meet the Head of Department for Mathematics and Science or
the Head of Mathematics subject. I obtained Mathematics teachers general performance and
particulars from them.
There are exactly one hundred Mathematics teachers in eleven secondary schools in Putrajaya, as
stated in the data on 1st April 2014. Out of these one hundred teachers, three are principals and two
are senior assistants. Table 1 shows the age range of the teachers.
Table 1: Age range of Mathematics teachers in Putrajaya
Age range
< 30
30 - 39
40 - 49
Number of
10
46
26
teachers

50 59
18

Number of teachers coached as on 22 nd May 2014, was 51 teachers. Some of these teachers were
recommended by their superior to be coached and some were randomly chosen. Therefore, the
findings are based on the 51 percent of teachers being coached.
Table 2: Age range of Mathematics teachers coached (data as on 22 nd May 2014)
Age range
< 30
30 - 39
40 - 49
50 59
Number of
6
26
11
8
teachers
Percentage
coached
60.00%
56.52%
42.31%
44.44%
based on
group
Model of 4Ds based on AI Theory was applied:
i.
Discover observing and inquiring of teachers practices in classrooms based on TCT;
focusing on teachers best practices; appreciate and value the best of what is.
ii.
Dream imaging and envisioning what could be improved on teachers practices in
classroom.
iii.
Design Discussion with teachers after observation; co-constructing of what could be better.
iv.
Destiny Sustaining the best practices; transform gradually for better practices; teachers
inspired for volunteered actions; innovate and create what will be.

During discussion, SISC+ shared her discovery on the teachers practices based on TCT. Teachers are
encouraged to express their deepest thoughts during discussion. However, on the second phase,
observations are preceded by short discussion on the area or aspect that teachers planned to improve
in previous discussion. SISC+ was trained to focus on one aspect to improve at a time. AI
practitioners do not particularly favor written surveys as one-on-one interviews are more powerful
(Martinetz, 2002). One-to-one coaching is applied in this study.
I went into my job without formal and proper training on my communication skill. We were told that
we are experts and experts know how to deal with situations. That could be one of the factors
contributed to the future failure of DTP. Nevertheless, I made my own readings on how to incorporate
skills that promote communication. Table 3 shows the three types of skills adapted to bridge
interpersonal gap as suggested by Sullivan and Glanz (2009).
Table 3: Skills adapted to bridge interpersonal gap as suggested by Sullivan and Glanz (2009)
Listening
Nonverbal clues
Reflecting and clarifying
Uh-huh
Affirmative nods and smiles
You are angry because
OK
Im following you
Open body language arms You feel because
For instance
open
And?
You seem quite upset
Mmmm
Appropriate distance from
I understand
speaker not too close or too So, you would like.
This is a great information far
for me
I think youre saying
Really?
Eye contact
Then?
I am not sure, but I think you
So?
Non-distracting environment
mean.
Tell me more
Go on
Face speaker and lean forward
I understand that you see the
I see
problem as
Right
Barrier-free space (eg: desk not
used as blocker)
My coaching is based on the AI Theory which established with the following assumptions
(Hammond, 1998):
1. In each teacher, something works.
2. What we focus on becomes our reality.
3. Reality is created in the moment, and there are multiple realities.
4. The act of asking questions influences the teachers in some way.
5. People have more confidence and comfort to the future journey of the unknown when they carry
forward parts of the past (the known).
6. If we carry parts of the past forward, they should be what are best about the past.
7. It is important to value differences.
8. The language we use creates our reality.

3.0

REFLECTION OF COACHING EXPERIENCE

As an SISC+, I believe and I was made to believe by my superior (previous Director of Putrajaya
Education Department) that I have something of great value to share with teachers whom I served and
going to serve. Coaching is about persuading others to act. It relates to the skills of getting to know
the teachers I am serving, needs of the teachers and influencing teachers to act according to their
needs. AI Theory is a way of looking, define and study a person and then use the data to build on
what is working well (Martinetz, 2002). The initial purpose of DTP program is to help teachers in

schools with Band 6 and Band 7. However, there is no Band 6 or 7 schools in Putrajaya. Thus,
SISC+s in Putrajaya are engaged to help improve the teaching and learning process in schools of band
5 and above.
To date, I have not met any teacher who declined to be observed and being coached. The situation of
being able to be received by other teachers is my advantage. Based on the observations carried out,
there are many Mathematics teachers in Putrajaya schools, whom modelled good practices in
teaching. Nevertheless, human are not perfect. There are always some aspects that could be
improved. Hawk and Hill (2003) stressed that it is important to be aware that teachers are at different
levels of readiness and commitment to engage in reflection and change. Teachers are less inclined to
take risks. However, this does not means teachers are unwilling to be involved in some stages in the
coaching process. To be positive, more time allocation is need for these teachers, especially senior
teachers with special titles such as Excellent Teacher and Datin.
Teachers regard SISC+ as a new pair of eyes in the classroom. Therefore, earning the teachers trust
is not easy, especially at the early stage of nationwide commencement. First of all, I only offered
genuine and honest praises. I would always express my appreciation, compliment and admiration on
teachers positive instructional, pedagogical approach and classroom management. This is one of the
ways for teachers to feel appreciated and aware that their effort worth it. Since I have observed the
teachers effort firsthand, teachers accepted my praises as true. I believe that through praises, it would
made teachers positive effort sustainable. However, overdoing the praising will invite uneasiness
among teachers. Therefore, although bonded with AI Theory, praising and compliments should not be
overdoing with insincere intention.
While more than half of the teachers that I need to coach whom are more experience than I am, my
only advantage at this situation is my academic qualification. I have PhD qualification, which none of
the teachers being coached has this qualification yet. However, honestly, my academic qualification
does not relate with the task of coaching. Although I have a doctorate qualification, I have never
introduced myself with any title in front of my surname. In fact, I ask the teachers to call me by my
surname. Somehow, I have the feeling that this qualification supports my professionalism as a coach
when I am on field task. Words spread through the mouth of others. These teachers get to know
about my qualification from my ex-colleagues and current colleagues. While I am working to know
the teachers better, at the same time the teachers are doing the same thing to find out in advance who
is coming to their classes and conduct the coaching with them.
During the dream, design and destiny stages with teachers, there were three teachers enquiring on how
they could progress in their profession through post-graduate studies. One of them took the
opportunities and asked me to comment on her research methodology. Therefore, SISC+s
accountabilities could be beyond the job specifications. I am very glad that some teachers make the
discussion as an opportunity for their professional development. These teachers are eager to look for
further discussion in the very near time.
I have seen teacher with 25 years of teaching experience and be ineffective while teacher with six
years of teaching experience teaching amazingly. Teaching is not all about age. It is more on the
passion and mindset of the teachers. Teachers need to keep learning. If teachers stop learning, they
would soon be out of touch with the students. Teachers need to place themselves in the way students
are learning today. At times, older teachers were hard to be convinced. Some of these older teachers
challenged me to teach in front of them. There was once a teacher whom suddenly called upon me to
explain in front of the students on how to solve a very challenging question with higher order thinking
skill (HOTS) element within it. I was a bit off-guarded since SISC+ is not supposed to have any
contact with students. Anyway, I took the challenge. I was just suspecting whether the concern
teacher did really know how to explain the solution as it was not a routine question. Those questions
were produced by Curriculum Development Department for TIMSS intervention. It was the first time
this teacher came across such question. I really regret that I failed to observe how this experience
teacher would manage to make the students understand the concern question. Anyway, I reminded the

teacher of my SOP of not having any contact with the students during teaching and learning process
of the teachers being observed.
Since my practices are based on AI Theory, I do not want teachers to feel nervous and incompetent
during my visits in the classroom. Therefore, my first visits were made based on appointments with
the concern teachers. It gave them time and space for preparation. However, sometimes teachers
were informed on my visits in the very early morning of the concern day. I am just eager to find out
what are the differences in informing teachers a day or days before and on the immediate day.
The findings are quite interesting. Most of the teachers that I informed on the immediate day of my
visits were caught red-handed of not preparing the lessons well. Although I do conveyed to teachers
what I have observed were based on TCT instrument, yet as an AI practitioner, I do not focused on
teachers negative aspects. Most of the time, I would reassured them not to worry about the findings
as I do understand their situations. In addition, the findings are confidential and would not be shared
especially with the principal and the other administrators. It does encouraged teachers to feel easy,
relax and continue talking about their problems in school, aspiration and how they could do better.
Most teachers know how they could do better but they admitted on the lack of initiatives taken and
time limitation due to load of accountabilities other than the task of teaching.
Generally, secondary schools mathematics teachers in Putrajaya do not have the problem in locus of
control on students. Students are well-behaved but less proactive in inquiring beyond the content
knowledge imparted by teachers. This situation could be generic to all learning areas, not only in
mathematics classes. Therefore, teachers are encouraged to apply appropriate communication skills
on students; planning different pedagogical approaches with different group of students in needs and
inspire students through positive commendation. I tried my best by making the post-observation
session as a cooperative search for teachers strength, passions and life-giving forces.
During discovery stage, it was found that a few young teachers were not so confident in teaching the
upper level of secondary Mathematics although they do have the qualification in the subject matter. I
tried to discover what these young teachers inspired to be in the classroom during dream stage. It
was followed by design stage in the 4Ds model. I co-constructed with teachers on how they could
gained more confident during teaching and learning process. These teachers suggested a few
approaches during design stage. Most of the time, I would only lead through questioning.
Questioning is a good intervention (Martinetz, 2002). I do not want the suggestions came from my
own mouth. Therefore, I applied skills in bridging interpersonal gap as shown in Table 3.
Subsequently, I would encourage teachers to make their suggestions based on their dream and start
planning actions, if possible. Most of the time, the overall process could take more than an hour of
discussion. Coaching is a very time consuming process. I always remind myself not to make any
suggestions during the process. Actions can only be executed voluntarily when teachers, themselves
dream of achieving better situations in their teaching and learning process in classroom. The most
critical aspect in the process of coaching is time. Teachers do not have much time to spend for postobservation discussion after class. They are always rushing off to complete their non-academic
accountabilities. Teachers implied that they have too many non-academic obligations.
Design stage allows me to co-construct teachers envisions with future actions. Envisioning of future
actions do not focused on negative culture observed in the class. According to AI Theory, by
combining negative culture with all the challenges that teachers faced in classroom, it might
paralyzing teachers into the sense of hopelessness (Martinetz, 2002). On the other hand, I asked
teachers what they think they could do in the class and would be excited, motivated and energized of
doing it. S4 described that playing games in the class would be exciting. S 11 suggested field trip. We
need to dissect what the teachers have been doing right and wrongly in order to reenergized teachers
(Martinetz, 2002).

Almost all teachers being coached could described of what they could do more in the class except one
teacher in the age of 50s. S13 claimed that she did not know how to teach students of the last class that
being observed. The Head of Mathematics Subject and Head of Department stated that trainings on
the pedagogy had been conducted during the last two years within and beyond the school. Thus, I
could not come to the conclusion that the concern teacher does not know the strategies that suitable to
be applied for the concern students. The students are very well-behaved. I am in my process focusing
on how to persuade the teacher to teach with more passion and accountabilities. I need to make this
teacher believes that every effort worth it. For the initial stage, I told the teacher that she is so lucky
to have those students whom are well-behaved although not very smart. It is an opportunities for her
to show her capabilities in front of those students. When students begin to experience positive
learning, they would remember their teacher for the rest of their lives.
Based on the observations in classes, it was discovered that most teachers treat teaching as a routine
task. This is especially true for most senior teachers, whom we assumed as experience teachers.
Thus, they teach with minimum preparation. These teachers have appropriate content knowledge in
their head as they teach the same subject every year. Since teachers are in their comfort zone, many
ended up applying single and conventional approach in teaching and learning process, which is chalk
and talk. It was quite hard to approach these senior and experience teachers. As an AI practitioner, I
believe there is something that could work out in these teachers. Teachers should experience
internally the ownership of change effort. This is to create sustainability in the changes established
from time to time. It is not an easy task. Nevertheless, with the consistent positive verbal motivation,
optimistically, I would see some changes in the conventional teaching and learning process applied by
senior teachers. The most important thing is not to provoke these teachers to change. Once they were
provoked, they would turn unapproachable. If these teachers stay approachable, there is still hope for
an SISC+ to make an impact on the teaching and learning process in the classroom.
The positive finding was that there are a number of teachers, whom express their will to do more than
the conventional approach.
Their incapacities are caused by time constraint and other
accountabilities. Most secondary schools in Putrajaya ended at 2.30pm. However, extra classes
would continue until 4.30pm. On Wednesday, extra co-curriculum activities would take place until
5.30pm and all teachers are involved. Teachers are also required to guide students for numerous
competitions and projects after classes. Therefore, they are exhausted by the time they sit down and
start thinking for their teaching and learning process improvement. Since I, myself once experienced
the same situation, I did not force the teachers to transform overnight. Coaching on teachers should
be carried out within a safe and professional development culture in order to create skilled reflective
practitioners and ongoing development on teachers (Hawk & Hill, 2003). My coaching destiny is to
achieve the best outcomes for teachers to drive the decisions.
The advantage in schools of Putrajaya is the strong leadership among its administrators. Most schools
introduced numerous program and projects in order to cover wider social, emotional and physical
health needs of their students. However, International Academy of Education concluded that the key
in improving teaching is through Professional Learning Community (PLC) (Louis & Wahlstrom,
2011). By embracing PLC, teachers are more likely to take collective responsibility for student
learning, helping students in achieving higher level and gained higher level of professional
satisfaction. Through observations, I have been learning to increase my own knowledge on effective
teaching as well. Subsequently, I share these instructional strategies with other teachers during my
coaching session.
My main purpose is to encourage teachers to improve their instructional delivery by becoming more
reflective and responsive to the needs of Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013 2025 in their teaching
process, as well as the students specifically. Teachers are being treated with dignity. As an SISC+, I
want teachers to feel being valued no matter how small the changes they initiated in classroom.
Teachers are given the freedom to take responsibilities for changes in their teaching and learning
process. At the end of day, I would still do the reflection myself. Martinetz (2002) highlighted that

If I cannot see change in something, then I must recognize that I am part of the problem and If I
see things as bad, what do I have to change in me to see things that are good?

5.0

CONCLUSION

AI Theory is applicable in coaching framework. Being a coach, we are given the choice to look at
human system as containing life-giving forces and not a collection of problems and obstacles waiting
to be solved. I choose to focus on what is good and working well on teachers. Since my
conversations with teachers focused on positive practices applied by teachers in class, I believe these
will lead us to images being dominant in our minds, and subsequently leading to positive actions at
both the conscious and unconscious levels as suggested by Martinetz (2002). Nevertheless, I have to
admit that the negative practices observed in the class are seductive. Sometimes, it misdirected my
paths during coaching. I need to keep reminding myself to get back to AI Theory which I put into
practices. I need to hold on to AI Theory strong and not to be disillusioned by negative images.
At the end of the day, I always question myself whether what claimed by DuFour and Mattos (2013)
make sense. According to them, the current efforts in supervising teachers into better performance
have proven ineffective. DuFour and Mattos (2013) stressed that the solution is not to double up on a
bad strategy and demand more classroom observations, tighter supervision and more punitive or
corrective evaluations. The effort to improve schools through tougher supervision and evaluation is
doomed to fail because it asks the wrong question. The question is not How can I do a better job of
monitoring teaching? BUT How can we collectively do a better job of monitoring students
learning? DuFour and Mattos commented that today's schools do not need "instructional leaders"
who attempt to ensure that teachers use the right moves. On the other hand, schools need learning
leaders. A learning leader would help to create a school environment focusing on learning for both
students and teachers. This could be a changing factor for the SISC+ and SIPartners mission.

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