Catholic Education South Australia
11 Dec 2016
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Cognitive Coaching supporting leaders

Recently the Leadership Development team at the Catholic Education Office hosted, for the fifth consecutive year, a professional learning opportunity in Cognitive Coaching(SM). 

Twenty-six school leaders, teachers, consultants and senior education advisers participated in the eight-day foundation course; in addition, teachers and leaders who had completed the foundation course in previous years were able to refine their skills with two full day proficiency modules.  

Cognitive Coaching is a system initiative that supports continuous improvement by building the capacity of leaders to contribute to a culture of improvement.  Leaders learn to support colleagues to develop the cognitive capacity for excellence both independently and as members of a school community; that is, to be more resourceful, reflective, self-directed, aware of their own and others’ thinking, collaborative and flexible in their roles. 
A cognitive coach uses active listening skills, paraphrasing and mediative questioning that draw on the coachee’s internal resources in planning, reflecting and problem resolving.
What staff see are some of the benefits of Cognitive Coaching

Cognitive Coaching provides a contemporary approach to leadership at all levels of the college.  We have created two dedicated PORs for coaching and it is proving effective in shifting dialogue and empowering staff to be more self-directed, accountable and resourceful in their decision making.    Andrew Balkwill, Principal, Thomas More College

Cognitive coaching is becoming an intrinsic part of my leadership.  I find that I’m using the techniques I’ve learnt in everyday and planned conversation with people to empower them in developing their own thinking.  Shana Bennett, Principal, Our Lady of Grace School

Principal Consultants engage the skills, attitudes and resources of Cognitive Coaching to facilitate conversations with Principals and as an integral part of our team meetings.  We use cognitive approaches to strengthen the way we reflect, plan and problem solve key issues within our work.  The processes challenge us all to listen carefully, challenge our own assumptions about the way we think and work and to go deep in our enquiries and actions for continuous school improvement.  Susan Young, Assistant Director, Leadership Development.

If you are employed by Catholic Education SA and would like more information about Cognitive coaching professional learning opportunities, please contact Susan Young Mailto:(   or Phil Holmes mailto:( in the Leadership Development Section (83016676).

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