The peer coach training model was born out of an increasing need on the part of the Perpich Center, North Dakota Council on the Arts, and the MN State Arts Board to have more people able to facilitate reflective protocols and provide effective coaching in many different contexts. Together these three agencies set about to describe what good coaches do and then offer opportunities for people to develop their skills in and understanding of this peer coach model.
Who are peer coaches?
Teaching artists, educators, and administrators who belong to a professional learning community—a community that uses the power of collaborative inquiry to examine the different ways of working in arts education.
How do peer coaches work?
Peer coaches use the power of reflective protocols to examine their work and that of others in arts education. They help people plan intentionally toward desired outcomes (planning backwards model). They help document and make visible the often ephemeral and fleeting aspects of teaching and learning.
The most common tools and protocols peer coaches use:
—Artful Planner (Planning Backwards)
Why do peer coaches matter in arts education?
This is an open-ended question and the answer will differ for each individual and organization. Peer coaches bring their experience to facilitating, modeling, mentoring, and documenting key processes and ideas in arts education.
Here is what we know so far:
—peer coaches help individuals articulate better what they want to teach and learn
—peer coaches practice a way of collaborating that puts power in the hands of everyone present—from a classroom of students to a meeting or a workshop
—when experienced peer coaches are present, the work at hand is more focused and intentional
Planner (Planning Backwards)