Oct 26 2007

Coaching from a learner’s perspective

Published by at 5:14 pm under Coaching,Communities of practice

I keep thinking and learning more about coaching because it seems that “coach-like” interactions are a useful way of structuring interactions with clients. But I always feel a little uncomfortable with the baggage around and lack of theory about “coaching.” I wonder how it is that coaching helps people learn? Reading a wonderful article by Jean Lave for a little writing project turns up this gem:

Teaching certainly is an object for analytical inquiry, but not an explanation for learning.

Reasoning by analogy we wouldn’t say that coaching is an explanation or a cause of improved performance, would we?

One of the main findings of the project I did with Lauren Klein and Theodora Fitzsimmons was that there is some kind of spectrum between coaching and mentorship. We put the slides from our presentation at the C&T Conference on slideshare:

I just had a look at a previous posting on defining a coaching relationship, which still makes a lot of sense to me.


Jean Lave, “Teaching, as learning, in Practice,” in Mind, Culture, and Activity 3(1): 1996, pp. 149-164.

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