Seachange in Coaching in Education:
Bringing the whole person into post-secondary classrooms

sea change /ˈsē ˌCHānj/ noun: seachange – a profound or notable transformation.
The purpose of this virtual gathering is to bring together and share the exciting work and learnings of post-secondary educators and leaders who are using and exploring coaching practices in their classrooms, with their learners, and in their work.

We welcome academic leaders and faculty in post-secondary to attend Seachange in Coaching in Education virtually on Tuesday March 21 & Wednesday March 22, 2023. Join us to explore:

  • Opportunities in using a coach approach with students. 
  • The value in integrating coaching and other social emotional skills development into faculty professional development programs.
  • Coaching practices as support for culturally inclusive forms of knowledge, curriculum and teaching pedagogy that recognize Indigenous ways of knowing and being.
  • The process and opportunities of creating a coaching culture in post-secondary.
  • Coaching practices as support for bringing the best of ourselves to and supporting post-secondary institution EDI initiatives.
  • Coaching practices to facilitate progress in UNESCO educational goals.
About Coaching in Education

The Spark for this Virtual Gathering

Recognizing the benefits of coaching and its value in education, in March 2021, Niagara College’s Centre for Academic Excellence (CAE) and the Centre for Teaching and Learning Innovation at the College of the North Atlantic (CNA) partnered to develop and deliver a virtual pilot program called “Coaching in the Classroom.”

In the program, faculty had the opportunity to not only learn about coaching tools and practices to use in their class, but also to reflect on their beliefs, how they show up, and the associated impact on their students and classroom. Faculty attended webinars, completed assignments, engaged with each other online, and were offered optional one-on-one virtual coaching sessions as part of the program. A key goal in designing and delivering the program was to create an intentional connection between coaching practices and teaching. The pilot program received positive feedback, was offered a second time in winter of 2022, and then again in fall 2022. 

The feedback from the program and the energy it created led the two colleges to explore what else was happening in coaching in education across Canada – with the intent to bring post secondary institutions and individuals together to share their experiences, and to engage those who were curious about or also using coaching practices in education.   

Throughout the event, we hope to tie in the value of:

Change begins with ourselves. What are our beliefs, values and biases and how might they impact the way we teach/engage, and the impact on learners? 

Teaching is a partnership where we are learning from students as much as they are learning from us.

Relationships are at the foundation of every coaching/teaching partnership.

Education is more than academics; a holistic approach to education is important.

The Organization of this Virtual Gathering

The organization of this event was guided by key principles that we feel are important to share.

Our perspective on coaching:

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the leading global organization for coaches and coaching. ICF is dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification and building a worldwide network of trained coaching professionals. They define coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”. 

More about our perspective on coaching

Awareness can bring positive change:

In talking with our speakers and others during the organization of this event, we came to see that different terms, words and labels all spoke to a core foundation of coaching – that the more we can understand about ourselves and help others do the same, the greater the awareness we can create. Within that awareness is an opportunity for positive transformative change – seachange.

In the spirit of coaching, we were guided by curiosity and openness:

Many of the speakers in this event were introduced to us organically, through networking and numerous conversations. For example, our first conversation began with Dr. Hayley Hesseln, who introduced us to two wonderful individuals from Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), Khairunnisa Ali and Lindsay Wood, who are instructors at KPU and also bring knowledge and expertise in EQ (emotional intelligence).  They introduced us to two other amazing individuals, Jewell Gillies and Jesse Grimaldi.  Other speakers were identified based on topic of interest. For example, we felt it was important to talk about coaching in organizations and reached out to Heather Turnbull from Coaching Services at UBC. We also utilized existing contacts, through Jenn Wicks’ contacts at Royal Roads University.

Supporting positive learning spaces for students with different backgrounds and identities:

Our key intention for this event is to ensure that we create opportunities for discussion and a better understanding of how coaching can support positive learning spaces for students with different backgrounds and identities. To plan this event, we collaborated with Indigenous departments and/or faculty within our respective colleges, as well as individuals from our communities. We also wanted to ensure we created an inclusive learning space and engaged with colleagues to hear their insights on EDI in education based on their work and personal experiences. 

We will consider the event a success if participants leave with:

Ideas and/or practical tools related to coaching that they would like to try with their learners (or in their work).

Curiosity to learn about coaching and its value in education.

Awareness of how growth & transformative change in education comes from first understanding ourselves and how we show up.

New relationships and the beginnings of collaborative research opportunities.

Increased openness and confidence in engaging in the work of culturally aware and responsive practices. 

Resources and References

Devine, M., Meyers, R., & Houssemand, C. (2013). How can coaching make a positive impact within educational settings? Procedia, Social and Behavioral Sciences, 93, 1382–1389.

Nieuwerburgh, C. van. (2012). Coaching in education : getting better results for students, educators and parents. Karnac Books.

Fazel, P. (2013). Teacher-coach-student Coaching Model: A Vehicle to Improve Efficiency of Adult Institution. Procedia, Social and Behavioral Sciences, 97, 384–391.

Research – Coaching in Education PowerPoint

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