Creating the Schools of the Future


For more than 10 years the International Erickson University conducts training program on coaching in Russia. Year after year we see growing interest in coaching as future profession, effective method of management, way of thinking and lifestyle.  

From the first days of training we often hear such statements from our participants as: «If we owned those technologies and worked with the coach a year ago or five years ago, what would be the success we have already achieved?  If I had a coach when I chose my way of life, could I find a favorite thing and implement my vocation?»…

These questions naturally lead to the idea – what if from early age we create for our children coaching space, where they can unlock their potential and learn how to make conscious choice and take responsibility for own life? As if from childhood they could learn techniques of effective thinking and creativity? And focusing on achieving best results could maintain life balance and harmonious state? How would the world around us change then?

Therefore, for several years now we pay particular attention to using coaching in education and especially in schools.

The experience of our Norwegian colleagues is an inspiring guide for us.  Ian George Christiansen, the director of Erickson University Nordic used coaching methods for helping in setting objectives and defining life goals while teaching strategies of effective learning to students and schoolchildren. An impressive results involved teachers, parents and school administration in coaching process. As a result, in 2005, Ullern High school, which was at the edge of closing, was officially declared one of the best schools in Norway. And now other schools in Norway in cooperation with Erickson University Nordic conduct coaching for their pedagogical teams and provide coaching training to their employees.


What is the value of coaching for education?

By taking the path for modernization and humanization in education process and announcing the development of individual, capable of self-realization and self-development, Russian Education feels the need for innovative pedagogical technologies to accompany the individual development of students. The essence of coaching is actualization of internal resources and subject position of individual and coaching complies with principles of personal oriented, personalized education and meets the educational standards of new generation.

Coaching training for teachers not only gives them practical and effective tools for implementing human approach in education, but also promotes deep transformation of relationship towards students and education process. Acquired skill to organize cooperation, based on coaching principles (belief in individual’s best; in his unlimited abilities for development, where every person has all necessary resources; there is positive intention in every action and the person makes the best choice for himself), allows teachers to create a truly free, full of opportunities and resources creative space for students, as well as teachers themselves and even, in practice, for parents.

With the help of special coaching techniques (“powerful” questions, life balance wheel, satisfaction scale, etc.) teachers realize their own values and open a new meaning and values in their job:

  • Sense of satisfaction and happiness to fulfill their educational mission to accompany the child in his personal and social development, help him to be purposeful, successful, independent, creative, confident, capable of tolerant communication and productive cooperation with others;
  • The need for motivation and commitment of teacher’s own professional and personal development in order to satisfy the needs for self-realization, social assessment and recognition;

Obstacles on the way of implementing coaching culture at schools

Despite the apparent effectiveness of coaching approach in education and growing interest from teachers and parents, however, the process of systematic use of coaching technologies at schools does not have massive character and faces certain difficulties.

Primarily, this is due to natural resistance of typical teacher to innovative changes in the environment of uncertainty, related with the lack of:

  • Official support from educational authorities, methodological office (i.e. why do something that is not supported by the order for fulfillment and is not a criteria for evaluating teacher’s or manager’s competence);
  • Understanding from school administration and colleagues in the home school and teacher’s willingness and readiness to apply coaching approach to their teaching. But for the systematic introduction of coaching, as well as any other innovation, one needs support from like-minded people and leadership in particular. If directive management and education style set up in school, then coaching approach, stimulating awareness, freedom, going beyond traditional teaching is real threat to the old system, methods and criteria of evaluating students’ success and therefore to the status of successful teacher;
  • Understanding and acceptance of the terms “coach” and “coaching” as an alien words to the Russian language and western technologies forcibly imposed on Russian school;
  • Sufficient financial support for teachers, because coaching training is primarily focused on business and tuition costs may exceed teacher’s salary.

 Obviously, widespread introduction of coaching to education would not be successful without overcoming these contradictions and in this article we’ll share successful experiences of International Erickson University of coaching in their resolution.


World Game and teachers contest for preferential training on coaching

The initiative of Marilyn Atkinson in creating World Game – the international movement of coaches and leaders was a considerable step on the way of promoting coaching ideas in the general population and in education system in particular. M.Atkinson urged all coaching schools to open up opportunities for training to the countries and population who need financial support.

In response to the World Game, the Russian office of the International Erickson University of Coaching offered favorable places for training for the teachers who make significant contribution to the secondary schools’ education system and development of children. Managers and then teachers and volunteers of charity foundation “Big Break” became the first participant of this program in 2009.

Since then the International Erickson University of Coaching provides free places for teachers in each stream of “The Science and Art of Transformational Coaching” 4 modules program in Moscow and in St.-Petersburg and from 2013 in Yekaterinburg and in Rostov-on-Don. There were isolated cases recently, but now the number of teachers, willing to deeper learn coaching is growing. 

Therefore we introduced permanent teachers’ contest for preferential training on coaching.

Contest’s objectives:

  1. To provide teachers with opportunity for preferential training on “The Science and Art of Coaching” 4 modules certification program and “Coaching of New Thinking” in the offices of the International Erickson University of Coaching.
  2. To create conditions for development and sharing teachers’ best experiences in using coaching technologies in educational process.

The following offices of the International Erickson University of Coaching (ECI) joined the program:

  9. Management Academy ERFOLG, Novosibirsk (ECI)
  10. Riga School of Coaching (ECI)

Other schools of coaching are joining this initiative!


Employees of educational institutions of basic general and secondary schools and teachers of training institutes from Russia and near and far abroad countries can take part in this contest.

To participate in the contest a competitor sends motivational letter together with his competition paper that would be evaluated by independent jury. All works are placed on the КоучингвОбразовании.рф website in open access.

The jury is formed from volunteers – the International Erickson University of Coaching graduates with gold certificate and competent in the area of general education (Natalia Gulchevskaya, Maria Nekrasova, Tatiana Azyoma, Elena Farba, Vyacheslav Pyrkov, Victoria Eftyukova, Tamara Posadskaya, Daria Rostovykh, Marina Sitnikova – the first winner of the contest, “gold” graduate of IEUC). Also, all curators from certification program from the offices that joined the contest program. It is they who have the casting vote to decide the winner.

The members of the jury did a great job on developing evaluation criteria before launching the contest. As a result, more than 50 criteria have been reduced to 4 planning questions.

The Motivational letter is evaluated on the following criteria:

Criteria 1.  Training objective. Question: Why do you want to learn coaching?  What would be the best result of learning in ECI for you?

Criteria 2.  Value of training. Question: Why it is important for you to learn coaching? What would be different for you and your students when you complete the training?

Criteria 3.  Actions: Clarity in applying coaching. Question:  How and where are you planning to apply the knowledge and skills gained (after the completion of the program, as well as in one-two year period of time, in long-term perspective?)            

Criteria 4.  Actions: Readiness to transmit your experience. Question: What are you ready to do during and after the completion of the training for promoting coaching in education?    

Criteria 5. Resources: Availability of supportive environment. Question: Who is supporting you?   

The Competition Paper is evaluated on the following criteria:

Criteria 1. Coaching principles (Open-ended questions prevail. There are a lot of powerful, propulsive questions. Carries out enquiries with students, stimulates brainstorming, encourages own opinions sharing. Bases on students’ responses, does not provide categorical answers. Creates atmosphere of acceptance and support. Utilizes coaching tools).

Criteria 2. Result orientation (The subject, objective and content of the class correspond to the needs and requests of target audience. The objective of the class is defined together with students and summed up at the end. The structure of the class, choice of tools and techniques are logical and consistent, i.e. they move towards objective of the study set by the teacher).

Criteria 3. Vision of coaching value (Reasoning of coaching value. The work reflects the effectiveness of the tools used (consistent with coaching principles) and efficiency of the action. Long-term positive effects described, linked with other subjects, general development of the students, their future).

Criteria 4. Practical application for dissemination of experience (Literacy in paper’s design: introduction, main part, conclusion. Recommendations for preparing and running the event. Clarity in explaining how to use coaching. Maintenance of design with all necessary teaching materials and learning aids. The structure of the event is suitable for wide application. Possible to use as sample for designing own event).

Current results of the contest:


26 applications have been submitted since September 2014. 18 teachers started their tuition at 4 modules program “The Science and Art of Transformational Coaching”.


Winner’s commitment

By starting the tuition at the program, the participant takes on responsibility for applying training material in educational process and providing short reports for publication.

Articles published at Erickson.ru, Коучингвобразовании.рф websites as well as at other resources, conference collections and prints will be treated as reports. Minimum 2 reports should be provided during training and minimum 4 over the first year after the completion of the program.

Marina Sitnikova (Kurgan, training in Yekaterinburg), Tatiana Aksenova (Krasnodar),  E.V.Eliseeva  (Rostov-on-Don), Svetlana Kobachevskaya (Minsk, training in St.Petersburg) have already started  to apply coaching in education and formalize their experience in the form of articles and presentations at the conferences.

Contribution to promoting coaching in education

For successful and systematic use of coaching approach in education it is extremely critical to have support of like-minded people. Therefore it is very important to distribute the information about coaching and its usefulness in education as much as possible, increase teachers’ awareness, provide criteria for distinguishing coaching consistent with ethical norms of Coaching Federation from other methods, using similar title.

The presentation of Marilyn Atkinson at the Festival of Practical Psychology “Planet of People” in 2011, that brought together more than 750 participants, paid an important role in penetration of coaching into educational system. Teachers and psychologists attending training saw the power of coaching questions and relationship between coaching principles and humanistic paradigm of education. The ensuing master class “The Joy of Learning. Coaching in Schools” by Ian George Christiansen demonstrated the possibility and practical ways of using coaching in school education.

It became the start of involving teachers in testing coaching technologies in educational process.

To maximize the wide spread of successful experience, the International Erickson  Coaching International became co-host and sponsor of the First International online conference “Coaching in Education”, which took place in November 2013 and brought together 360 participants and 28 speakers from Russia, Belorussia, Kazakhstan, Kalmykia and Norway. There were not only graduates of ECI among the speakers, but representatives of other trends and schools of coaching. The materials of the conference, containing practical experience of using coaching technologies can be found in open access at http://coachingineducation.ru/conference/ , and we receive feedback from teachers who got introduced to coaching for the first time, thanks to these materials and want to continue further education.   

Second International on-line conference “Coaching in Education” has already gathered more than 800 participants http://coachingineducation.ru/conference2014/

Anatoly Witkowski’ articles about the Conference, interview with Jan George Chistiansen, Maria Kaluzhskaya’s article in “September 1” magazine allowed to introduce the ideas of coaching literally to every teacher- the readers of the most popular magazine of the education system.  

The graduates of International Erickson Coaching International generously share their experiences with foreign colleagues. On January 22, 2015 Natalia Gulchevskaya, Victoria Evtukhova and Maria Nekrasova were invited as speakers to the International webinar Conference “Coaching in Education – a new trend of effective learning”, organized by the Centre of level programs that is a branch of JSC “National Centre of Excellence Orleu”, Institute of Advance Training for teachers in North-Kazakhstan Region. More than 500 participants – teachers from Kazakhstan with great interest perceived the experience transmitted by Russian teacher-coaches. It should be noted that in Kazakhstan teachers training on coaching is conducted at the state level as part of the President’s program.


The first steps towards regular using coaching in schools

To start working in coaching format it is enough for teachers to get through the introduction course of coaching, which is 1-2 days long. Understanding and accepting coaching principles and learning basic universal techniques, the teachers can apply them to practice and notice the significant improvements. Therefore, the University supports “The Introduction to Coaching in Education” at reduced prices for teachers.

In this respect, the cooperation of Erickson Coaching International with the representatives of advanced training system for educators was very productive. The teachers of the Pedagogy Department in Rostov-on-Don Institute of Advanced Training and Retraining in education we the first to appreciate the importance of coaching approach for real, rather than formal implementation of individually oriented learning in secondary school. As a full group they participated in “The Introduction to Coaching” training and began to actively implement ideas and technology of coaching approach to their work with students, in the activities of their colleagues, managers of methodical service and educational institutions. Due to active communication of specialists with education community the ideas of coaching approach quickly spread through the region and aroused interest and desire to learn coaching technologies.  

Since 2011 such training was conducted on a regular basis and we could see the results of professional and personal development of the participants. Many teachers gained self-confidence, began to take active part in creative educational projects and contents and won prizes, even in the international contests (often together with their students).

Currently training of ECI program “The Introduction to Coaching” with the focus on education is conducted by Natalia Gulchevskaya (over 400 teachers were trained: Rostov-on-Don, Yekaterinburg, Pskov, Syktyvkar, St.Petersburg), Natalia Suslova (over 50 teachers were trained: Moscow, Saratov, Novosibirsk), Tatiana Azyoma (Belorussia), Victoria Evtukhova (Rostov-on-Don), Vyacheslav Pyrkov (Rostov-on-Don).

Systematic implementation of coaching principles in education process is carried out in those areas where heads of municipal administration got interested in coaching ideas and found financial resources to support training delivery for the entire pedagogical team. As a result, the quality of education increases to a significantly higher level.

The bright example of successful systematic work is school №5 of Red Sulin, Rostov-on-Don region. They implemented coaching approach to all areas of educational process. The entire issue of regional pedagogical magazine was devoted to sharing teachers’ practical experience and currently the book is preparing for publishing. All members of pedagogical team completed “The Introduction to Coaching” training. The leading teachers and school management are taking certification program “The Science and Art of Transformational Coaching” in Moscow, free of charge. The school officially recognized as Federal experimental platform for implementing coaching in education and since September 16, 2012  has an agreement with International Erickson Coaching International for informational and methodological cooperation.  

Also, the pedagogical team of “Coryphaeus” high school of Yekaterinburg completed the training and began systematic coaching implementation. The key success factors become noticeable on the example of the high school experience, where the existing corporate culture is based on respect, cooperation, striving for the best results. School administration actually applies coaching approach in management – then, coaching easily and naturally applies to all areas of work and life.

Creating the School of the Future:  school in Red Sulin – the nominee for Prism Award ICF 2014

In the context of Russian education modernization the views on the purpose, content, style of interaction between teacher and student have changed. The main criterion for the quality of modern education is the quality of the person. Today, the main purpose of education is development of child's personality, capable of self-development, self-realization in a rapidly changing society. This means that the most important changes must occur in the area of creating innovative systems and schools that would like to develop professional competences and values of development, focused on quality and creative thinking. The important direction in preparing is education of personality. We believe that the teacher’s mastery of innovative technologies and pedagogical support and maintenance of children's personality in the educational process is the top of pedagogical skills in terms of personality-oriented education. Coaching in education is an innovative technology, capable of directing teacher’s and student’s internal resources for achieving the intended result.

Today our school is the first in Russia, which is implementing systemic coaching in the educational process in all areas of pedagogical interaction.

  • How to build a system of implementing coaching in modern educational institution (school management coaching, coaching in develop[ment methodological innovation support, project coaching, coaching in the educational process at different levels of education, accompaniment of teachers and students, coaching of parents)?
  • How to support teacher in personal and professional growth in federal state educational standards implementation?
  • How to best stimulate the pedagogical interaction in class and after school using coaching approach?
  • How to prepare high school students for the state exam, using the tools of coaching?
  • What opportunities are opened for teacher-coach in the development of universal learning activities?
  • How to bring personal meaning to the new system for assessing the quality of education?

Answers to these and many other questions are already formulated by our pedagogical team. The experience of our pedagogical team creates a supportive environment for innovation and development of other educational institutions and makes coaching one of the main technologies in modern education.  Coaching is a new concept in education system. So, coaching for the modern teacher is a unique opportunity to learn, to expand the horizons of knowledge, to build, develop, and seek new approaches for effectively co-creation with students in the learning process.

Today the innovative experience of systematic introduction of coaching in education needs to be supported by the teaching community and the International Federation of Coaches. This will make a breakthrough in the field of education and bring a lot of schools focused on the personality of every member in the educational process. Working in coach-format in the educational space at the time when the foundation is laid for the further development of the individual, will allow to educate a new generation of young people, capable to ensure the development of human civilization


Today the school is in the process of transformation. During the large-scale changes in the system of education in Russia we have a unique opportunity to grow and develop, while maintaining the best traditions. Obviously, the value of perfecting technologies in education requires to change the teacher (his professional competence, pedagogical position, personality traits) and the whole environment in school.

What should the modern school be like?

What is the true meaning of school education?

What is the most important and valuable for graduates?

What skills should a modern teacher have?

What are the best ways to organize the cooperation between teachers, parents and children?

What can each of us bring to creating of new educational environment?

Finding answers to these and many other questions led the team of like-minded teachers to the most significant discovery that human resource is the most important for renewing the educational system. All the diversity personality oriented technologies coaching is the most optimal solution for the entire range of tasks associated with creating new culture of educational institutions. Good coaching - is an art that requires understanding and a lot of practice to facilitate the full disclosure of its possibilities. In this connection, coaching is introduced to educational system in the following areas: managerial coaching, coaching at fixed and extracurricular activities, project coaching, coaching of parents, individual coaching.

In our school we have 25 employees, 15 of them are teachers. We have 259 pupils (grades 1 to 11) from 227 families.

Being the part of training at the Erickson Coaching International our teachers have an opportunity to develop their personal and professional skills with an independent coach. We already have 7 internal professional coaches in school. We understand the importance of life balance for every employee and we practice to hold coaching sessions for each other. It helps in understanding the priorities in the development of certain factors affecting the harmonization of areas related to professional and personal development.

While building a new generation of school, we developed a new level of awareness of teacher’s position in the learning process - the teacher-coach. And regarding to that, in the format of long-term coaching on improvement the professional skills and competences of teacher-coach we use the WHEEL development technology: "The Wheel of professional growth", "The Wheel of personal development", "The Wheel of pedagogical skills development", "The Wheel of teacher-coach skills development". Particular emphasis is placed on testing the coaching approach at fixed and extracurricular activities. Within the methodological platform "Coaching in education" four times a year school teachers share their achievements related to the effective use of coaching tools in the classroom or extra-curricular activities. It is necessary for obtaining professional feedback and treated as an opportunity for improving and sharing experiences with colleagues. This academic year, our school hosted the first contest "Coaching in education. My methodological findings". It should be noted that the best lessons were developed during coaching sessions, which again confirms the efficiency of the method.

One of the most effective ways of new thinking creation is the teachers’ training "Modern lesson. Coach position of the teacher. "This training took place in 2014 for school teachers (15 participants), teachers of our region (50 participants). Methodological developments for interaction with younger students and designed on the basis of strong open questions and “as if” questions for creating supportive environment were the result of pedagogical team’s purposeful work. While preparing for tests and participation in conferences and competitions, teacher-coaches use such tools as: scale from 1 to 10, time line, creating a vision of the future. "Live Scale" is an interesting tool for younger students and its image passes through the whole classroom. Children are free to move on this scale, indicating their position on it and talking about how they have progressed over the lesson with respect to the goals or what needs to be done differently to achieve the best result. Elementary school teachers also developed "The sheet of individual achievements" based on the scale from 1 to 10, which is used for every oral and written items for self-assessment and self-motivation. Another significant finding is the use of the development wheel in the "Diary of my height". This work is carried out by teacher-coach as individually with students, and with the involvement of parents in the format of long-term coaching. The work with development wheel is based on strong open questions.

In secondary and high school (grades 5-11) teachers use 1 to 10 scale (achievement scale, scale of understanding training material, satisfaction scale, etc.) for holistic perception of the topic and content of the lesson. In order to identify personal meaning of learning activities "License for knowledge acquisition" technique, based on 4 planning questions has been developed and tested. Coaching approach is used in mathematics, literature, physics, chemistry, biology, physical education classes. In general, lessons are based on the coaching arrow, containing the most important stages. Good results were achieved in developing problem solving skills. Thus, the Interactive Navigator of Learning was developed. It is successfully in the study of subject topics, in preparation for the contests, in arranging of pedagogical support for students. We observe a high level of motivation in the study of academic disciplines, increase of awareness and initiative of students and practical application of skills learned in school projects. In order to support and develop young and talented teachers, coaches run sessions for the participants of the contests and scientific conferences at various levels. Over the past two years the number of winners in the contests on municipal, regional and federal levels has increased. We want to notice that the victory itself is of secondary importance for children. The victory over oneself, overcoming fears, strengthening self-confidence, improving communication is much more important for many of them. Running of Coaching Marathon becomes a new trend of learning community. During the event students learn the benefits of coaching in education. Subsequently, they have individual coaching session on request: career orientation, preparation for exams, interpersonal conflict resolution, creating a valuable image, etc.

Speaking about the introduction of coaching approach in school, we should mention another important area - coaching of parents. Coaching allows parents to learn listening and hearing their children; to be in cooperation and co-creation with them; to grow and change for better together, by revealing genius in them, maintaining and enhancing the flow of love in family. Key areas of coaching for parents application are:

  • individual coaching session with a parents, which is useful for both the teacher-coach and parents themselves;
  • parents learn coaching elements that they can use in communicating with their children.

These directions are implemented by our pedagogical team in the format of "Positive parenting" club.  The objective of this club is to develop self-awareness; the awareness of your partner, your child, parenting goals; the vision of education outcome; emotional and mental state of parents, especially mothers, their independent state; behavior and development of child. We enhance the effectiveness of communication and the joy of parents interacting with their children by harmonizing relationship. Moreover, these areas form positive attitude of parents to the school, where they always can be listened and find support.

At the current stage of education system’s development the main purpose of teaching is personal development of students. Humanity as paradigm involves student-oriented focus. By development we mean personality change in all spheres: mind, consciousness, thoughts, values, needs, motives, actions, behaviors. The main principles of student-centered approach are:

1) Focus shift from learning process to the process of learning, expressed in:

  - Independent cognitive activity development;

  - Mastering the rational ways of teaching and learning activities, objectively appropriate to the nature of cognitive tasks;

   - Knowledge of individual characteristics, optimal training methods required for particular student.

2) Assigning the status of “the subject of cognition”, communication, values reference to a student, which means:

  - Teaching for the student acquires a personal meaning;

  - The student himself defines the training objectives (content, level and specialization);

- Every student has a freedom of choice and possibility to make their own decisions in the area of changing content, form and style of teaching, self-education, pace, cooperation and mutual assistance, etc.;

- Every student has the opportunity to creatively implement the need in education al process in creative activity, i.e. own original solutions, ideas and styles are encouraged;

- Every student has the opportunity to self-assess their academic achievements, provide their own judgment;

- Every student takes on responsibility for training results;

  - Student is aware on his achievements and development areas and takes on informed decision of improving the program and correcting their educational process accordingly.

Based on these principles, modern teacher should master the techniques allowing renewal of internal resources for supporting individual and personal development for students. Coaching approach best fits the concept of student-centered education, and therefore, in our opinion, considered to be the most contemporary and essential. In addition, this approach becomes the foundation for building cooperation with all participants in the educational process: teachers, colleagues, students, parents and school administration.

Within the framework of informational and methodological cooperation with the Erickson Coaching  International  in 2012 Natalia Gulchevskaya, PhD in Psychology, coach ICF, conducted “The Introduction to Coaching for Teachers” training for all teachers. The teachers mastered basic coaching principles, steps and skills, used basic coaching tools aimed at the developing of human capabilities, as well as mastered "learning to learn" skill. The training plan, methods of creating future advances and the possibility of using coaching in education have been approved. Accredited by ICF “The Science and Art of Transformational Coaching” training for the management team and school teachers, conducted in Russian office of Erickson Coaching International, Moscow was an important step in implementation of coaching in education. Today, we have 7 internal professional coaches in Red Sulin school. Others continue their education on the program. Thanks to the internal coaches who have professional coaching skills and work in accordance with ICF standards. Constructive dialogs with parents, colleagues and teachers are conducted in the format of individual coaching sessions.

The implementation of coaching approach in educational process (lessons, extracurricular activities, projects) goes through transformation of principles of pedagogical interaction. This allows creating professional standards and educational requirements taking 11 coaching competencies into account.

So today the following competencies are the key professional skills of the teacher-coach at our school:

  • competence in the field of personal qualities (the ability to see the strengths and development opportunities for every student, the ability to create trusting relationship, the ability to organize activities to achieve the objectives, the ability to control oneself in stressful situations and develop professionalism and identity);
  • competence in setting educational goals and objectives (the ability to involve students in setting goals and objectives of education, create a vision of the best learning outcomes and ways to achieve it);
  • competence in the field of motivation (the ability to create conditions for success to every student; the skill of activating creative opportunities; encourage going beyond the requirements of the program, provide opportunities for setting and solving problems with a high degree of freedom and responsibility for creating conditions for expanding knowledge horizons);
  • competence in organizing of educational process (to solicit opinions and listen to students; to take into account the opinions of parents, colleagues in taking pedagogical decisions; to be able to establish cooperative relationships with students, colleagues and saturate the communication with students with positive emotions and feelings; to provide support in clarifying personal meanings with the help of coaching tools; to provide psychological and educational support for students in the learning process through coaching approach; to create and vary opportunities for learning; to combine methods of educational assessment and self-evaluation, including the use of the following tools: Scale from 1 to 10, the wheel of history). To organize scientific research activities for students with the focus on achievements; to clarify what can be done differently to achieve the intended result. Students develop the ability to make decisions, working with key issues and develop (to get feedback, establish priorities and pace of learning, analyze experience for obtaining knowledge);
  • competence in the field of information management of the educational process (owns modern methods of student-centered learning; uses coaching tools in achieving intended results: personal, interdisciplinary, subject; considers the situation in class, takes the relationship between students into account; has a "bank" of learning tasks aimed at students with different individual needs).

Speaking about the introduction of coaching in education, it should be noted that teacher-coach adheres to the definition of International Coach Federation (ICF) to respect personal and professional experience of students and treat every student as creative resource and integrated personality. Building on this foundation, teacher-coaches take responsibility for:

  • supporting students in clarifying the goals they wish to achieve;
  • creating the environment, where students achieve via independent discoveries;
  • identifying strategies and solutions for development;
  • empowering and extending students’ responsibility and control.


XXI century is the time of significant changes. This is the age of a new culture, the age of introduction to new technologies that demands from the individual for corresponding to the renewed level of consciousness and its features. New conditions for society development  affect the most important institutions of society, in the first place – the educational space.

Today when school is implementing federal educational standards of general education, which set an entirely new idea of ​​what the content of education and the educational outcome should be. Textbooks and requirements to educational programs and curricula are being changed. The view on the criteria of teacher’s professionalism, purposes and methods of his work is being revised. Changes relate to the content and evaluating methods of education performance. Now the performance is measured using complex set of indicators that describe interdisciplinary, and, what is more important, the student’s personal achievements. The humanistic principles of pedagogy are becoming the methodological basis for transformation in school. The individual and personal development of the student is the key focus in education. Therefore our pedagogical team today is aimed primarily at creating conditions for developing a personality being the subject of his life; capable of setting individual objectives, self-actualization, self-regulation, developing his creativity. School strategy is to organize educational support for every student, parent and teacher in the actualization of internal resources for individual and personal development. This could not be achieved by legitimate methods only. That is why the management culture in our school is built on partnership, trust and support. Today, coaching in our school is an interaction style between all the players of the learning process. If we talk about introducing coaching approach in education we could see a complete picture of the transformation and the role of everyone in achieving its goals.

Putting together the academic plan and development strategy for upcoming year is an important step for educational institution.

Every academic year begins with analysis of the actual situation in school, creating a vision of best results for the upcoming reporting period, identifying the optimal ways to achieve these goals, allocating responsibilities, etc. Conduct of the first teachers' council in coaching format using W. Disney technique allowed to implement five important projects in 2013-2014 academic year:

  • New system for assessing the quality of education.
  • All children are talents.
  • 50th Anniversary of the school.
  • Creative potential development. Teacher’s skills.
  • Informatization of the learning process.

Great work was done by the management team to meet every employee and have a conversation in the format of a long-term coaching. “Wheel of professional growth", "Wheel of self-improvement," "Wheel of pedagogical skills development", "Wheel of skills development of the teacher-coach" tools were used for the purpose of professional and personal development. This work gradually led to positive changes of learning environment:

  • raise of teachers’ self-esteem;
  • focus shift on solving pedagogical problems, rather than search for the causes of failure;
  • increase of motivation for creativity, scientific research;
  • increase of Initiative to meet current organizational objectives;
  • increase of responsibility in the strategic directions implementation for the school.

Using coaching approach in strategic planning allows every teacher to be involved in the processes of modernization in education, allocate responsibility for the implementation of projects throughout the year between teachers based on the capabilities of each, personal preferences, initiative and willingness to improve. Giving teachers the opportunity to choose and control over the decisions of pedagogical problems, specific projects, we were able to increase the effectiveness of the educational process as a whole.

It should be noted, that serious work have been done before teachers could break the usual boundaries, see new opportunities, open space for creative, collaborative performance. The teachers believe that the best way to progress in achieving planned results today is coaching session on request, where every teacher can be a coach for the other; or a team coaching for creative teams of teachers. Thus, for two and a half years in our school we managed to implement serious changes in our culture as following:

  • ability to listen;
  • respect for colleagues’ opinion;
  • ability to give feedback;
  • focus not on mistakes, but rather on the successful experiences;
  • willingness to support colleagues in solving important professional and personal objectives.

Miraculously coaching skills, mastered by teachers and systematically used by them in communicating with students and their parents, are becoming the new way of interaction at the levels of “student-student”, “student-parent”, “teacher-student”, “teacher-parent”. More often we can hear our student asking open-ended questions. Today students of grades 8-11 on their own initiative come to the teacher with the request for coaching session on different topics: preparing for state exams, professional self-improvement in particular subject area, issues of interpersonal relationships, progress in project activities. This involves teacher’s awareness of his new role in educational process. Instead of being knowledge interpreter knowledge and accuracy controller of assimilated material, teacher becomes a partner, trainer and coach accompanying student in his individual personal development.

In 2014 students, that have been solving communication issues with teachers in coaching format for two years, had graduated from school. Today these young people understand that coaching helps a person to develop own potential on a daily basis and he is the only one to take on responsibility for his development and success. These young people are able to positively look at the world, respect other people opinions, and trust each other. This new generation, will build new relationships, based on coaching principles outside the school.

This will allow us to realize that using coaching in all aspects of school life, every day we develop the abilities of every player of pedagogical process for self-development, self-improvement, demonstrating creative potential of human. That is the key for the flourishing of civilization.


In the period from 2011 to 2014 our school was a regional innovation platform for individual and personal development of teachers and students as a criterion of improving the quality of the educational process.

"Our new school" was also the municipal internship platform conducive of updating internal resources and supporting individual and personal development fot students and teachers. For three years the experienced teachers have been implementing the coaching approach in learning process and ran a number of activities for teachers of 37 schools in our region, as well as teachers from different cities of Rostov region:

  • methodological seminar "Implementation of competencies in educational activities. Coaching approach to mathematics lessons "- 70 participants;
  • professional day "Coaching - innovative technology for development of professional competence and effectiveness of learning process of the modern school" - 84 participants;
  • reporting the results of the Regional Innovation platform at the enlarged meeting of the "Impulse" club in Rostov-on-Don to the heads of regional educational institutions;
  • training for teachers in our region: "Modern lesson. Coaching position of the teacher" - 25 participants;
  • joint program of Rostov Institute for Advanced Studies and the team of school № 5 for teachers of our city and region on "Innovative technologies and pedagogical support of personal and individual development of students in the context of implementing the requirements of federal state educational standards" January 18 - 18 February 2014 (http://www.roipkpro.ru/news-ped/2228-11032014.html) - 25 participants.

Vera Georgievna Gulchevskaya, head the Department of Pedagogy in Rostov Institute of Advanced Studies identified the outline and the content of the program. It served the participants in understanding, both in theory and in practice, the psychological and pedagogical nature of such concepts as "educational support" and "pedagogical support"; their significance for individual and personal development for students and the appropriate technological equipment required for class work and extracurricular activities.

Viktoria Evtyuhova, the director of our school was one of the course’s trainers who developed psychological and pedagogical tools for renewing internal resources and supporting individual and personal development of students, using coaching approach. The participants were introduced to coaching techniques as the effective means for supporting and updating the internal potential of every student. Our school teachers, Olga Derevyanchenko, Elena E. Boklagova, Irina Paju, Marina Samarskaya, Irina Vitkina, Ksenia Pugol’ were acted as tutors and presented and summarized experiences of implementing coaching approach in educational process. “The lesson’s format with the focus on student” project has been presented as a part of the program. The mind maps of the lesson were developed using W.Disney technique. The teaсhers presented summaries as video materials demonstrating practical application of coaching approach in educational process.

To develop the innovation and supportive environment was designed for every participant at the end of the course: an electronic database "Dreams for help” with practical and theoretical materials motivating the teacher-coach, outlines of lessons and extra-curricular activities on the basis of the coaching approach, completed projects in coaching format. Positive feedback was provided by the participants. The pedagogical value of cooperation is in the interesting practical sessions for new teachers, who get familiar with coaching approach in education; participate in coaching sessions on teacher’s competence; observe extracts of the lessons based on the coaching approach and also get introduced to the experiences of teachers on the subject. Unique communication during the workshop allowed changing the view on the style of pedagogical interaction, new ways of designing lessons, realizing the importance of changing the teacher position in the educational process. Coaching approach enables the realization that modern competent teacher will be able to achieve new learning outcomes, bringing something new to the classroom and to extracurricular activities and accompanying students in creative projects. Participants demonstrated genuine interest in acquiring of new technology, the need for studying coaching in order to introduce it in the educational process.

By positioning coaching as the most effective method in terms of personality-oriented education, pedagogical staff presented practical experiences at the International open online conference "Coaching in Education" 25-28 November 2013, attended by 300 teachers from 6 countries. Speakers of the conference (school teachers) highlighted the following areas of effective coaching implementation in education:

  • individual and personal development in the modernization of teachers education;
  • innovative approaches to assessing the quality of education;
  • individual route of development. The support program for gifted children;
  • modeling contemporary lesson from coaching position;
  • coaching in working with younger students.

All materials are freely available on the website "Coaching in Education» http://coachingineducation.ru/conference/

The innovative experience on teaching school teams presented in the professional periodicals:

  • Publication of the innovative project and implementation results in "Regional School of Management» journal, № 1, January 2013;
  • Public reports on the school website (http://www.школа5сулин.рф/index.php/home-3/publichnyj-doklad).
  • Municipal book "Coaching - innovative technology pedagogical support for students in the modern school (the experience of school № 5), April 2014,
  • Publication of Olga Derevyanchenko "Forms of preparing students for interdisciplinary competition" in "Practical tips for teacher» journal, № 13, 2013,
  • Contributions to the textbook "Pedagogical support of individual and personal development of students", 2013

The International Coaching Week hold in Moscow on May 19, 2014 passed an idea of implementing coaching experience in educational process on the basis of school "Coaching: Creating the schools of the future. The Innovative technology in pedagogical support for individual teachers and students" personal development. On May 20, 2014 as a part of the International Coaching Week, Viktoria Evtyuhova, the head teacher ran the workshop for teachers from Moscow schools on implementing coaching system in educational process. "(http://www.icfrussia.ru/prazdnichnaya-programma-otkryitiya-mezhdunarodnoy-nedeli-kouching

It should be noted that professional community perceives the importance of new experiences with particular interest and understanding. Under the competitive conditions it is important to develop the professional skills of school teachers. In the regional internet contest of teacher’s professional skills in 2014 the innovative pedagogical model with coaching approach of individual and personal development of students was recognized and rewarded with diplomas of 1st and 2nd degrees. Our teachers I.Vitkina, I. Paju  and K. Pugol’ presented the outline of training sessions with coaching approach.

Coaching as pedagogical style of interaction is a progressive technology in long-term projects for school development:

  • coaching in working with parents;
  • coaching in the educational process;
  • coaching in project activities;
  • coaching in working with gifted children;
  • coaching in professional and personal employees development;
  • coaching in the development of a network of partner schools;
  • coaching in improving management culture.

Anatoly Witkowski highlighted the activities of our site, reflecting all major steps in testing and implementation coaching approach in education. (Russian newspaper “Septermber 1”) "Working with children is not one-way street - there is an interchange, the transition of activities. There is a lot depends on the quality of teacher’s resources. Everyone has certainly got them, but not everybody knows how to incorporate them into the stream. Today the schools are in the flux of innovations. This creates a special atmosphere of involvement in the processes of transformation not the teachers only, but also children, parents and teachers from other schools, representatives of the society...

Coaching for parents

To create the most favorable environment for development of child, it is very important that he is trained in accordance with humanistic paradigm not only in school, but also in family, where he grows up, with early age in the atmosphere of support and respect. And we are happy that more and more parents are becoming interested in coaching approach.

The book “Children are talents: easily and happily” by Natalia Suslova, published with assistance of Erickson University Coaching International becomes the first step for majority of parents. Starting with last year we launched new program “Coaching for parents”, focused on learning main principles of coaching and using coaching techniques in bringing up children. The program has already taken place in different cities of Russia and Kazakhstan and has found positive feedback from those who sees their children as successful, independent personalities and wants to promote their development.

Development prospects

We are taking our first steps in implementing coaching in education; we are experimenting; developing our own, unique experience. We could already see the positive results of our work – both, in the success of the children and also in enhancing job satisfaction among teachers. There are still a lot of discoveries ahead of us and we would be happy to have productive dialog and cooperation with representatives of education institutions, parents and practitioners, for whom it’s important to contribute to the future of our children.

We invite all schools of coaching that are the members of ICF to join the World Game by providing favorable places for teachers’ training. We are ready to widely share our experiences, methodology and results of the Contest. And we will be glad if coaches who already work with schools also share their successful experiences creating the space for ideas and practice exchange in applying coaching to education system.



  1. Christiansen J.G. Coaching approach helped the school that was at the edge of closing to find resources to become the best school in Norway // September 1- 2013, - № 12 Internet resource: http://ps.1september.ru/view_article.php?ID=201301812
  2. Gulchevskaya V.G. Coaching – effective technology for pedagogical support and support of individual and personal development of students. // All-Russian Scientific and Methodical Conference «Pedagogical Technology and Mastering Teacher’s skills. Section «pedagogical technologies as the basis for improving the effectiveness of education and parenting. January 30, 2014. – Electronic periodical “Science City”.EL № FC 77 – 51204 ISSN 2307 – 0781 /Internet resource 
  3. Materials of the First International Open Online Conference “Coachng in education”, November 25-28, 2013 http://coachingineducation.ru/conference/
  4. Materials of the Second International Open Online Conference “Coaching in education”, November 25-27, 2014 http://coachingineducation.ru/conference2014/
  5. Regional School of Management. Scientific and Methodical Journal.- Rostov-on-Don -2013,- №1 http://coachingineducation.ru/stati-o-kouchinge-v-shkole-krasnyj-sulin/ 
  6. The Federal state education standard of general education. Approved by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation in December 17, 2010 г. №1897. Internet resource: http://www.garant.ru/hotlaw/fedral/307363/




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