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Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care

Using Torsh TALENT to explore a peer based coaching model in Pre-K and Early Childhood Education

The Peer Assistance and Coaching (PAC) model was created by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care after winning a Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant. The goal of the PAC program is to develop high-quality early education and out-of-school time programs that meet early learning standards for language, literacy skills, social-emotional competencies and understanding of math concepts.

The PAC program pairs early education providers (mentees) with more experienced peer coaches who serve as consultant teachers (CTs). Research shows that peer coaching can provide meaningful improvements in teacher practice and content knowledge, as well as an avenue for professional growth for more experienced teachers. A pilot is underway to determine the most efficient means to deliver effective peer based mentoring and coaching.

 

What They Needed:

    • A robust platform that enabled the MA EEC to provide consistent and ongoing coaching and mentoring to early education providers who are geographically dispersed and operate in a wide range of childcare and out of school time environments.
    • A digital tool that facilitated the easy collection of data to help inform the evaluation of their peer coaching model.

 

How They Use TORSH Talent:

    • Mentees and CTs set mutual goals for improvement based on CLASS scores, QR plans and video captured and uploaded by mentees, which are reviewed by CTs remotely.
    • They generate data by using TORSH Talent’s structured feedback module and a variety of rubrics and frameworks to determine areas of strength and weakness in order to deliver differentiated coaching and mentoring.
    • TORSH Talent is provided to more than 200 CT-mentee pairs, admins, and instructional leaders throughout the state of Massachusetts.

 

In Their Own Words: 

TORSH Talent’s video-based observation and feedback platform was selected by the PAC program through a competitive bid process as a means of enabling the state of MA to quickly and efficiently scale its peer coaching model across the state at a reasonable cost. We have been incredibly pleased with our relationship with the TORSH Talent team and we fully expect that they will continue to meet and exceed our expectations as we deploy their platform.

– Judy Battista, M. Ed., Early Education & Care Specialist, IEPD, PAC Project Manager

 

TALENT is a great platform for engaging teachers in reflective practice.  TORSH Talent can be used either asynchronously or synchronously and it enhances professional development when it is paired with face to face training. I think that it should be a part of any teacher preparation program, or ongoing coaching project in which practitioners reflect on theory to practice.  As part of the PAC pilot, it is an excellent supporting tool in improving the quality of Massachusetts’s early childhood programs.

– Lisa Van Thiel, Senior Early Childhood Specialist, Institute for Community Inclusion, Adjunct CEHD faculty University of Massachusetts – Boston, PAC Evaluator