Watson Chronicle


Education Updates and Features

Coaching Research by Carol McNulty, LeAnne Smith Published

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Carol McNulty and LeAnne Smith recently conducted a qualitative study to assess teacher candidate perceptions of the influence of solution-focused brief coaching (SFBC). Ten WCE students, including Education Learning Community freshmen and teacher interns, participated in the study. Results were published in the International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education in July.

McNulty is Interim Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Faculty Affairs at UNCW and an associate professor in WCE’s Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy and Special Education. Smith is an academic advisor in WCE’s Office of Student Advising and Integrated Leadership, and a WCE doctoral student.

A story about the coaching study that appeared in the September issue of The Voyager, the newsletter of WCE’s SAIL Office, is included below.

Coaching Corner – Celebrating a New Publication!

This summer, LeAnne Smith and Dr. Carol McNulty published an article entitled "Experiencing the future: preservice teacher perceptions of the solution-focused brief coaching approach" in the International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in EducationThe article focuses on coaching endeavors that began in 2018 and are still utilized in Watson.  

As defined by the International Coaching Federation coaching is partnering with someone in “a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” Smith and Dr. McNulty employed Solution-Focused Brief Coaching to support students at the beginning and end of the program. They had conversations with Education Learning Community freshman and teacher interns. Students identified and described their preferred futures. Through the coaching process, they answered a series of questions to identify strengths, resources, and a detailed context of future success. 

Students credited the conversations not only as a catalyst for meeting their goals, but also a process that helped them realize their own abilities and resources.  The belief in their ability to succeed increased and they found the solution-focused approach to be a refreshing paradigm change. Often, we problem-solve from what we need to improve, and this approach envisions what students want and leverages their strengths to get there.  

Watson students interested in coaching should reach out to LeAnne Smith at smithlw@uncw.edu

Read the full article here: Experiencing the future: preservice teacher perceptions of the solution-focused brief coaching approach.