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Cognitive CoachingSM

Art Costa & Robert Garmston


The mission of Cognitive Coaching is to produce self-directed persons with the cognitive capacity for excellence both independently and as members of a community. 

Research indicates that teaching is a complex intellectual activity and that teachers who think at higher levels produce students who are higher achieving, more cooperative, and better problem solvers. It is the invisible skills of teaching, the thinking processes that underlie instructional decisions, which produce superior instruction. Cognitive Coaching is a research-based model that capitalizes upon and enhances teachers’ cognitive processes.

Cognitive Coaching Seminars® are an eight-day training generally conducted over an 18–24 month period of time. It can be delivered in flexible formats depending on the needs of the agency. Agendas for Days 1–4 include the Planning Conversation Map and the Reflecting Conversation Map as well as the tools of Cognitive CoachingSM. Days 5–8 provide for skill refinement and understanding of the Problem-Resolving Map.

In the eight-day Seminars, participants learn how to:

  • develop trust and rapport

  • develop an identity as a mediator of thinking

  • utilize conversation structures for planning, reflecting and problem resolving

  • develop teachers’ autonomy and sense of community

  • develop higher levels of efficacy, consciousness, craftsmanship, flexibility and interdependence

  • apply four support functions: coaching, evaluating, consulting, collaborating

  • utilize the coaching tools of pausing, paraphrasing, and posing questions

  • distinguish among the five forms of feedback

  • use data to mediate thinking

Some configurations for scheduling include but are not limited to the following:

foundation seminar


Configuration 1

  • Days 1 and 2 consecutively, Days 3 and 4 consecutively spaced over one school year

  • Days 5 and 6 consecutively, Days 7 and 8 consecutively spaced over a second school year

Configuration 2

  • Days 1 through 8 presented consecutively in two-day blocks in one school year.

Configuration 3

  • Days 1–3 (sometimes offered as a summer institute)

  • Days 4 and 5

  • Days 6–8

A Leadership Institute for Deepening and Extending Your Identity as a Mediator

This seminar will immerse you in deeper learning about the principles and practices of Cognitive CoachingSM and prepare those wishing to become trainers for the next steps of their development. You will master concepts and skills from the Foundation Seminar® at a higher level of understanding and skill through rich practice and feedback experiences. You will learn a new map, the Calibrating Conversation for use with a set of standards for performance. Knowledge of the States of Mind and how to mediate for them will be emphasized. Your capacity to coach for cognitive shift will be enhanced.

The experiences of this week will support any school leader in the coaching and supervision of teachers as well as developing skills which are applicable in the classroom and in one’s personal life.

Prerequisite: Completion of Cognitive Coaching Foundation Seminar®

In this six day seminar participants will develop: 

  • Deeper understanding of the missions of Cognitive CoachingSM and the goal of the Foundation Seminar®

  • Efficacy and Craftsmanship with the maps and tools of Cognitive CoachingSM

  • Understanding of coaching for deep structure

  • Understanding of how Cognitive CoachingSM aligns with brain research

  • Deeper understanding of Support Functions and States of Mind

  • Expanded possibilities of and applications for our identities as mediators

  • Personal coaching mastery framed as a journey, not a destination

advanced seminar

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