Kansas Coaching Project (KCP)

Part of KUCRL since 2008


Jim Knight


Every student receives excellent instruction every day in every class

The Kansas Coaching Project (KCP) has focused on developing and validating best practices for instructional coaching, and thus on providing proven methods change leaders can use to translate research into practice. Through a variety of studies, employing naturalistic inquiry, random assignment, and design study, the KCP has been able to describe the characteristics of effective coaches, the theory behind instructional coaching, the best practices of instructional coaches, and the kind of supports that increase coaching effectiveness. 

Questions That Drive KCP's Work

The work of the Kansas Coaching Project attempts to answer three questions:

  • What are the high-leverage teaching practices that have the greatest impact on student achievement and well-being?
  • What should instructional coaches do to support implementation of those practices?
  • What should a system (school, district, or state) do to best support implementation of those practices? 

Notable Findings, Outcomes, and Accomplishments

  • The model for instructional coaching developed at the Kansas Coaching Project provides a simple and powerful method for coaches to assist teachers as teachers implement valid teaching practices. KCP Director Jim Knight’s book, Instructional Coaching: A Partnership Approach to Improving Instruction (2007), popularized the idea of instructional coaching.
  • The ideas developed at the Kansas Coaching Project have been adopted in 45 states, most Canadian provinces, and around the world. Jim Knight has been invited to present in Australia, the United Kingdom, Mexico, India, and Japan, and he has worked remotely with schools in Moscow, Russia; Johannesburg, South Africa; Amman, Jordan; and other sites globally.
  • The Kansas Coaching Project has established a large network through face-to-face and virtual forms of interaction. The Instructional Coaching Institutes have brought more than 4,000 people to Lawrence to learn about the research KCP is conducting. Additionally, the Annual Instructional Coaching Conference has brought more than 1,500 people to Lawrence to attend the conference and has solidified partnerships with such leaders in the field as Bob Marzano, Michael Fullan, and Joellen Killion. More than 4,000 people are members of the KCP’s various social networks, which have been visited from 110 countries.