Thursday May 02, 2024

Celebrating 40 Years of Cognitive Coaching: Arthur Costa and Robert Garmston

-Art and Bob have worked together for over 40 years at California State University at Sacramento. Cognitive Coaching was born through this relationship. ‘We have these things in common, let's talk further.’

-A coach is used in many different ways, typically in an athletic realm. There is a distinction between these types of coaches and cognitive coaches. A coach is a person who, alongside the person being coached, helps mediate between the person and the experience. The coach helps the coachee pay close attention to the actual experience and all of its dimensions including their own thinking processes, as well as results. The coach is like a median on a highway.  The coaches’ intention is to support self-directed continuing learning for individuals. The coach intervenes in the thinking process of the educator. 

-Teachers have a map in their mind of where they are and where they are going. They have a plan of action and want some outcomes and have a vision of their kids in their head. A coach tends to illuminate that and make it more explicit,  more refined and bring forth thought processes that the teacher may not have thought about. This would happen before the teaching or after the teaching has happened. The coach could discuss with the teacher prior to teaching, after the lesson to reflect on the lesson and learn from it to carry forth their learning. It is a continuous growth cycle. The coach facilitates this cycle to plan and reflect to engage in ongoing learning. 

- Deeply buried in the teachers' experiences, knowledge and passions they have answers to their own questions. Teachers can find the answers within themselves. The goal is to build autonomy. Coaches do not need to supply answers. Eventually the goal is that the teacher takes over this reflection and they coach themselves in order to turn over the coaching to the educator. We don't want to build dependency and instead we want to build autonomy. Cognitive Coaching is a developmental process that keeps on going. We are building self efficacy to be self-sufficient with their own innovations, creativity, and generate new and exciting ideas. 

-States of Mind: Flexibility, Efficacy, Craftsmanship, Interdependence, and Consciousness. Coaches help others develop these capabilities. 

-Positive Presupposition is needed. People act the best way they can in the moment. Communication is a vehicle for important messages. We pay close attention to the total message of what we are receiving. We can detect exactly when someone has moved from distress to eustress or had an ‘ah-ha moment’. We have to live in a place of deep trust and rapport to do Cognitive Coaching well. 

-New technology and A.I., as well as great demand on diversity in schools, made it so they are re-examining where Cognitive Coaching fits. The role of the coach is being shifted by A.I. What does Cognitive Coaching look like for the 22nd century? They are under study on how to adjust to those changes while never losing the human capacity to relate to one another. 

-We are learning in Cognitive Coaching how to be true, deep listeners. We don’t interrupt, we do not agree or disagree. It is an expression of love and humanity. It is an expression of you are not alone as we move through this crazy world. We believe that Cognitive Coaching goes well beyond the schools or the coaching setting. It helps to create a more loving environment and a better humanity. We dedicate ourselves to that goal as it is what the world needs now. 

-They have a new book coming out this year. It hones in on key principles and values of Cognitive Coaching and how they apply in different settings: business, health sciences, clergy, and other differing fields. 

-We need to make an effort to maintain our best intentions and best services. 

-Advice to a coach - The transformation when you learn Cognitive Coaching is like a new illumination and a real mind shifter. You give up old ways and adopt new and more powerful ways. It builds strengths, fortitude, and commitment. It is a gradual transformation and builds a new coherence in your life.   It gives you a new outlook. It is a transformation of your thinking. 

-Have patience with one’s self, patience with how it takes time to learn some of these skills, and patience in finding collaboration in the journey. There is something about learning in a group, in which the group is learning to help each individual, and simultaneously each individual is learning to help the group. Each profits from each other’s thinking. The interchange is so important. 

-Coaching is a service leadership type of role. We believe if the other person comes first, the learner. Then we all learn as a result of that process.

-The Thinking Collaborative is an organization mechanism in which people are trained to coach, learn aspects of coaching relationships, seek support, and spread this work.

Connect with Art and Bob-


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