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Advancing Equity with Coaching

Advancing Equity with Coaching

Woman and ARrow

For several years, DPI collaborated with Dr. Decoteau Irby and Dr. Emery Petchauer to engage instructional coaches from throughout Wisconsin in professional learning about using coaching as a tool to advance educational equity through high-quality instruction in literacy and mathematics. The webinar series included on this page is DPI's interpretation of DeRute's work.

The series (recorded in July 2020) - focused on understanding, identifying, and interrupting whiteness - asks participants to recognize that, through systemic racism, American schools and communities have been deliberately built to include and exclude groups. Recognizing and intentionally addressing whiteness can create schools and communities that are inclusive of all races and cultures, leading to improved learning for each of Wisconsin's students.

Connections to Other Equity Work

As stated in Coaching and Leadership for Equitable Outcomes, Wisconsin believes that coaching is a very viable way to advance educational equity. The webinar series provides professional learning for coaches to support this vision. In addition, the webinar series supports coaches in developing competencies identified on the Wisconsin Coaching Competency Practice Profile (CCPP) available at For example, the webinars support coaches in understanding systemic oppression and how it is interwoven and affects all pieces of a system (6a). 

Content of the Webinar Series

Part 1 of the series (webinars one through four) discuss white cultural practices and narrative features. These ideas are defined, examples are provided, and ideas for interruption are discussed. Part 1 concludes with a coaching conversation in which a situation is analyzed using white cultural practices and narrative features.

Part 2 of the series (webinars five through seven) discuss competing commitments, or deeply held beliefs that keep us from taking action, specifically action that can advance educational equity. Competing commitments and big assumptions are defined, and participants are guided through a process of identifying both in their own lives. Part 2 concludes with a coaching conversation in which a coach guides a client through identifying and planning to test a big assumption.

Role of White Affinity Groups

This series was recorded with the intention of it being used within white racial affinity groups. A white racial affinity group "provides time and space to work explicitly and intentionally on understanding white culture and white privilege and to increase one’s critical analysis around these concepts" (Racial Equity Tools). In a white racial affinity group, white people are responsible for doing their own learning about racial equity without placing the burden of educating white people on people of color. Learning in a racial affinity group better prepares white people to engage in deeper, empathetic learning in other spaces with people of color.

Ideas for Using the Webinars

While these webinars can be viewed independently, viewing with a colleague or group of colleagues allows for conversation and practice. The webinars make suggestions for applying the learning to one's practice. For each webinar, in addition to a recording, the slide deck and any supporting documents are provided.

In addition to the information below, the webinars are organized in a single playlist and view-only materials are available in a Google Folder.

Part 1. White Cultural Practices and Narrative Features

Webinar 1: Introduction

Webinar 2: Identifying White Cultural Practices and Narrative Features

Webinar 3: Interrupting White Cultural Practices and Narrative Features

Webinar 4: A Coaching Conversation

Part 2. Competing Commitments

Webinar 5: Competing Commitments

Webinar 6: Big Assumptions

Webinar 7: A Coaching Conversation

For questions about this information, contact Barbara Novak (608) 266-5181