Educational Coaching Network

Educational Coaching Network

The Educational Coaching Network (ECN) connects educators who want to learn, collaborate, and problem solve in  areas related to Instructional Coaching. Northwestern's ECN offers various intensive and one-day training from internationally known experts and local leaders to build skills, extend learning and develop expertise. School coaches and coaching leaders also will have opportunities to learn from one another. The Educational Coaching Network's commitment to Instructional Coaching reflects the knowledge that student achievement can be positively impacted when effective coaching programs and practices are implemented. ECN is privileged to support this success!

Note: All events for 2020-21 will be held remotely.

Current Network Offerings



Learning From the Past; Looking to the Future
May 4, 2021

Over the past year, we’ve been through quite a bit: A pandemic that has exposed social inequities, a reckoning that focused the nation on racial inequality and injustice, and an insurrection that threatened the possibility of democracy. Thus, as we reopen our schools in the fall, the need to approach educational equity the right way is more important than ever. To that end, this workshop will support you. Dr. Floyd Cobb and John Krownapple will help participants use an approach that centers belonging and dignity to prepare for starting next school year in a manner that lays the foundation for equity and inclusion.

Learn more about Learning From the Past; Looking to the Future

How to Get Equity Implementation Right This Time
October 22, 2020

During the summer of 2020, racial inequality and injustice have captured the world’s attention, however most schools and districts seeking to “do something” are poised to fail (again) with equity implementation. Big time. Why? Because there exists a predictable cycle of failure, which includes experiencing a catalyst, committing to equity, fumbling around with implementation, and upholding the inequitable status quo until the next catalyst occurs. In this one-day workshop with Dr. Floyd Cobb and John Krownapple, participants will learn about this dysfunctional cycle and what they can do to disrupt it through successful equity implementation.

Learn more about How to Get Equity Implementation Right This Time

Belonging and Dignity: The Keys to Educational Equity
(postponed to 2021-22)

This institute with Dr. Floyd Cobb and John Krownapple includes six sessions, January through April. Through a transformative journey that moves from awareness to action, educators learn to co-create healthy cultures that honor dignity and nurture belonging on all levels: intrapersonal, interpersonal, institutional, and structural. Participants will walk away knowing exactly what it takes to champion equity by coaching, teaching, leading, and generally interacting with and for dignity. Participants must commit to all six days.

Jim Knight

Jim Knight Basic-Intermediate Coaching Institute 2020-21
Oct. 14, 2020 - March 3, 2021

This institute includes six full-day sessions, October through March. Jim Knight, Senior Partner of ICG, is a research associate at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. He has spent more than a decade studying instructional coaching, writing several books on the topic. His latest is The Impact Cycle. Jim’s articles on instructional coaching have been included in publications such as The Journal of Staff Development, Principal Leadership, The School Administrator, and Teachers Teaching Teachers. Jim directs several research projects, including Pathways to Success, a comprehensive, district-wide school reform project in the Topeka, Kansas, School District. Jim also leads the coaching institutes and the Teaching, Learning, Coaching annual conference. Jim has presented and consulted in more than 40 states, most Canadian provinces, and around the world. He has also won several university teaching, innovation, and service awards.

Learn more about Jim Knight Instructional Basic-Intermediate Coaching Institute

Advanced Coaching and Leadership Practices
with Jim Knight
(postponed to 2021-22)

This advanced workshop includes four full-day sessions, February through May. It targets those who have already worked with Jim, either through a previous ECN Instructional Coaching Institute at Northwestern or through a five-day training program at the University of Kansas.

Administrators Academy

The Administrator's Academy: Understanding and Supporting Instructional Coaching: A Toolkit for Administrators
(Summer 2021)

The Administrator's Academy is co-hosted with the Illinois Principals Association (IPA). School leaders will identify and analyze the multiple roles an instructional coach can play within an instructional framework; evaluate the need and impact of an instructional coaching program; analyze and evaluate the district’s instructional needs for integration and supportive planning for instructional coaching; and assess and analyze the style of leadership in a school where coaching is part of the culture.


“Participating in the Coaching Institutes with Jim Knight reshaped our district's approach and beliefs about collaboration, reflection, and continuous learning. Having both instructional coaches and district leaders attend grounded our district in coaching as the model of how we partner in our district."

– Emily McFadden, Instructional Support Coordinator, Palatine Community Consolidated School District 15

“Prior to the training, our network had instructional coaches, but the nature of the role was not yet well-defined. After a year of learning with Jim Knight, we now understand what instructional coaching is, what it is not, and the structures that need to be in place to ensure that coaches and teachers can engage in meaningful partnerships.

The Jim Knight training should be required for any organization! While the primary audience is instructional coaches, this is really about how adults learn, what they need to feel respected and valued, and the foundational role that conversation and communication play in building a relationship. You will end the year with a new perspective and feel inspired to improve not just others, but yourself, as well!"

– Jane Szot, Distinctive Schools Network

"The information and experiences Jim shared during our sessions motivated our district to build a solid foundation for an amazing coaching program. The knowledge gained has transformed coaching in our district – taking a surface level program and creating a focus for greater impact.  Jim’s highly relational style and in-depth knowledge makes learning a pleasure.  We left every session energized and encouraged!"

– Denise M. Flavin, Curriculum Director, Burbank School District 111

"Participating in Jim Knight's Instructional Coaching Intensive has made a profound and positive impact on our instructional coaching program.  Being able to learn from one of education's leaders in the area of coaching alongside colleagues who share similar experiences provided great ideas and action items to bring back to my district.  Jim's approach of sharing content in engaging ways while building in ample opportunities to talk with other participants helped bring his concepts and methods to life.  The on-going, year-long institute reflects what we know results in more meaningful learning than one-time workshops.

As a member of the Coaching Champions group, I was afforded the unique opportunity to network with other instructional coaching program leaders.  We were able to share tips and approaches from everything to hiring, communicating purpose, and program evaluation.  This all took place with Jim at the table, where he was also able to weigh in, ask provoking questions, and provide positive affirmation and encouragement.  The one-on-one videochat conversations with Jim allowed me to go even deeper with my own learning and seek customized feedback regarding my practice as a leader."

 Becky (Fischer) Mathison, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Skokie School District 73½

"The training with Jim Knight through Northwestern's Educational Coaching Network was some of the best professional development I have ever attended. Jim understands the realities of the classroom and his main focus is to allow coaches and teachers to improve their craft. He breaks down educational research into real and tangible strategies that you can utilize with students right away. Above all, I found the training to be a positive and true collaboration of professional educators."

– John McGinnis, IB Diploma Programme Coordinator & Teacher, The Ogden International School of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools

Contact Us

Master of Science in Education School of Education & Social Policy

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Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Phone: 847/467-1458