In recent years, instructional coaching has emerged as an important policy lever for districts to improve instructional practice. Yet, there is little conceptual agreement in educational research on the role of instructional coaches in the current policy environment. This article attempts to address this gap in the literature by synthesizing existing policy research on instructional coaching and providing a conceptual framework for understanding the multiple roles of instructional coaches. I begin with a discussion of the policy roots of instructional coaching in U.S. contexts before turning to key themes in the current policy literature on instructional coaching. I find that coaches play at least three important roles in education policy implementation: a cognitive role, an organizational role, and a reform role. I discuss these three themes before concluding with a discussion of some of the gaps in the literature and directions for future research.

Included in

Education Commons