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Learning Philosophy

Academic Life Coaching™ and Coach Training EDU™’s learning philosophy includes a composite of positive psychology concepts aimed at allowing students to make continuous progress and meet predetermined standards. Assessment is viewed as feedback for improvement rather than a judgment of suitability or talent. Student-centered and integrative learning form the core of CTEDU’s curriculum design. The foundation of our learning philosophy includes four key factors and six positive psychology concepts. 

Four Key Factors:

  1. Quality education provided by certified trainers.Each trainer completed a rigorous coach training education, including 1.0 and  2.0 coursework, group mentor coaching, and a train-the-trainer program. 
  2. Clear instruction and expectations.Students will receive a customized coaching guide written by CTEDU trainers to help them study and utilize core concepts introduced throughout a 24-week curriculum. 
  3. Actionable and usable feedback.Assessment opportunities offer insight and provide clarity. Trainers offer beneficial tools, including specific steps to take and skills to develop to become an effective coach. The assessments are scheduled at pivotal points throughout the course to celebrate progress and identify standards that need to be met. 
  4. Proactive learning. Students are encouraged to lean into the coursework by applying the knowledge and developing essential skills for life coaches. The courses are hands-on, interactive discussion about the material is encouraged, and students are given plenty of opportunities to communicate with peers and trainers. All feedback is intentional and constructive so that students graduate with all the necessary tools to flourish. 

Based in Positive Psychology

Spaced Model. Research has overwhelmingly shown that spaced-out learning models lead to better memory retention and recall. And these findings have been consistent for more than eighty years. CTEDU’s program breaks coaching modalities into bite-sized pieces, encouraging participants to work with new coaching tools and concepts one at a time. This allows coaches to learn and practice a tool before building on their learning with a new tool. By spacing the material, new coaches are more likely to retain and recall coaching tools and concepts in a coaching setting. 

Growth Mindset. According to Stanford University psychologist, Carol Dweck, a growth mindset means that a person believes that their capabilities can always be improved. People with a growth mindset naturally assume that their natural talents are fluid and that developing new skills or abilities is possible at any time. In this excerpt from our 1.0 Coach Training Guide, we dive deeper into the intricacies of growth mindset: 

“Individuals with a growth mindset are more likely than those with a fixed mindset to continue working and putting in effort, even in the face of challenges and setbacks. From the perspective of a growth mindset, talent is simply the starting point, and failure and success are feedback for continual improvement… The effectiveness of coaching relies on a coach’s ability to help clients shift toward a growth mindset as they take on increasingly challenging goals.”

CTEDU’s program teaches the history of the growth mindset and actively encourages new coaches to adopt this mindset as they complete their coach training program. 

Hope Theory. Hope Theory was originally coined by Dr. Charles Snyder, who proposed Hope Theory as a cognitive process by which we choose and accomplish our goals. The following excerpt from our 1.0 Coach Training Guide provides a bit more context for Hope Theory in Coaching: 

“C.R. Snyder offers the following definition of Hope Theory: ‘Hope is a positive motivational state that is based on an interactively derived sense of successful (a) agency (goal-directed energy), and (b) pathways (planning to meet goals).’ Agency is defined as one’s belief in their ability to learn the required knowledge and use or gain the required skills to achieve a goal… Pathways are routes you map to reach your goals, and they go one step further than traditional action plans. With pathways, it’s important to think about the effort you want to put into achieving the goal and develop pathways that are worth your time and energy… Goal-oriented thinking includes three different stages: Preliminary decision-making, action step analysis, and reflection and learning.”

Every CTEDU course utilizes Hope Theory to help coaches and their clients develop the tools and skills they need to achieve their desired goals. 

Learn Be Do. This model has been adopted as a way to categorize questions into an organized framework that allows coaches to identify the most impactful questions. It consists of three distinct parts, Learning, Being, and Doing, as outlined in the excerpt from our 1.0 Coach Training Guide below; 

“Over the past decade, Coach Training EDU has adopted a Learn-Be-Do model of categorizing questions. Learning points primarily to the insights clients have about who they are and what they are capable of achieving… Being refers to the characteristics your client already has or wants to develop. Being also includes the energy a client brings to a project, assumptions about their abilities, and assumptions about what new achievements might mean for their identity… Doing refers to action steps taken toward the goal, and the systems a client puts in place to work toward that goal.” 

A strong coaching session has a blend of all three questions, with more emphasis placed on the learning and being questions. 

Learning to Mastery. Coach Training EDU believes that learning is based on performance, not how long someone spends trying to learn. With a Learning to Mastery ( model, CTEDU is able to help coaches focus on repeated practice that implements continuous assessment and feedback. Because feedback is an opportunity for growth and further skill development, coaches are safe in their ability to continue their practice and work toward mastery. 

Structured Improvisation. Improvisation has two primary rules: Accept what is offered and add value. These two rules are also essential in coaching, where coaches do not know what might happen but must demonstrate flexibility in their ability to accept what their client offers. By trusting yourself and the client, you’re more likely to lean into your training and offer more value to your client. 

Meaningful Learning

CTEDU relies on the three basic aspects of meaningful learning to ensure the success of our coach graduates. These aspects are based on Ken Robinson’s definition of creativity, which combines idea novelty with connection to what already exists: 

  1. Concept. Learning is first initiated when a new coach becomes aware of some form of information, such as an idea or an emotion, that they want to know more about. In this case, it might be coaching in general or a particular coaching concept. 
  2. Context. From this awareness, the concept is then placed into a larger context. In life coaching, this context is a person’s life. A question you might ask yourself at this stage is, “How does coaching/this coaching concept have an impact on my life?” or “What will learning this concept do for my coaching journey?”
  3. Importance. Once you’re aware of the concept and have identified that concept’s place in your life, the next step is to assess the meaning and importance of the concept. Throughout the program, your trainers will encourage you to dig deep into your learning and growth to help you further solidify the impact the program has on your coaching skills. 

These three aspects help keep you in a learning zone, where the emphasis is on identifying what’s unknown to us and then developing pathways to obtain that knowledge. CTEDU’s programs are low-risk, exploratory places for new coaches to play with novel concepts and ideas in a safe and supportive environment. CTEDU trainers are highly skilled and provide ongoing feedback that encourages reflection and practice. Mistakes are welcomed and embraced as a function of the learning and development process. 


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