MathEd Studies Teacher Learning Lesson Study Research and Practice

Lesson Study Research and Practice

Lesson Study originated in Japan 140 years ago. It is the main professional development activity of their teachers. Since the release of J.W. Stigler’s The Teaching Gap which compares math teaching practices in Japan and Germany with those in the United States, many countries have adapted this educational activity for their teachers. The book  Lesson Study Research and Practice in Mathematics Education: Learning Together presents the first collection of research studies from various countries which adapted this professional learning activity.

The following excerpt from the book describes the key characteristics of lesson study.

Characteristics of Lesson Study

  1. Lesson Study is centred around teachers’ interests: Teachers’ interests are central to their professional development. Lesson study goals should be something teachers feel is important to investigate and relevant to their own classroom practice.
  2. Lesson study is student focussed: Lesson study is about student learning. At any part of the lesson study cycle (see Figure below), the activities should focus teachers’ attention to student learning and its connection to lessons/teaching.
  3. Lesson study has a research lesson: Teachers have shared physical observation experiences (in some special cases, video may be used in place of the live lessons, but this is not recommended), that provide opportunities for teachers to be researchers.
  4. Lesson study is a reflective process: Lesson study provides plenty of time and opportunities for teachers to reflect on their teaching practice and student learning, and the knowledge gained from and for the reflective practice should be shared in some format with larger teaching and educational communities.
  5. Lesson study is collaborative: Teachers work interdependently and collaboratively in lesson study.
The Lesson Study Process

The stages in lesson study is iterative as shown in the figure below:

The Lesson Study Process
The Lesson Study Process

Author: erlines