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What is lesson study?Iterative cyclical process by a group of teachers who:1. identify a learning challenge2. collaboratively plan a ‘research lesson’3. teach research lesson (one teacher)4. observe with focus on case students5. collaboratively evaluate6. re-teach improved lesson (Trad. LS cycle)
Traditional LS: Dudley’s advice1. Analyse data and identify focus2. Identify your ‘lesson study’ group3. Connect with, and draw on, what is already known aboutyour focus before you start work4. Identify 3 case pupils (or multiples of 3)5. Jointly plan a ‘research lesson’ based on needs of case pupils6. Teach and jointly observe the ‘research lesson’7. Interview the case pupils8. Hold a post lesson discussion9. Find ways of helping others to learn from your lesson study
Other models: variation• http://www.lessonresearch.net/briefguide.pdf• Lewis (2002) recommends 4 stages:1. focus2. plan3. teach and observe4. reflect and re-teach/plan next steps.
Characteristics of lesson study• ‘kenkyu jugyou’ (lesson study)• classroom-based, collaborative, research orientationto professional learning and practice development• focus on gradual building of ‘teaching’ (Stigler andHiebert 1999);• slow burn approach to development• recursive and reflexive (Dudley, 2011)• used extensively in Japan, increasingly in US• UK since 2008 (Dudley, 2008)
ReferencesDudley, P. (2008) Improving practice and progression through Lesson Study.London: DCSF.Dudley, P. (2011) Lesson Study: a handbook. Available:http://lessonstudy.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Lesson_Study_Handbook_-_011011-1.pdfLewis, C. (2002) Lesson Study: A Handbook of Teacher Led Instructional Change.Philadelphia: Research for Better Schools. (brief guide athttp://www.lessonresearch.net/briefguide.pdf)Stigler, J., and Hiebert, J., (1999) The teaching gap: Best Ideas from the World’sTeachers for Improving Education in the Classroom. New York: The Free Press.
Part 2Research on lesson study?What, how, where, with what outcomes?
Research into lesson study• Professional Development (200 +)• ITE (55)• Higher education (14)• North America, Japan, China, Indonesia, Sweden• 4 studies in the UK: none in HE
Extensive review of 200 papersFour principal benefits:1. Greater teacher collaboration2. Sharper focus among teachers on students’ learningand greater awareness3. Development of teacher knowledge, practice andprofessionalism4. Improved quality of classroom teaching and pupillearning outcomes.
teacher collaboration• willingness to participate in focused and in-depth discussionsabout T & L (Rock and Wilson 2005; Dudley 2013)• sharing know-how and resources (Lewis, Perry and Hurd 2009;Pang 2006; Sibbald 2009)• multiple perspectives on making sense of successful pupillearning and supporting the development of strategies topromote this (Sibbald 2009)• joint decision making and heightened sense of jointresponsibility for T & L as key pre-condition for cultivation ofprofessional learning communities (Andrew 2011; Lawrenceand Chong 2010; West-Olatunji, Behar-Horenstein, Rant andCohen-Phillips 2008)
sharper focus on student learning• greater awareness about students and their needs(Andrew 2011; Lee 2008; Pang 2006; Pang and Ling2012; Perry and Lewis 2009; Rock and Wilson 2005;Ylonen and Norwich 2012)• more attentive to pupils’ prior knowledge (Dotger2011)• more analytical in making connections between a setof learning objectives and what pupils already know(Holmqvist 2011; Lawrence and Chong 2010; Yuk2011).• ‘unmasking hidden characteristics of pupils’ (Dudley2013)
teacher knowledge, practice, and professionalism• ‘reflective immediacy’ (Shulman 2003, cited inFernandez 2005: 283)• richly contextualised and concrete reference pointsfor experimentation and refinement of practice(Fernandez 2005; Lewis et al. 2009)• joint development of improved approaches (Dudley2013)• inquiry stance and reflection about practice(Andrew 2011; Fernandez 2005; Ricks 2011)
teacher knowledge• improvements in teachers’ subject content knowledge(Fernandez 2005, Lewis 2009)• knowledge about pupils (Fernandez 2005; Lee 2008;Lewis 2009)• knowledge about technology for teaching (Meng andSam 2011)• pedagogic content knowledge (from Shulman 1986)reported by Fernandez 2005; Lawrence and Chong2010; Lewis 2009; Lewis et al. 2009; Sibbald 2009).
practice and professionalism• collegial support• improvements in teachers’ confidence to work withnew ideas (Meng and Sam 2011; Rock and Wilson2005; Sibbald 2009)• self-efficacy in making a positive impact on pupillearning (Puchner and Taylor 2006; Lawrence andChong 2010; Sibbald 2009)• professional self-concept as teachers whose work issignificant and meaningful (Sibbald 2009).
improvements in teaching and learning• developing teachers’ professional knowledge and beliefsleads to effective pupil learning (Fernandez 2005; Lewis 2009;Ylonen and Norwich 2012)• developing teachers’ personal characteristics and dispositions(self-efficacy and professional identity) motivates moreresponsibility for pupil learning (Lewis et al. 2009; Sibbald2009)• lesson study changes dynamics of teachers’ communities ofpractice as safe, trustworthy yet challenging environments inwhich to share knowledge and resources but also experimentwith new ideas (Lewis et al. 2009; Lieberman 2009).
Location of research• lesson study research conducted in the Far East orNorth America• primary schools• few studies in other contexts• hardly any in England (Dudley 2012a, 2012b; 2013;Ylonen and Norwich 2012; Davies & Dunnall 2008)• promotion of lesson study in a small number ofpublications (Tall 2008; Galanouli 2010; Dudley2011).
Challenges for research• Under-theorisation of learning: learning not defined• Conceptual frailty: reliance on Communities ofPractice/social situated models of learning or modelsof continuing teacher development• Modes of observation not clear• Units of analysis: teacher? LS group? Lesson e.g.Robinson and Leikin (2012) (PTO)• Lot of case studies; study of perceptions• Act of faith? (limited empirical base)
Cases and units of analysis often unclear• collective learning and practice development ofparticular groups of teachers working to develop anaspect of teaching? - the unit of analysis is the LSgroup.• learning and practice development of individualteachers working in LS contexts? - the unit ofanalysis is individual teacher.• if both these are of primary interest (i.e. a focus onthe person/persons), both units of analysis can befocus of aspects of data analysis.
Seven pathways of improvement (Lewis 2004: 19)Teachers in Japan have identified seven pathways ofimprovement resulting from lesson study:1. ‘increased knowledge of subject matter,2. increased knowledge of instruction,3. increased ability to observe students,4. stronger collegial networks,5. stronger connection of daily practice to long-term goals,6. stronger motivation and sense of efficacy,7. and improved quality of available lesson plans.’
Summary• Emerging and growing field: ‘this growing literatureremains immature’ (Dudley 2013: 107)• Methodological challenges• Conceptual challenges• Positive responses result from engagement• Time: the key constraint• Contextual quick-fix demands vs investment
References• Numerous papers• References for this presentation here• Fuller list can be provided on request
Part 3Our interestsUniversity of Leicester Lesson Study Research Group
University of LeicesterLesson Study Research Group2011-12• Case study (CPD) in one secondary school (£1000):paper on perspectives• Two pilot studies in teaching placements (ITE): paper2012-13• Society of Educational Studies: 14 secondary schoolITE cases exploring lesson study in school placements(completion Sept 2013)• HEA project: teaching and learning in a Mastersmodule (completion July 2013)
Lesson Study Research Group Projects• All levels• Primary (phonics) in Year 3• Secondary (maths and modern languages)• Sixth form (design-based research and LS on criticalthinking)• HE: teaching international students (Masters)• Study skills for HE
Emerging themes in our projects• Impacts on beliefs and pedagogy• Stronger focus on students’ learning (eye-openingobservations)• Less teacher-centred approaches• Boosts to morale and confidence• Students’ perspectives enriches teacher learning• Teacher collaboration heightened and valued• Importance of mentor participation in ITE
Emerging challenges• Slow burn vs quick-fix thinking• Cultural transfer (Puchner and Taylor 2006)• Time• Challenge of observation• Level of criticality (can be shallow)• Context-related variation (no projects the same)• What is learning and how we ‘observe’ it• Data capture and analysis
Ways forward• discourse analysis• interaction level discourse analysis (Dudley, 2013drawing on Mercer, 1995)• analysis of students’ responses• definition of learning• use of lesson study in HE to explore what is thescholarship of teaching and learning in HE
Conclusion• Lesson study gives us a key to opening up teachingand learning for greater understanding• Building on initial experience of LS in ITE and in alocal school• HEA project to explore our teaching, our learningand the learning of our students• Over to Phil