Piloting Lesson Study

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Presentation given at 125th American Historical Association Annual Meeting, January 8, 2011 in Boston. This session describes the intersection between history content and pedagogy in a Teaching American History Project in Michigan. In this section Bonnie Garbrecht, the project director provides context and how the hierarchy was intentionally flattened to achieve success with K-12 teacher learning.

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Piloting Lesson Study

  1. 1. Piloting Lesson Study The Intersection Between History & Pedagogy in a TAH Project
  2. 2. Context for the Project <ul><li>1M$ grant from U.S. Dept. of Ed. – spread over 4 years (2007-2011) </li></ul><ul><li>2 cohorts of teachers representing schools from 14 different districts in SC MI </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers working in Professional Learning Groups by grade & content area </li></ul>
  3. 3. Context for the Project <ul><li>Yr-1 Teachers of American History at 5 th , 8 th , and high school levels working with content-specific MSU historians </li></ul><ul><li>Content focus : Turning Points in American Freedom through the Lens of Collective Biography </li></ul>
  4. 4. Context for the Project <ul><li>Yr-2 Same group of teachers now shifting focus to work on pedagogy </li></ul><ul><li>Working with MSU history/pedagogy experts </li></ul><ul><li>Designing content-specific mini-units that bring history to life for 5 th , 8 th , and high school classrooms </li></ul>
  5. 5. Goals for Mini-Units <ul><li>Focus on a Historical Turning Point </li></ul><ul><li>Include Associated Cast of Characters </li></ul><ul><li>Provide multiple/ divergent perspectives </li></ul><ul><li>Include primary source analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Include individual student work tasks reflecting formative and summative assessment that is evidence driven </li></ul>
  6. 6. Flattening the Hierarchy Project Director Technology Specialists Superintendents Building Principals Curriculum Directors Suburban & Urban Schools Alternative Schools Private Schools Public Schools Rural Schools MSU Education Professors MSU History Professors High School Teachers 8 th Grade Teachers 5 th Grade Teachers
  7. 7. Prior to Project Beginning <ul><li>Proposal Writing Team composed of reps. from K-12 teachers, MSU, project leadership team, and external evaluator </li></ul><ul><li>Agreement on content, structure, methodology, project objectives, and evaluation of learning </li></ul><ul><li>Commitment from 14 districts – teachers, leadership, and $ for sub costs </li></ul>
  8. 8. Eliminating Teacher/Professor Silos <ul><li>PLG made up of grade specific teachers, teacher leader and professor </li></ul><ul><li>First-name basis – no titles </li></ul><ul><li>Two-way learning – respect for expertise </li></ul>
  9. 9. Eliminating Grade Level Silos <ul><li>Joint-learning across grade level </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Jigsaw groups </li></ul>
  10. 10. Eliminating Teacher vs. Administrator Silos <ul><li>Cross-District Leadership Team Meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Bi-Annual Principals’ Breakfast Briefings with Teacher Reps </li></ul><ul><li>Open Invitation to all Workshops </li></ul><ul><li>Just-in-time Technology Infusion </li></ul>
  11. 11. Eliminating University Departmental Silos <ul><li>Person-to-person </li></ul><ul><li>Mutual understanding of and respect for areas of expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Shared desire to change teacher practice </li></ul>
  12. 12. Eliminating Silos Among Types of Schools <ul><li>PLG approach creates bridge of respect </li></ul><ul><li>Lesson Study takes teachers across the bridge and into each other’s environment </li></ul><ul><li>Discovery that a well-crafted lesson works despite the location in which it is taught </li></ul>

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