What is Lesson Study?

By | February 11, 2010

Studies show that the way to go to implementing effective and sustainable educational reform will be through an inquiry-type professional development program and while the teachers are in action. One of these professional development models that has proven effective in Japan and is now being implemented and widely used in many countries is Lesson Study. It is also one of the identified factors for Japan’s high achievement in TIMSS.

Lesson Study engages teachers in creative and collaborative work in developing and researching a lesson through a “design-tryout-reflect-revise” cycle until it reaches a form to which they believe would be exemplary to them and to other teachers. It assumes that by investigating the teaching and learning process in the context of designing and implementing a lesson, it could provide teachers with experiences that has the potential to deepen their content knowledge and their knowledge about how students learn concepts and skills, develop teachers skills in designing and facilitating lessons, and most importantly develop the skills, habit and confidence in investigating their own lessons.

In the Philippines, the first Lesson Study project was implemented in 2006 by UP NISMED with selected mathematics classes. The project was called Collaborative Lesson Research and Development (CLRD) to give emphasis on the collaborative nature of designing and researching the lesson, something that is not yet a popular practice among teachers in our country. The objectives of the project were 1) to equip teachers with skills in designing mathematics lessons that engage student in mathematical thinking processes; 2) to enhance teachers’ knowledge of content and pedagogy as they study how their students think, learn, and reason; 3) to develop a lesson study model that is adaptable to Philippines classroom realities directly affecting teaching and learning of mathematics which include among others large class sizes, inadequate content and pedagogical content knowledge of teachers and insufficient materials and resources; and, 4) to gain insights about how teachers implement reform-based teaching strategies in their classes. The unique feature of this lesson study project in the Philippines is the focus on developing teachers capacity in designing lesson and teaching mathematics through problem solving, something that is also not yet a common practice of teaching mathematics in our classes.

The first step in doing lesson study is to articulate the goals for doing the lesson study. Click the link to read how I facilitated a group of teachers to identify their goals. It was their first time to do a lesson study. I reported the result of this study in the post Lesson Study for Teaching through problem solving.

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16 thoughts on “What is Lesson Study?

  1. Joseph

    High school algebra teacher who happened upon your site. I want to 2nd Harold’s thoughts. So many quality articles and materials. Although your blog has a focused topic, the information presented is broad, balanced, and thought-provoking. The amount of time you spend researching and compiling for your blog is evident.

    Which came first? A love of teaching, or the deep respect of education and its power of transformation

    Reply
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  8. arlene dlc

    we have done ls in gubat sorsogon for elementary school teachers. they like it so much because it helps them plan lessons well and teach well. most of them are in multi level and they are practising ls. they had poster presentation in an international conference last 2008.

    Reply
  9. Harold Hardage

    Hey, I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog!…..I”ll be checking in on a regularly now….Keep up the good work! 🙂

    Reply
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  11. Saiha

    I think it is very hard to apply Lesson Study in most schools here in the Philippines because of the different culture and educational setting that the students and teacher share – there are so many students yet there are only few teachers. Aside from that, these teachers usually are teaching not in their field of mastery i.e. a math teacher teaches physics subject or makabayan teacher teaches mathematics. Since a lesson study is quite time-consuming, Filipino teachers would likely find it hard to even form a Lesson Study team.

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    1. arlene dlc

      lesson study is possible in the phils. we have done lesson study in cainta rizal in a big public hs. we got good results especially that of the teachers.lesson study is the answer to content development of science teachers. it also helps them develop self-confidence.

      Reply
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  13. Education Tay

    These teaching and learning classroom methods are used in schools, colleges and universities in many countries. Use of teaching aids developed for that specific topic, use of various learning and teaching styles for low and higher ability learners are only some issues to think about when I write a lesson plan. During lessons, other teachers and I adapt to different learners for the same topic using trial and error at times to find the mot efficient problem solving methods for students to use.

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