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# Lesson study - Could it work for you?

conference contribution

posted on 2009-01-01, 00:00 authored by Brian DoigBrian Doig, Susie GrovesSusie Groves, J Machackova1. Introduction

Japanese Lesson Study first came to world-wide attention through Makoto Yoshida’s doctoral dissertation (Yoshida, 1999; Fernandez & Yoshida, 2004) and Stigler and Hiebert’s (1999) accounts of Lesson Study based on the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). By 2004, Lesson Study was taking place in the USA in at least 32 states and 150 lesson study clusters.

Lewis (2002) describes the Lesson Study Cycle as having four phases: goal-setting and planning – including the development of the Lesson Plan; teaching the “research lesson” – enabling the lesson observation; the post-lesson discussion; and the resulting consolidation of learning, which has many far-reaching consequences (see, for example, Lewis & Tsuchida, 1998). It could be said that research lessons make participants and observers think quite profoundly about specific and general aspects of teaching.

In Japan, Lesson Study occurs across many curriculum areas, mainly at the elementary school level, and to a lesser extent junior secondary. In mathematics, the research lesson usually follows the typical lesson pattern for a Japanese “structured problem solving lesson”.

Major characteristics of such lessons include: the hatsumon – the thought-provoking question or problem that students engage with and that is the key to students’ mathematical development and mathematical connections; kikan-shido – sometimes referred to as the “purposeful scanning” that takes place while students are working individually or in groups, which allows teachers not only to monitor students’ strategies but also to orchestrate their reports on their solutions in the neriage phase of the lesson; neriage – the “kneading” stage of a

lesson that allows students to compare, polish and refine solutions through the teacher’s orchestration and probing of student solutions; and matome — the summing up and careful review of students’ discussion in order to guide them to higher levels of mathematical sophistication (see, for example, Shimizu, 1999).

Japanese Lesson Study first came to world-wide attention through Makoto Yoshida’s doctoral dissertation (Yoshida, 1999; Fernandez & Yoshida, 2004) and Stigler and Hiebert’s (1999) accounts of Lesson Study based on the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). By 2004, Lesson Study was taking place in the USA in at least 32 states and 150 lesson study clusters.

Lewis (2002) describes the Lesson Study Cycle as having four phases: goal-setting and planning – including the development of the Lesson Plan; teaching the “research lesson” – enabling the lesson observation; the post-lesson discussion; and the resulting consolidation of learning, which has many far-reaching consequences (see, for example, Lewis & Tsuchida, 1998). It could be said that research lessons make participants and observers think quite profoundly about specific and general aspects of teaching.

In Japan, Lesson Study occurs across many curriculum areas, mainly at the elementary school level, and to a lesser extent junior secondary. In mathematics, the research lesson usually follows the typical lesson pattern for a Japanese “structured problem solving lesson”.

Major characteristics of such lessons include: the hatsumon – the thought-provoking question or problem that students engage with and that is the key to students’ mathematical development and mathematical connections; kikan-shido – sometimes referred to as the “purposeful scanning” that takes place while students are working individually or in groups, which allows teachers not only to monitor students’ strategies but also to orchestrate their reports on their solutions in the neriage phase of the lesson; neriage – the “kneading” stage of a

lesson that allows students to compare, polish and refine solutions through the teacher’s orchestration and probing of student solutions; and matome — the summing up and careful review of students’ discussion in order to guide them to higher levels of mathematical sophistication (see, for example, Shimizu, 1999).