Wednesday, April 28, 2010

About "Lesson Study"

- sharing session by Dr Yap Ban Har
Jugyokenkyu: "Lesson Study" in Japanese

(I) 4 (to 5) Stages of Lesson Studies
Step 1: Study of Curriculum Materials
Study of the curriculum materials (existing as well as foreign materials)
Teachers discuss and debate how the lessons are taught.
By the end of the process, they will end up developing a lesson Plan

Lesson Study group usually comprises of a CORE "Lesson Planning Team", sometimes there are other Lesson Planning Team.

Stage 2: Research Lesson
During lesson study: Study by attending a RESEARCH Lesson - a 2nd opportunity to learn - during the research lesson. In some lesson study group, it's confined to the group invovled.

In some other schools, Lesson Research Lesson Participants may involve
- other teachers in the same school
- teachers from other schools
- NIE and MOE Staff
- Others

Stage 3: Post Lesson Discussion
People will discuss what's observed in the lesson.
Teachers begin to talk about "What if" (what if we do the lesson differently).
E.g. how to remove some of the hypothesize.
What if the lesson is done (differently) with a different group? (e.g. Higher ability group)

Everything is based on observation.
We see "this" when the students are doing an experiment.

"Literature Study" - go beyond academic-kind of literature; more often, into the actual practices.
Lesson study is a tool to learn something.
Action research is when one applies the expertise to solve problem.

Stage 4: Lesson Plan revision
This will end the lesson cycle...
When the teachers moved on the next cycle... they will be investigating the

Stage 0: Identifying the Research Theme
What the Research study group wants to get out of the lesson study (e.g. How to engage pupils better in the instructional programme; how to inculcate a problem solving culture). Once this is crafted, the various lesson study groups will be guided by this research theme. This is aligned to the school vision.

The research theme is designed to close the gap between the mission and the existing state.
Another reference would be the curriculum focus - eg. problem solving in Mathematics; Inquiry-based in Science.

A single research lessons; A unit of research lessons

Use the learning points in this particular lesson study and apply it in other lesson units.

(II) The Main Outcome: Professional Learning
  • The focus of lesson study is teachers' learning, not students' learning
  • To equip teachers with new insight and professional knowledge, to improve and teach better
  • Students outcomes are secondary [looking at impact created by teachers]

Lesson Study is an option...
3. There is a collaborative element
2. PD must be coherent; align to the demands of students they teach
1. It must be embedded in real authentic experiences

Lesson study does not take place in a weekly manner. Usually 1 lesson study per year... however, they will be invited to visit different classes. In Singapore school, usually it's carried out in one term.

(III) How does Lesson Study Look Like?
  • Define a broad school-wide research theme that focuses on desired student characteristics
  • Select a lesson study goal for mathematics/ level that is aligned with the school's research theme
  • Invite knowledgeable others (NIE Staff) to collaborate to enhance content knowledge, guide the thinking about student learning and provide support
(IV) How does Lesson Study Look Like?
  • Select a unit
  • Select a lesson topic
  • Write a lesson plan for research lesson based on research on the topic and teaching resources
  • Teach research lesson
  • Collect data on student lesson and thinking
  • Conduct post-lesson discussion based on data
  • Refine lesson plan based on discussion data
(V) Protocol
  • During post lesson discussion, always start with the research teacher to reflect first... so that he/she could describe what's not included or reflected in the lesson plan. It's also what he/ she has done that's different from what's described in the lesson plan.
  • Panel - describes the panel
  • Participants - to talk about the "what ifs"

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