Can a “Lesson Study” adaptation have a positive impact on the development of trainee Teach First Mathematics teachers? Jennifer Shearman, Canterbury Christ Church University [email protected] Abstract Japanese Lesson Study is a collaborative approach to planning and teaching that has been attributed as a major factor in achievement of Japanese High School students in mathematics Research literature evaluating Lesson Study groups suggested that an adaptation of Lesson Study undertaken with Teach First trainees may be a successful sustainable approach to accelerating development of the participants’ pedagogy and reflective skills A mixed-method, interpretive case study pilot was undertaken, with 3 participants taking part in an adaptation of Lesson Study Results suggest that a single iteration of collaborative planning has a measurable impact on pedagogy development and reflective skills Why Lesson Study? “Lesson study is a simple idea. If you want to improve instruction, what could be more obvious than collaborating with fellow teachers to plan, observe, and reflect on lessons?” (Lewis, 2002) Teach First participants – high achieving Focus on subject-specific pedagogy and reflection Challenging schools Mission to “close the gap” – role in whole school improvement Focus on increasingly school-led ITE Existing Lesson Study Groups involving Teach First teachers Why Lesson Study? Perceived superior achievement of Japanese High School Students “the highest scoring classroom in the US (and UK) sample did not perform as well as the lowest-scoring classroom in the Japanese example” (Stigler and Herbert, 1999) “Bottom-up” CPD, driven by teachers – Japanese culture Correlation between incidence of Lesson Study and constructivist teaching methods (Lewis & Tsuchida,1998) – personal values “Kounaikenshuu”; no teacher ever becomes totally ‘competent’ but all teachers can and must improve over weeks, months and years – contrast to ‘standards’ and ‘criteria’. Evidence of Effectiveness • • • • • • • • • Japan (Lewis & Tsuchida, 1998) Student attainment Distribution of new content and approaches Connecting practice in the classroom with the broader goals of education Forum for exploring conflicting ideas about pedagogy Improved the standing of teachers UK, since 2001 Positive effect upon pupil learning, achievement and engagement No evidence of negative effects (Dudley, 2011). Correlation between school improvement and incidence of Lesson Study (McKinsey and company, 2007) Limited evidence of ‘bottom-up’ CPD (Burghes & Robinson, 2009) USA, since 1990s • Rapid growth in popularity • Lesson Study effective in a USA school setting if the teachers learn skills of applying critical lenses to planning, observing and evaluating the lesson (Fernandez, et al., 2003) • Increased positive feedback from teachers (Perry and Lewis, 2008) ITE, since 2008 “Microteaching” Lesson Study Development in the teachers’ plans Reduced ‘teacher led instruction’ Increased ‘class discussion’ and ‘student exploration’ (Fernandez, 2010). Is learning ‘tutor-student’, ‘mentor-student’ or ‘studentstudent’? (Carroll, 2013) Research Questions Does Lesson Study have an impact on pedagogy? Does Lesson Study have an impact on reflective skills? Will Lesson Study be sustainable? “Will an adaptation of Lesson Study have a measurable short-term and long-term impact on Teach First participants’ pedagogy and skills of reflection? Methodology Most previous research interpretivist (Fernandez, 2002), (Perry & Lewis, 2008), (Ricks, 2011), (Carroll, 2013) Some positivist research (Stigler & Hiebert, 1999), (Lewis & Tsuchida, 1998), (Dudley, December 2008) and (McKinsey and company, 2007) Mixed-method, interpretive case study pilot N=3 Develop pedagogy (including mathematical pedagogy) Develop an awareness of what ‘good’ teaching is and pedagogical strategies. Encourage creativity, a willingness to take risks, try out new ideas Improve subject knowledge for teaching within the topic taught during the lesson Develop the participants’ skills of evaluation and reflection Develop reflective, critical analysis of teaching. Develop participants’ ability to evaluate. Develop sustainable partnership To share creative ideas generated by the process with colleagues. Create a test bed and forum for trialling and evaluating new ideas Involve participants and colleagues in their own professional development for the benefit of the whole school. Japanese Lesson Study Define the problem that Lesson Study will explore. Adaptation Participants identify a date for the observed lesson and the participant will decide the class to be observed, the focus of the observation and any targeted pupils. Plan the lesson in collaboration, which is, critiqued and a revised plan produced. Participant writes an initial full lesson plan on the proforma of their choice , commented on by at least one person. Participant adapts lesson plan given the comments and will resubmits plan for future feedback Teach the lesson, whole group assists fully in the The participant teaches the lesson, researcher to preparation and the planning group observe the observe the lesson and all collaborators to be lesson. invited Evaluate the lesson on the same day by a Semi-structured interview in the style of a neriage feedback conversation led by an expert with contributions by some of the observers. Revision of the lesson (again, over several weeks). Participant submits an evaluation of their choice Re-teach the lesson to different students and different teacher Omitted Evaluate revised lesson and reflect upon process. Opinions gathered as part of neriage The Lesson Study group write a report (Kenkyu no Matome) shared with either the school or a wider audience. Opinions gathered as part of neriage and/or written evaluation Development of pedagogy • Self-assessment scale of 0-10 used on at least 3 occasions; after the first draft (created by participant), after the second draft (following mentor, tutor and peer comments), after a third draft (if necessary) and after evaluating the lesson • Lesson Plan, not the lesson or the teacher that is assessed • Adaptation of the Ofsted criteria for ‘features of good mathematics teaching’ (Ofsted, 2008). Development of evaluation and reflection, assessment of sustainability BLACK: All GREEN: Initial plan only RED: Additions after 1st and second iterations BLUE: Additions after post-lesson feedback and evaluation Lesson Context: Compound Shapes Learning Objective: To… Learning Outcomes: Grade C: Describe… Grade B: Explain… Grade A: Analyse… To apply knowledge of areas of triangles and rectangles All: To calculate the area of a triangle. Most: To calculate the area of a simple compound shape. (Grade D) Some: To calculate the area of any compound shape including GCSE style examination questions. (Grade C+) Learning Cycle phase 1. Connect 2. Activate Date: 6th March 2014 Group: 9.1 Planning Starter- paper based enquiry task to promote thinking, given to students as they enter the room. Big Picture Share LO and outcomes Key Words HOME LEARNING Name and spell 2D shapes. Literacy focus. Peer assessed. Extension: What is the formula for each? Big Picture – The relevance of compound shapes in floor plans and reality. Keywords – Addressed in spelling of 2D shapes.( 8 mins) 1 or 2 VAK activities to engage students, new information, paired and group work. Students to choose 2 out of 4 questions linked directed to learning outcomes to assess prior knowledge. Post it notes on the board. Students to set personal targets of what they want to achieve. Provide enough time to allow students to think about high levels questions and provide the questions to each pupil on paper (7 minutes) (10 minutes). H/L was Set on Monday. Students that can complete the area of a triangle present how to the other students. 3 questions on area of triangle. Green or Red based on difficulty. Red to address the thought process of those who could easily assess the first question. (10 minutes) Introduction of compound shape and show one way to solve. Students to discover how many different ways they can solve the same problem (6 minutes). Compound shape demonstration with not all lengths provided. • Qualitative assessment of changes in lesson plan • Semi-structured interview ‘neriage’ • Qualitative assessment of evaluation • Power relationships and bias, focus on written/verbal evidence not tutor perception Analysis – Development of pedagogy All participants perceived that their lesson plans increased in effectiveness no aspects of pedagogy were perceived to have worsened Average scores increased by 1.5 points through collaboration All the participants spoke positively about the effects of collaboration Diminishing returns in taking part in more than one iteration of collaborative planning. Average increase of 0.2 of a point after the second collaboration Challenges in managing differences of opinion Time constraints of taking part in such a task. On average, participants perceived their plans more favourably after teaching them. Post lesson feedback and evaluation scores increased by 0.2 Participants were encouraged to take more of a ‘risk’ following collaboration Specific categories that reported large score increases (an overall increase >2.5 points) relate to pupil activity and assessment for learning Specific categories that reported small score increases (an overall increase <1 point) relate to level of challenge and use of subject knowledge Both participants’ lesson plans changed considerably in format – more focused on objectives and questioning, less on ‘logistics’ and timing Analysis – Reflection, and sustainability Development of evaluation and reflection Process of collaboration developed evaluation skills in the participants Pinpoint specific points in the lesson where effective learning occurred, and how collaboration influenced these points Justify a particular approach, was taken sometimes acknowledging that the new approach post-collaboration had greater impact than would have happened originally Concentration on LEARNING (neriage enhanced this effect). Process of periodic self-assessment of lesson plans in itself developed evaluation skills ‘unpick and unpack’ plan in order to reach a score Participants found it challenging to remain focused on the lesson plan during the feedback Development of sustainable collaboration Participants all felt that the collaboration process improved their practice.. Two participants felt process was too time-consuming to be repeated in the same way. Participants demonstrated that the process of lesson-planning was very specific to the school, department, and makeup of the class and timing of lessons. Implications and future research Was it Lesson Study? What would increase participation? Microteaching at Summer Institute – partnership between school and University Mentor training The effect of self-assessing lesson plans using a ‘good practice’ framework on trainee teacher development The relationship between the perception of Lesson Study by teachers and the culture of the school they are working in The effectiveness of a ‘pure’ Lesson Study project in a Teaching School with a Lesson Study group that has a mixture of trainees, NQTs and experienced teachers (including Specialist Leaders in Education) The impact of an adapted Lesson Study at the Teach First Summer Institute References Burghes, D. & Robinson, D., 2009. Lesson Study: Enhancing Mathematics Teaching and Learning, Reading: CFBT Education Trust. Carroll, C., 2013. Lesson Study: Helping Pre-service Teachers to Bridge the TheoryPractice gap. Cork, University of Cork. Dudley, P., 2011. Lesson Study Development in England: From School Networks to National Policy. 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