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Teacher-Initiated Lesson Study in a Northern
California District
Rebecca Perry
Catherine Lewis
Lesson Study Group at Mills College
Oakland, California
Lesson Study
Discuss Long Term Goals
for Students’ Academic,
Social and Ethical
Choose and Discuss Learning
Goals for Content Area, Unit
and Lesson
Plan Lessons(s) that Foster
Long-Term Goals and
Lesson/Unit Goals
Actual classroom
lesson; attending
teachers observe
and record student
work, speech,
Lesson Colloquium
Discuss research lesson,
focusing on student data
collected, goals, and
relationship of both to
Consolidate Learning
Revise and re-teach the lesson
if desired. Reflect on what was
learned and write it up in report
that includes goals, lesson
plan, data, and summary of
discussion. Begin cycle again,
with same or refined goals.
Development of Instructional Capacity
Through Lesson Study
(See enlarged figure attached)
Lesson Study Highlights
 Lesson study leaders: teachers/ part-time math coaches,
project coordinator
 Planning started Spring 2000
 Math focus (some literacy)
 Teacher volunteers, organized into teams of ~3-5 teachers
 School-wide lesson study site added second year
Lesson Study Supports
 Funding (stipends, substitutes, coach/ leaders)
 “Reform-minded,” collaborative history
 Network of “knowledgeable others”
 Intensive, hands-on summer workshops
 Models for tools, protocols
 Teacher leadership
Lesson Study Adaptations
 Understanding of
 Activities
 Focus on student
 Observing/
collecting data
 Group norms/ roles
 Teacher leadership
Understanding of Lesson Study
October, 2001
Setting a goal for students;
Planning a “study lesson” (with a detailed
lesson plan) which they will use to examine
their chosen goal;
Teaching the study lesson in a real classroom
while other teachers observe;
Debriefing to reflect on the instruction
witnessed and discuss what it taught them
about the goal they set out to explore;
Revising and re-teaching the lesson (when
February, 2003
Selecting a challenging concept to address;
Articulating the concept within the content
Planning a “research lesson” (with a detailed
lesson plan) which they will use to examine
their practice;
Teaching the study lesson in a real classroom
while other teachers observe and collect data
about student understanding;
Debriefing to reflect on student learning;
discuss what is observed and the evidence of
student understanding;
Revising and re-teaching the lesson (when
Compiling the lessons learned about content
and teaching practice.
Relative Emphasis of
Lesson Study Activities
 Selecting topic and planning “perfect” lesson
 Quicker planning; more time for other activities
- Begin with existing curriculum/ materials
- Plan, teach, debrief, re-plan (based on live observations)
- Dedicated time for reflection
Focus on Student Learning/ Development
 Limited goal-setting, single lesson focus
 Understand expectations (standards across grades, shortand long-term goals)
 Understand student competencies and strategies (use
baseline “assessment,” anticipate responses, do tasks)
 Plan unit/ sequence of activities, target lesson
 Identify actual student responses (observations, student
 Adapt unit instruction based on the above
Observing/ Collecting Data
 Process: Write furiously or write nothing
 Content: Pedagogy
Individual students (behavior)
 Process: Assign tasks (transcribe, follow a group)
based on shared research questions
Use tools (e.g., seating chart)
 Content: Student strategies and understanding (content)
Individual students as exemplars
Group Norms/ Roles
 Collaborative capacity assumed
 Built in structures for setting group norms, selecting group
Teacher Leadership
 Leadership from small group of teacher/ math coaches;
project coordinator
 “Experienced” participants assume leadership, spread
lesson study
Some Paths of Lesson Study Impact
 Deepen knowledge of subject matter, instruction, texts,
 Develop “eyes to see students”
 Build collegial learning structures
 Connect practice to goals
 Build motivation for improvement
Essential Elements of Lesson Study
Lesson Study
Subject Matter
Essential Elements of Lesson Study
 Lesson Study Components: Lesson Study Cycle That Is
Cohesive, Balanced, Responsive To Needs
 Instructional Knowledge Components: Access Content
& Pedagogical Knowledge Through Texts, Standards,
Knowledgeable Others
 Personal/Collegial Components:
Learning Stance
Teacher Leadership
Shared Ownership
Intrinsic Motivation

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