Monday, October 10, 2011

Using Lesson Study to Improve Instruction

Recently I was talking with Jim Boen, principal of La Pine Middle School in La Pine, OR about his school’s use of lesson study as a professional development tool. Jim discussed how interdisciplinary teams use the lesson study design as a way to focus on improving instruction and building a collaborative culture.

Lesson study, originally used by Japanese teachers, involves groups of teachers in a collaborative process designed to systematically examine their practice with the goal of becoming more effective. It emphasizes working in small groups to plan, teach, observe and critique a lesson.

A sample lesson study protocol:

  • Participants should be volunteers
  • Members work collaboratively to design a lesson
  • One member teaches the lesson in a real classroom while other members observe
  • The group discusses their observations about the lesson and student learning
  • The lesson is revised and another member of the group teaches the revised lesson while other members observe
  • The group reconvenes to discuss the observed lesson

The revision process may continue as long as the group believes it is necessary.

I'd enjoy hearing from you about your experience with lesson study and other strategies for working with your teachers to improve student learning.

Resources on Lesson Study:

What is Lesson Study? – Columbia University

Chicago Lesson Study Group -

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