The Lesson Study cycle in the research schools

The phases of Lesson Study as it was introduced to the Dutch research schools are the following (see Figure 3.3):

  • 1. Goal-setting and collaboratively planning the research lesson.
  • 2. Teaching, filming, and observing the research lesson in action.
  • 3. Watching the filmed research lesson, post-lesson discussion, and revision.
  • 4. Teaching the revised version of the lesson, filming (observing), and discussing the revised lesson (optional).
  • 5. Evaluating the lesson study cycle and consolidating the learning result.

Phase 1: Goal-setting and collaborative planning

During this phase, teachers at the school come together to plan the lesson and share their ideas on how best to design it. They begin to consider students’ current characteristics, their mathematical development, and their special needs. Teachers formulate short-term and long-term goals; for example, the goal of giving children opportunities to actively construct their own knowledge. In primary education, Dutch teachers usually follow the typical lesson pattern for a structured problem solving/instruction lesson. This type of lesson involves

  • • revisiting the previous lesson and refreshing the needed knowledge;
  • • formulating goals and pointing them out clearly to the students;
  • • presenting the problem for the lesson;
  • • math talk about solution methods (together or in groups);
The Lesson Study cycle in the Dutch research schools

Figure 3.3 The Lesson Study cycle in the Dutch research schools.

  • • discussing solution methods and/or explanation: and
  • • summarising the main point.

Designing the lesson during the first phase happens through teachers’ sharing of their ideas based on past experiences, observations of students, content knowledge, and/or textbooks. Teachers choose the lesson content and its connection to long-term goals, consider data collection points, think about the needs of children and the students’ expected responses, evaluate ways to anticipate students’ reactions and solutions, come up with methods of instruction, ask good questions, and determine the best materials to assist students’ learning. The end product of this phase is a lesson plan that describes, in detail, the design that the group has settled on for their lesson.

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