ZDM

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 571–580 | Cite as

How does lesson study improve mathematics instruction?

Commentary Paper

Abstract

This article presents a theoretical model of lesson study’s impact on instruction, through intervening impact on teachers’ knowledge, beliefs and dispositions, teachers’ learning community, and curriculum. It also describes four different types of lesson study in Japan, pointing out their synergies in producing a system where local teachers “demand” knowledge for their lesson study work and lesson study provides a collaborative, practice-based venue to try out recent innovations in curriculum and instruction. Description of lesson study in Japan provides background for considering the articles of this issue, which highlight four strategies to develop lesson study outside Japan: (1) incorporation of high-quality tasks and materials; (2) attention to processes that illuminate student thinking; (3) attention to system features; and (4) models for scale-up.

References

  1. Bruce, C. D., Flynn, T. C., & Bennett, S. (2016). A focus on exploratory tasks in lesson study: The Canadian ‘Mathematics for Young Children’ project. ZDM Mathematics Education, 48(4) (this issue). doi: 10.1007/s11858-015-0747-7.
  2. Clarke, D., & Hollingsworth, H. (2002). Elaborating a model of teacher professional growth. Teaching and Teacher Education, 18(8), 947–967.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Coburn, C. E., & Stein, M. K. (2010). Research and practice in education: building alliances, bridging the divide. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  4. Fernandez, C., & Yoshida, M. (2004). Lesson study: a case of a Japanese approach to improving instruction through school-based teacher development. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  5. Fishman, B., Marx, R. W., Blumenfeld, P., Krajcik, & Soloway, E. (2004). Creating a framework for research on systemic technology innovations. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 13(1), 43–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fujii, T. (2013). Theorizing lesson study in mathematics education as an emerging research area: identifying components of a theory of lesson study. Japan Society of Mathematical Education, Tokyo: Tsukuba University.Google Scholar
  7. Fujii, T. (2016). Designing and adapting tasks in lesson planning: a critical process of Lesson Study. ZDM Mathematics Education, 48(4) (this issue). doi: 10.1007/s11858-016-0770-3.
  8. Fullan, M. G. (2001). The new meaning of educational change (3rd ed.). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  9. Groves, S., Doig, B., Vale, C., & Widjaja, W. (2016). Critical factors in the adaptation and implementation of Japanese lesson study in the Australian context. ZDM Mathematics Education, 48(4) (this issue). doi: 10.1007/s11858-016-0786-8.
  10. Gu, F., & Gu, L. (2016). Characterizing mathematics teaching research mentoring in the context of Chinese lesson study. ZDM Mathematics Education, 48(4) (this issue). doi: 10.1007/s11858-016-0756-1.
  11. Gutierrez, K. D., & Penuel, W. R. (2014). Relevance to practice as a criterion for rigor. Educational Researcher, 43(1), 19–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Huang, R., Gong Z., & Han, X. (2016). Implementing mathematics teaching that promotes students’ understanding through theory driven lesson study. ZDM Mathematics Education, 48(4) (this issue). doi: 10.1007/s11858-015-0743-y.
  13. Isoda, M., Stephens, M., Ohara, Y., & Miyakawa, T. (2007). Japanese lesson study in mathematics: its impact, diversity and potential for educational improvement. Singapore: World Scientific.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lewis, C. (2011). Teachers and teaching in Japan: Professional Mecca or pressure cooker? In Y. Zhao (Ed.), Handbook of Asian education (pp. 231–246). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Lewis, C. (2015). "What is improvement science? Do we need it in education?". Educational Researcher, 44(1), 54–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lewis, J. (2016). Learning to lead, leading to learn: how facilitators learn to lead lesson study. ZDM Mathematics Education, 48(4) (this issue). doi: 10.1007/s11858-015-0753-9.
  17. Lewis, C., & Hurd, J. (2011). Lesson Study step by step: how teacher learning communities improve instruction. Portsmouth: Heinneman.Google Scholar
  18. Lewis, C., Perry, R., & Friedkin, S. (2011). Using Japanese curriculum materials to support Lesson Study outside Japan: toward Coherent Curriculum. Educational studies in Japan: International yearbook, 6, 5–19.Google Scholar
  19. Lewis, C., & Tsuchida, I. (1997). Planned educational change in Japan: the case of elementary science instruction. Journal of Educational Policy, 12, 313–331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lewis, C., & Tsuchida, I. (1998). A lesson is like a swiftly flowing river: research lessons and the improvement of Japanese education. American Educator (Winter), 22, 14–17, 50–52.Google Scholar
  21. Lewis, C., Tsuchida, I., & Coleman, S. (2002). The creation of Japanese and US elementary science textbooks: different processes, different outcomes. In G. Decoker (Ed.), National standards and school reform in Japan and the United States (pp. 44–66). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  22. Lim, C. S., Kor, L. K., & Chia, H. M. (2016). Revitalizing mathematics classroom teaching through Lesson Study (LS): a Malaysian case study. ZDM Mathematics Education, 48 (4) (this issue). doi: 10.1007/s11858-016-0779-7.
  23. Mills College Lesson Study Group (Producer). (1998). Can you lift 100 kilograms? Filmed at Komae School #7, in Tokyo, Japan.Google Scholar
  24. Murata, A., & Takahashi, A. (2002a). District-level lesson study: how Japanese teachers improve their teaching of elementary mathematics. Paper presented at Research Presession of National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Meeting, April 21–24, 2002, Las Vegas, NV.Google Scholar
  25. Murata, A., & Takahashi, A. (2002b). Vehicle to connect theory, research and practice: how teacher thinking changes in district-level lesson study in Japan. In D. Newborn, P. Sztajn, D. White, H. Weigel, R. L. Bryant, & K. Nooney (Eds.), Proceedings of the twenty-fourth annual meeting of North American chapter of the International Group of the Psychology of Mathematics Education (pp. 1879–1888). Columbus: ERIC Clearinghouse for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education.Google Scholar
  26. National Education Policy Research Institute, J. K. K. S. K. (2011). Report of survey research on improvement of teacher quality [Kyouin no Shitsu no Koujou ni Kansuru Chosa Kenkyuu]. Tokyo: National Education Policy Research Institute.Google Scholar
  27. Pang, S. K. (2016). Improving mathematics instruction and supporting teacher learning in Korea through lesson study using five practices. ZDM Mathematics Education, 48(4) (this issue). doi: 10.1007/s11858-016-0768-x.
  28. Pang, M. F., Marton, F., Bao, J. S., & Ki, W. W. (2016). Teaching to add three digit numbers in Hong Kong and Shanghai: An illustration of differences in the systematic use of variation and invariance. ZDM Mathematics Education, 48 (4) (this issue). doi: 10.1007/s11858-016-0790-z.
  29. Penuel, W. R., & Fishman, B. J. (2012). Large-scale science education intervention research we can use. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 49, 281–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Stein, M., & Smith, M. (2011). 5 practices for orchestrating productive mathematics discussions. Reston: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.Google Scholar
  31. Stigler, J. W., & Hiebert, J. (1999). The teaching gap: best ideas from the world’s teachers for improving education in the classroom. New York: Summit Books.Google Scholar
  32. Takahashi, A., & McDougal, T. (2016). Collaborative lesson research: maximizing the impact of lesson study. ZDM Mathematics Education, 48(4) (this issue). doi: 10.1007/s11858-015-0752-x.
  33. Warwick, P., Vrikki M., Vermunt J. D., Mercer, N., & Halem, N. V. (2016). Connecting observations of student and teacher learning: an examination of dialogic processes in lesson study discussions in mathematics. ZDM Mathematics Education, 48 (4) (this issue). doi: 10.1007/s11858-015-0750-z.
  34. Watanabe, T., & Wang-Iverson, P. (2005). The role of knowledgeable others. In P. Wang-Iverson & M. Yoshida (Eds.), Building our understanding of lesson study (pp. 85–92). Philadelphia: Research for Better Schools.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© FIZ Karlsruhe 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mills CollegeOaklandUSA

Personalised recommendations