© 2019

Theory and Practice of Lesson Study in Mathematics

An International Perspective

  • Rongjin Huang
  • Akihiko Takahashi
  • João Pedro da Ponte


  • Brings together international research and theories on lesson study (LS) in Mathematics

  • Presents issues and strategies for the effective implementation of lesson study in Mathematics

  • Advances lesson study as a professional development approach to a research methodology

  • Extends the field by including two brands of lesson study: Chinese LS and HK/Sweden learning study


Part of the Advances in Mathematics Education book series (AME)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Theoretical Perspectives of Lesson Study

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Rongjin Huang, Akihiko Takahashi, João Pedro da Ponte
      Pages 3-12
    3. Catherine Lewis, Shelley Friedkin, Katherine Emerson, Laura Henn, Lynn Goldsmith
      Pages 13-37
    4. Alan Schoenfeld, Angela Dosalmas, Heather Fink, Alyssa Sayavedra, Karen Tran, Anna Weltman et al.
      Pages 135-159
  3. Historical and Cultural Perspectives in Japan and China

  4. Adaption Lesson Study in Selected Education Systems

About this book


This book brings together and builds on the current research efforts on adaptation, conceptualization, and theorization of Lesson Study (LS). It synthesizes and illustrates major perspectives for theorizing LS and enriches the conceptualization of LS by interpreting the activity as it is used in Japan and China from historical and cultural perspectives. Presenting the practices and theories of LS with practicing teachers and prospective teachers in more than 10 countries, it enables the reader to take a comparative perspective. Finally, the book presents and discusses studies on key aspects of LS such as lesson planning, post-lesson discussion, guiding theories, connection between research and practice, and upscaling.

Lesson Study, which has originated in Asia as a powerful effective professional development model, has spread globally. Although the positive effects of lesson study on teacher learning, student learning, and curriculum reforms have been widely documented, conceptualization of and research on LS have just begun to emerge. This book, including 38 chapters contributed by 90 scholars from 21 countries, presents a truly international collaboration on research on and adaptation of LS, and significantly advances the development of knowledge about this process.

Chapter 15: "How Variance and Invariance Can Inform Teachers’ Enactment of Mathematics Lessons" of this book is available open access under a CC BY 4.0 license at

Theory and Practice of Lesson Study in Mathematics: An International Perspective shows that the power of Lesson Study to transform the role of teachers in classroom research cannot be explained by a simple replication model. Here we see Lesson Study being successful internationally when its key principles and practices are taken seriously and are adapted to meet local issues and challenges.  

(Max Stephens, Senior research fellow at The University of Melbourne)

It works. Instruction improves, learning improves. Wide scale?  Enduring? Deep impact? Lesson study has it. When something works as well as lesson study does, while alternative systems for improving  instruction fail, or only succeed on small scale or evaporate as quickly as they show promise, it is time to understand how and why lesson study works. This volume brings the research on lesson study together from around the world. Here is what we already know and here is the way forward for research and practice informed by research. It is time to wake up and pay attention to what has worked so well, on wide scale for so long.

(Phil Dara, A leading author of the Common Core State Standards of Mathematics in the U.S.)

“The chapter “How Variance and Invariance Can Inform Teachers’ Enactment of Mathematics Lessons” is available open access under a CC BY 4.0 license at”


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Editors and affiliations

  • Rongjin Huang
    • 1
  • Akihiko Takahashi
    • 2
  • João Pedro da Ponte
    • 3
  1. 1.Middle Tennessee State UniversityMurfreesboroUSA
  2. 2.College of EducationDePaul UniversityChicagoUSA
  3. 3.College of EducationUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal

About the editors

Dr. Rongjin Huang is professor of mathematics education at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), USA. He got bachelor and master degrees in mathematics in Mainland China, and Ph.D. degrees in curriculum and instruction in Hong Kong and the USA. He was a high school mathematic teacher, and a faculty member at East China Normal University and University of Macau prior to joining MTSU.  His research interests include classroom research, teacher education, and comparative studies in mathematics education. Dr. Huang has more than 100 publications and presentations in both Chinese and English. The articles have been published in highly respected journals such as: Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, ZDM Mathematics Education, and Journal of Mathematical Behavior. Dr. Huang has published six books. His recently published books include How Chinese Teach Mathematics and Improve Teaching (Rougtledge, 2013), Prospective mathematics teachers’ knowledge of Algebra: A comparative study in China and the United States of America (Springer, 2014), and Teaching and learning mathematics through variation: Confucian heritage meets Western theories (Sense, 2017). Dr. Huang has served as a guest editor for ZDM Mathematics Education and International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies. He has organized and chaired secessions at international conferences such as AERA, NCTM, and ICME.

Dr. Akihiko Takahashi is an Associate Professor at DePaul University. He teaches mathematics and mathematics education for prospective teachers. He was a teacher in Japan before becoming an educator of mathematics teachers. During his teaching career, he was nationally active in mathematics lesson study in Japan. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; his dissertation research focused on internet use in mathematics education. He has published over 60 journal articles and book chapters in English and Japanese and given over 50 presentations and keynote at conferences and workshops in Canada, Chile, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippine, Qatar, Singapore, Thailand, Uganda, United Kingdom, and United States.

Dr. João Pedro da Ponte is Professor at Universidade de Lisboa. He made his doctoral studies at the University of Georgia (USA), and was a Visiting Professor at San Diego (USA), UNICAMP (Brazil), and Granada (Spain). His current main research interests are mathematics teaching practices and teacher education and the teaching and learning of rational numbers and algebra. He coordinated a government report about pre-service teacher education (2006) and a new mathematics curriculum for basic education (2007) and collaborates with the Portuguese association of teachers of mathematics. He has supervised thirty one PhD dissertations and is author and co-author of several books and articles in national and international journals such as BOLEMA, RELIME, Educational Studies in Mathematics, Journal of Mathematics Teacher Educations, and ZDM Mathematics Education.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Theory and Practice of Lesson Study in Mathematics
  • Book Subtitle An International Perspective
  • Editors Rongjin Huang
    Akihiko Takahashi
    João Pedro da Ponte
  • Series Title Advances in Mathematics Education
  • Series Abbreviated Title Adv. Mathematics Education
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-04030-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-04031-4
  • Series ISSN 1869-4918
  • Series E-ISSN 1869-4926
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVIII, 865
  • Number of Illustrations 165 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Mathematics Education
    Research Methods in Education
    Learning & Instruction
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“I recommend this book for educators who are new to lesson study professional development and would like to learn more. The book was revised, peer-reviewed, and externally reviewed over a two year period which, in my opinion, confirms the research’s validity.” (MAA Reviews, February 2, 2020)