Improving Prospective Teachers’ Lesson Planning Knowledge and Skills through Lesson Study

  • Suanrong ChenEmail author
  • Bo Zhang
Part of the Advances in Mathematics Education book series (AME)


Improving prospective mathematical teachers’ lesson planning skills is a very crucial task in teacher preparation programs. The purpose of this study is to examine how a lesson study approach implemented in a method course could develop prospective mathematical teachers’ lesson planning skills from the perspective of Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT). Thirty-nine prospective teachers (PTs) enrolled in the course “Instructional Skills of Mathematics” participated in the program of developing lesson planning skills at a public university. Participants experienced an adapted lesson study cycle concentrating on lesson planning. Data included 39 PTs’ lesson plans, 8 groups’ revised lesson plans, and group reflections. The framework of MKT was used to capture the weakness of PTs’ existing knowledge and the progress they made from the initial to the revised lesson plans. The analysis of the initial 39 lesson plans showed 18 different types of problems regarding planning a lesson. About 75% of the problems fell in the domain of pedagogical content knowledge. After experiencing the lesson study process, the participants demonstrated significant improvement in thinking about learning objectives, analysis of content and students, anticipating students’ solutions, and sequencing mathematics tasks. Their reflections further confirmed their gains from the process. This study indicated that lesson study is an effective way to enhance PTs’ teaching cognition and lesson planning skills.


Prospective teachers Lesson planning Skills and knowledge Adapted lesson study 



This project is made possible with the funding from the grant of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Project (numbered with yzucx2016-1B) supported by Yangzhou University and the grant of Jiangsu Brand Professional Development Project in Universities (numbered with PPZY2015B109). The authors would like to thank the graduate students in 2016 Mathematical Master of Education program who conducted the assessment of prospective teachers’ initial lesson plans with the two teacher educators and the prospective teachers who voluntarily participated in this study.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Mathematical ScienceYangzhou UniversityYangzhouChina

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