The prospects of lesson study in the US: Teacher support and comfort within a district culture of control
International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies
Article publication date: 5 January 2015
Lesson study has emerged as an approach to improving the quality of teaching in the USA. The purpose of this paper is to provide an investigation into teachers’ attitudes toward lesson study. Evidence suggests that lesson study may increase teachers’ content knowledge and their ability to anticipate student misconceptions during lessons. Nevertheless, certain issues have surfaced in the literature. Teachers may struggle with the demands of collaboration, critique of their lessons, and observation of their teaching. Moreover, lesson study may conflict with the existing mandate-monitor culture within many school districts. Understanding how teachers perceive lesson study is vital to gauging the effectiveness of the process.
In all, 55 teachers at two elementary schools in urban Los Angeles participated in the researcher-designed survey. For the teachers in this study, participation in lesson study was mandatory, and most had participated in a version of lesson study that emphasized following the established curriculum and district-approved strategies. Data were analyzed using correlational analysis.
Results yielded significant associations between teachers’ comfort levels with collaboration, lesson observation, lesson critique, and their support for lesson study. Higher degrees of control by the district over the lesson study process were linked to teachers feeling less responsible for student learning.
The findings from this study have important implications for the prospects of lesson study as a model of teacher development in the USA.
This paper fulfils a need to investigate factors that impede and promote the effective implementation of lesson study in the USA.
Gero, G. (2015), "The prospects of lesson study in the US: Teacher support and comfort within a district culture of control", International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 7-25. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLLS-02-2014-0007
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