The prospects of lesson study in the US

Greg Gero (School of Educational Studies, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, USA)

International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies

ISSN: 2046-8253

Publication date: 5 January 2015

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Practical implications

The findings from this study have important implications for the prospects of lesson study as a model of teacher development in the USA.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils a need to investigate factors that impede and promote the effective implementation of lesson study in the USA.

Keywords

Citation

Greg Gero (2015) "The prospects of lesson study in the US", International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 7-25

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DOI

: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLLS-02-2014-0007

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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