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Lesson study outcomes: a theoretical model

John Paul Mynott (Central Primary School Watford, Watford, UK)

International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies

ISSN: 2046-8253

Article publication date: 12 March 2019

Issue publication date: 4 April 2019




Lesson study (LS) research is disadvantaged by a lack of clarity surrounding the potential outcomes an LS cycle can produce for participant learning. The purpose of this paper is to set out a model of the potential outcomes an LS cycle can achieve. The model identifies the limitations that can occur in LS groups and how these limitations impact on the overall outcomes for participants.


Case studies are used to exemplify the different outcomes in the model taken from five years of LS work in a primary school in England. The case studies shape the four different outcomes of the model, defining and contextualising the attributes and characteristics of each outcome.


The model presented indicates that there are four key outcomes for LS cycles, with the most common outcome being a form of limited learning. The paper explores the limitations of time, collaboration and expertise to articulate how each of these limiting factors has a bearing on the overall outcome for an LS cycle.

Research limitations/implications

The model is currently based on a singular educational setting. This means that each outcome needs further exploration through wider LS work in order to clarify and refine the outcome model.

Practical implications

The outcome model will support the development of a shared vocabulary for discussing LS cycles. By articulating where on the outcome model an LS is, it is possible for researchers to discuss how to reduce the impact of limitations and other challenges to LS, enabling research to develop a more evaluation-led approach to using LS.


The outcome model supports LS researchers in articulating the outcomes of their LS cycles with a shared vocabulary. It addresses understudied areas of LS research, namely failed and dysfunctional LS cycles and identifies that while an LS can bring the potential for participant learning, the cycle outcomes are the starting point for participant change.



Mynott, J.P. (2019), "Lesson study outcomes: a theoretical model", International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 117-134.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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