The purpose of this paper is to examine how lesson study can lead to teacher learning and improvement of instruction by developing teachers’ mathematical-task knowledge and by supporting teachers’ selection, modification, and implementation of mathematical tasks. Mathematical-task knowledge includes knowledge needed to use tasks that require a high level of thinking and reasoning.
A qualitative case study design was used to explore the learning and instruction of three teachers as they went through the process of lesson study, developed knowledge around mathematics tasks, and made changes to their instruction. Methods included direct observation of lessons, semi-structured interviews, and participant observation.
This lesson study project supported teachers in developing mathematical-task knowledge and in making change to instructional practice. The teachers discussed in this paper added to their understanding of mathematical tasks and changed how they implemented tasks after lesson study. The teachers began to challenge students to go beyond memorizing or executing procedures to deepen the students’ understanding of mathematical concepts. Teachers developed key insights and understandings of mathematical tasks, triggering shifts in their thinking, and changes to instruction. Collaboration and reflection altered the selection, modification, and implementation of mathematical tasks.
This study reveals the connections between features of lesson study and the pathways that lead to learning and improvements to instruction. Limitations included the demands of the school district’s pacing guide and curriculum, and a limited number of interviews and observations were conducted after lesson study.
There are many different ways lesson study has been implemented in the USA, yet the effectiveness of many lesson study projects is still unclear. This study reveals more about the lesson study process, what features are important, and how these features lead to development of knowledge and practice. This study examines how teachers within the same lesson study group added to their knowledge and practice and how different features of lesson study prompt them to make changes.
Barber, K. (2018), "Developing teachers’ mathematical-task knowledge and practice through lesson study", International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 136-149. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLLS-09-2017-0042Download as .RIS
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