The purpose of this paper is to show, from a theoretical perspective, how lesson study (LS) can initiate processes that have an effect on most fundamental teachers’ (and teacher–students’) personal beliefs which are the basis of a teacher’ interactions. On the basis of research referring to educational beliefs and good practice, the paper’s approach is to bring underlying beliefs into relation to Pierre Bourdieu’s sociocultural concept of the habitus. Awareness of these unconscious fundamentals is a requirement for improvement. Developing a professional habitus will allow inappropriate beliefs to be changed by informed knowledge. LS can support that.
This is a theoretical paper aiming at illustrating the potential of LS to initiate learning and reflection among teachers, and challenge and ultimately affect deep ranging beliefs. Guided by the idea that beliefs are not only a random collection acquired in a biography, the paper applies the Bourdieuian idea of habitus and field, suggesting habitus as the origin and source of beliefs and, therefore, ultimately of classroom practice. The paper defines LS as a tool in teacher education that has the potential to make teachers change inappropriate concepts by reflecting on their habitus and develop a more professional habitus.
Research agrees that teachers’ decisions and actions are strongly rooted in their unconscious beliefs, which have accumulated during their biographies, especially during their own school days whereas informed knowledge is neglected. The Bourdieuian theory of habitus is a heuristic concept that provides an integrative social perspective on beliefs as both a part and a result of a teacher’s habitus. Reflection on practice and teacher cooperation is essential for teacher learning. LS is an ideal setting providing these essentials, and the paper finds that the negative effects of habitus-rooted unconscious beliefs and practices can be affected by developing awareness through LS.
This paper aims at bringing together Bourdieu’s sociocultural theory of habitus and field, and LS. Inappropriate beliefs guiding practice can hinder informed knowledge on education to be integrated. An analysis of the habitus as the foundation of beliefs can create awareness of the effects resulting from biographical and social sources in both pre- and in-service teacher training. Rather than changing single beliefs, developing a professional habitus allows to integrate informed knowledge and affect a lasting change. The Bourdieuian approach opens up a new perspective of the capacity of LS and makes a relevant contribution in developing a professional habitus.
Mayrhofer, E. (2019), "Lesson study and teachers’ beliefs: How a Bourdieuian perspective could make a difference", International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 19-33. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLLS-11-2018-0091Download as .RIS
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