Deborah Lynn Sorton Larssen, Wasyl Cajkler, Reidar Mosvold, Raymond Bjuland, Nina Helgevold, Janne Fauskanger, Phil Wood, Fay Baldry, Arne Jakobsen, Hans Erik Bugge, Gro Næsheim-Bjørkvik and Julie Norton
The purpose of this paper is to conduct a structured review of literature on lesson study (LS) in initial teacher education (ITE). The focus was on how learning and…
The purpose of this paper is to conduct a structured review of literature on lesson study (LS) in initial teacher education (ITE). The focus was on how learning and observation were discussed in studies of LS in ITE.
Each national team (in Norway and Britain) undertook independent searches of published peer-reviewed articles. The resulting articles were then combined, screened and collaboratively reviewed, the focus being on two areas of enquiry: how learning is represented and discussed; and the extent to which observation is described and used to capture evidence of learning.
The literature review indicated that there was no universally held understanding of, or explanation for, the process of observation, how it should be conducted, and who or what should be the principal focus of attention. There was also a lack of clarity in the definition of learning and the use of learning theory to support these observations.
This study was limited to a review of a selection of peer-reviewed journal articles, published in English. It arrives at some tentative conclusions, but its scope could have been broadened to include more articles and other types of published material, e.g. theses and book chapters.
Research that investigates the use of LS in ITE needs to be more explicit about how learning is defined and observed. Furthermore, LS research papers need to assure greater clarity and transparency about how observations are conducted in their studies.
This literature review suggests that discussion of both learning and observation in ITE LS research papers should be strengthened. The review highlights three principal challenges that ITE LS researchers should consider: how to prepare student-teachers to observe (professional noticing being a promising option), the wide variation in the focus of classroom observation in ITE lesson studies, and discussion of what is understood by learning needs to stand at the heart of preparation for lesson studies in ITE.
This chapter seeks to explain how lesson study can contribute to the growth of teacher expertise, enabling the participants to work together to address the complexity of…
This chapter seeks to explain how lesson study can contribute to the growth of teacher expertise, enabling the participants to work together to address the complexity of teaching and grow what we call ‘pedagogic literacy’, a holistic but incomplete glimpse of what it means to be a teacher. The model proposed is not complete and cannot be complete given the endless complexity of the classroom. Lesson study, we conclude, is a vehicle for enabling teachers to grow their understanding of teaching and learning, while drawing on a complex web of underpinning interconnected dimensions that teachers develop throughout the varied stages of their careers.
Lesson study has become a popular approach for supporting the development of student-teachers within initial teacher education (ITE) programmes. In a short space of time, the original model of lesson study, originating in Japan, has been adapted to fit into the work contexts of different national systems and ITE provider structures. This chapter classifies the different emerging models of lesson study into three main groups, university and hybrid approaches, practicum approaches and heterodox approaches. Learning study is also considered, due to its developing popularity, as a practice development approach. Having outlined the different models of lesson study used in ITE, the authors go on to outline some of the main challenges and advantages of participating in lesson study which have been identified in the literature.
Much of the lesson study research in initial teacher education (ITE) is focussed on single cases and pilot projects. As a result, there is very little consideration of the wider cultural and organisational issues which need to be considered if lesson study is to become embedded within ITE partnerships in the longer term. The move from novelty to sustainability is not an easy one but is rarely considered within the LS literature. Here, the authors argue that Normalisation Process Theory, a framework first developed in the medical, health and social care sphere can be used to offer a wider, organisation-level perspective on successfully embedding lesson study in ITE partnerships.
Lesson study in initial teacher education (ITE) has started to gain in popularity across many jurisdictions. However, much of the research literature suggests that the…
Lesson study in initial teacher education (ITE) has started to gain in popularity across many jurisdictions. However, much of the research literature suggests that the uptake is small-scale and experimental in nature. This chapter reflects on some of the ways in which lesson study might become a more systems-led approach, and an embedded part of the work of ITE. It uses a spatio-temporal approach to consider how the use of lesson study might develop at different scales and over different time periods.
This chapter considers ways in which lesson study may be introduced and sustained within the school–university partnerships that already exist within an initial teacher education (ITE) course. In particular, the authors describe the challenges and opportunities associated with ITE lesson study partnerships and ways in which lesson study can deepen and even transform the nature of the school–university partnership. The authors draw on third-generation Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (Engeström, 2001) to highlight pre-service teachers’ roles as ‘boundary crossers’ between the activity system of the university ITE course and the activity system of the school department in which they are placed. The authors argue that pre-service teachers, despite their inexperience as teachers, have an important opportunity to introduce the practices of lesson study that they are learning about into the schools in which they are placed. They are also able to promote approaches to lesson planning and observation that support the values of the course and thus, through mentor development, strengthen the school–university partnership more widely than the specific lesson studies carried out. The authors outline three models for productive ITE lesson study partnerships, and argue that even a relatively small number of lesson study events throughout the school year can establish the beginnings of a transformation in the school culture away from a performative focus on evaluating the teacher and towards a more productive focus on school students’ learning. This, in turn, deepens the partnership between university and school by aligning both parties more closely around a shared focus on studying learning.
This chapter focusses on the complexity of observation, considering its role in lesson study, following a broader discussion of how observation is generally understood in teaching contexts. The authors argue that lesson study observation is formative and should not be performative in focus. In lesson study cycles, observation is a process conducted among peers ideally in a spirit of mutual support and collaborative inquiry, seeking to find answers to pedagogic challenges rather than measuring the effectiveness of individual teachers.
This chapter explores the benefits of joint lesson planning for student-teachers in two higher educational settings, one in Norway and the other in the UK. Lesson study is…
This chapter explores the benefits of joint lesson planning for student-teachers in two higher educational settings, one in Norway and the other in the UK. Lesson study is used as a vehicle for collaborative planning and teacher professional learning during field-practice in both contexts, but the models of lesson study implemented differ slightly to fit the respective initial teacher education (ITE) programmes. In both settings, however, student-teachers, mentor teachers and university tutors work in pairs or small groups to plan, teach and evaluate a research lesson together. The case studies reported in this chapter show the challenges which student-teachers face, but, at the same time, also reveal the potential of lesson study to open a dialogic space where they can share ideas with more experienced colleagues, gain greater awareness of the teaching and learning process and so become more effectively inducted into this community of practice. The chapter also explores the role of the ‘knowledgeable other(s)’, the issue of asymmetrical relationships in lesson study groups within the context of ITE and how this might impact on the learning of the different group members. Collaborative planning in lesson study groups in ITE is found to bridge the gap between what student-teachers learn during teacher training courses and what actually takes place in schools in the respective socio-cultural contexts discussed here.
This chapter explores the use of three different approaches to capturing other perspectives in lesson study: lesson artefacts, pupil voice and pupil participatory…
This chapter explores the use of three different approaches to capturing other perspectives in lesson study: lesson artefacts, pupil voice and pupil participatory approaches. Lesson artefacts and pupil voice appear to be the more common, whereas pupil participatory approaches are more recent initiatives in a lesson study context. Observation of pupils provides one perspective, but is limited because, among other things, it does not include the pupils’ perspectives. These approaches, especially when used together in triangulation, can provide a broader and potentially deeper understanding of pupil learning.