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Lesson study reminds us that lesson observation has a long history – the idea was developed in Japan at least 140 years ago (1)! A good, simple description of the approach is given by the Teacher Development Trust – ‘model of teacher-led research in which three teachers work together to target an identified area for development in their students’ learning’ (2).
Lesson study can be seen as a ‘breath of fresh air’ for teachers who are used to ‘tick box’ or graded observations.
The teachers come up with an ‘enquiry question’, plan lessons together, observe each other teaching (with a focus on specific identified students) and reflect on how the lesson addressed the specific development area.
The time needed for the process – having two members of staff watch another lesson is often complicated to organise and requires significant cover. ONVU Learning’s Lessonvu video system offers an elegant solution to this – by recording lessons and sharing them with other teachers at a time of their convenience the need for cover is reduced.
The evidence for the effectiveness of lesson study is generally positive – as seen in these two articles.
· David Godfrey, Sarah Seleznyov, Jake Anders, Nicholas Wollaston & Fabián Barrera-Pedemonte (2019) A developmental evaluation approach to lesson study: exploring the impact of lesson study in London schools, Professional Development in Education, 45:2, 325-340 (4)
· Wai Ming Cheung, Wing Yee Wong, (2014) “Does Lesson Study work?: A systematic review on the effects of Lesson Study and Learning Study on teachers and students”, International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, Vol. 3 Issue: 2, pp.137-149 (5)
A further study by the Education Endowment Foundation found that Lesson Study made no impact – the findings of this research are discussed here by David Weston of the Teacher Development Trust (6).
The School of the Future Guide is aimed at helping school leaders and teachers make informed choices when designing the learning environments of the future using existing and upcoming technologies, as they seek to prepare children for the rest of the 21st century – the result is a more efficient and competitive school.