Examples from the Field
AFT Lesson Study Groups
The AFT currently supports lesson study groups in Rochester, N.Y., Volusia County, Fla., and Scranton, Pa. These groups emerged as a natural and powerful follow-up to training in the ER&D Thinking Mathematics program.
While Thinking Math provides initial research-based knowledge about how children learn, lesson study affords a long-term process for applying that knowledge to particular lessons and deepening it. It is, according to researcher Catherine Lewis, "an ongoing method to improve instruction based on careful observation of students and their work."
Other Lesson Study Groups
In many instances, schools or learning communities may come together when creating a professional development program for lesson study. Below are examples of how learning communities are using technology to review and distribute lesson studies among their colleagues. The examples have full-functioning websites with interactive tools, blogs, videos, research and guides to establish and facilitate a lesson study program.
- The Chicago Lesson Study Group provides an online forum for its community of teachers to learn about and practice lesson study as a way to steadily improve student learning.
- The Lesson Study Project (LSP), created by the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, supports lesson study programs among college professors in all disciplines. Although the LSP is targeted for college-level instruction, the program’s resources can be very helpful to K-12 teachers. The project’s website includes templates for lesson studies, a showcase of multimedia lessons, and general information and research on starting a lesson study program in your community.
- Catherine Lewis, a researcher at Mills College in California, is currently the director of lesson study research projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The Lesson Study Group at Mills College is a great resource for teachers new to lesson study and for those who are seeking additional research on prospective programs. On the website, you will find articles, videos, books, lesson plans, workshop handouts, and links to other organizations participating in lesson study. Also see Lewis’ PowerPoint presentation: “Lesson Study: What is it? How can it help with the urgent needs of public education?"
- The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) expanded a previous video study that investigated eighth-grade mathematics and science teaching. The methods used in TIMSS are very closely related to the lesson study process. Here are video examples of the lessons the IES is examining.