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Lesson Study Resources

In this section, you will find resources to help you do lesson study and learn about lesson study.

On the left, you will find materials created within our project, as well as some specific links to materials available from other lesson study sites.

Below you will find more general information about lesson study as well as links to other lesson study sites.

About lesson study
Links to general lesson study resources
Links to other U.S. implementations

About lesson study

Lesson Study is one of the most common forms of professional development in Japan, where it occurs in all subjects primarily at the middle school and elementary level. Teachers work in small teams, carefully and collaboratively crafting lesson plans. The lessons are designed to meet both content goals and general learning or affective goals for students—such as working together to solve problems or being excited to learn about nature. Since publication of the TIMSS (Third International Mathematics and Science Study) reports, lesson study has received considerable attention in the U.S. and has been highlighted by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics for its promise in helping teachers develop effective pedagogy for standards-based problem-centered instruction.

In a typical cycle of lesson study, teachers meet in a small group to set goals and then to plan a lesson. Teachers pay attention to the content of the lesson and consider carefully how the details of the lesson will help students learn. Once the lesson has been developed, one of the teachers in the group teaches it while the others observe. They then evaluate the lesson, reflect on its effects, and produce a revised plan. Sometimes, the revised lesson is also taught and observed, and is subject to a second round of reflection and final revision before it is recorded for sharing with other teachers. Lesson study sometimes culminates in a school-wide open-house, where teachers from many schools come to observe lessons and participate in colloquia led by the lesson study groups.

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Links to general lesson study resources

Lesson Study Research Group – Teachers College, Columbia University
The Lesson Study Research Group website provides information, resources, and networking opportunities to U.S. educators who are interested in learning more about lesson study. This site provides readings, presentations, tools for lesson study and work samples. It also provides links to many other lesson study related sites.

Lesson Study in Japan, U.S. Science Education
This site comes out of an NSF-funded research project from the Mills College Education Department that is focused on studying 4 models for spreading coherent, inquiry based elementary science instruction. One of the models being examined is lesson study. In addition to the research information, this site provides videos and other publications related to lesson study, as well as a resource list of other organizations involved in lesson study.

Global Education Resources
The mission of Global Education Resources (GER) is to improve elementary and middle school mathematics instruction and learning by providing workshops and consulting services to teachers, schools, and districts.

The Teaching Gap Website
The Teaching Gap: Best Ideas from the World's Teachers for Improving Education in the Classroom, by James W. Stigler and James Hiebert, compares math teaching practices in Japan and Germany with those in the United States. The authors essentially introduced the U.S. education community to lesson study as their proposal for how to improve education in the American classroom.

Research for Better Schools
Under the Research and Resources section of the RBS website, you can find an overview of lesson study and a description of lesson study's connection to the TIMSS report. There are also links to additional resources on lesson study.

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Links to other U.S. implementations of lesson study

Bellevue, Washington
Bellevue, Washington has implemented a district-wide lesson study program in all subject areas. Check out this site to find out how they are doing it and what teachers and administrators have to say about their lesson study experience.

Math Star, New Mexico State University
New Mexico State University is supporting teams of mathematics teachers across the state of New Mexico. Check out this site to see videos and sample lesson plans.

Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa
Loras College is supporting elementary school mathematics teachers in Eastern Iowa conducting lesson study in school-based teams. Check out this site for extensive lists of lesson study and mathematics-related websites.

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For project information contact: Jane Gorman (jgorman@edc.org), EDC, 55 Chapel Street, Newton MA 02458 (617-969-7100)
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