The online resources assembled on this Web page have been selected to support individuals' ongoing inquiry and learning about the lesson study approach to teacher professional development. This page will be maintained and updated as additional relevant resources become available.
Organizations and General Resources
Global Education Resources (GER) offers professional development and consulting to schools and districts interested in implementing lesson study. Workshops include actual classroom observation and discussion. GER President Makoto Yoshida, PhD., consults extensively with the staff and administration of Paterson School No. 2 as they pioneer lesson study in the U.S. New Jersey's GER also offers an introduction to lesson study on CD-ROM or video.
Founded by The Teaching Gap co-author James Stigler, this research-based company uses multimedia technology and training to create electronic communities for facilitating district- or state-wide collaboration. Through the purchase of Lesson Lab's services, participating districts can observe lessons captured on video at any time, making scheduling easier and giving more practitioners access to observations.
Funded by NSF and featuring research by Catherine Lewis, this Web site provides users with background information on lesson study, publications for both the research and practitioner communities, and videos that demonstrate the lesson study approach. For a good overview, read Lesson Study: The Core of Japanese Professional Development. Available videos include Can You Lift 100kg?, The Secret of Trapezes, The Secret of Magnets, and Three Perspectives on Lesson Study.
The mission of the Lesson Study Research Group (LSRG) at the Teacher's College of Columbia University is to explore how lesson study can improve the educational experience of American educators and students. Led by Clea Fernandez, the group's activities include sharing information about how lesson study is conducted in Japan, exploring how lesson study can be adapted for the U.S. educational context, developing tools for supporting lesson study, and gathering information about the impact of lesson study on teachers, students, and schools. The Web site provides examples of lesson study work, papers written on lesson study, links to discussion forums, upcoming events, and video clips.
The School Renewal WebCenter is a place for collaborative thinking about school renewal. Lesson Study is a featured topic for which the practitioners from La Preuss School in La Jolla, CA provide a context. The WebCenter has partnered with LSRG on the discussion forum.
This section of the RBS Web site contains many TIMSS-related resources and links. The TIMSS and TIMSS-R reports and publications provide a wealth of useful data and information on curriculum, instruction, teacher and student lives, and student achievement.
Selected Readings and Other Media
2002 Lesson Study Conference Papers and Proceedings (Content forthcoming)
various authors, 2003
RBS co-sponsored the conference Lesson Study: Collaborative Teacher-Led Professional Development Focused on Student Thinking with TERC and Global Education Resources on November 20-22, 2002. This conference sought to help educators learn about lesson study as well as offer deeper understanding to those already familiar with this professional development process. The papers and presentations summarize and further explore the topics presented at the conference.
2003 Lesson Study Conference Papers and Proceedings (Content forthcoming)
various authors, 2004
RBS co-sponsored the conference Toward a Common Understanding: Implementing Lesson Study on November 19-21, 2003. This conference sought to aid lesson study practicioners in more effective implementation. The papers and presentations summarize and further explore the topics presented at the conference.
Education Week (February 11, 2004)
Debra Viadero reports on the experiences of teachers and administrators at Paterson Public School No. 2 in Paterson, NJ, who have undertaken lesson study. The article also discusses some of the research being done on lesson study and what findings are coming out of that research.
Phi Delta Kappan , Online Article (2003)
Companies that have grown beyond the failed mass-production model have developed continuously improving work systems. The authoer of this article, Wellford W. Wilms, points out that the same principles are found in lesson study, an innovation that he believes holds great promise for improving the public schools, which were also formed in the mold of mass production.
Northwest Teacher, vol. 4, no. 3 (Spring 2003)
This issue represents the two-year follow-up to the Spring 2001 issue of Northwest Teacher which explored lesson study in various schools throughout the country. Published by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory.
Northwest Teacher, vol. 2, no. 2 (Spring 2001)
This mathematics and science journal from the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory provides a succinct description of lesson study and lively accounts of implementation in several schools.
James Hiebert, Council for Basic Education, October 2001
Co-author of The Teaching Gap , Hiebert discusses the need for school cultures to change into cultures where teachers, not just students, learn. He describes lesson study as a model for improving teaching that helps to bring about such a change in the school culture.
James W. Stigler and James Hiebert, American Educator (Winter 1998)
In this article, the authors assert that cultural "scripts" have a large influence on what happens in the classroom. They argue that teachers can only be as effective as the cultural script they are using. Therefore in order to improve teaching and learning, it is critical that we recognize cultural scripts and see where improvements can be made.
Nashville Public Radio, February, 2001 [audio file]
At the beginning of the 2000-2001 school year, all Metropolitan Nashville teachers were given copies of The Teaching Gap by James Hiebert and James Stigler and told that the lesson study program it described would be implemented system-wide. Five days were set aside during the school year for teachers to collaborate on problem solving and lesson planning. Radio host Rebecca Bain talked to teachers and administrators about the lesson study program, and what they like and dislike about it, and also interviewed James Stigler.
by James W. Stigler and James Hiebert, Phi Delta Kappan, September 1997
In this article, Stigler and Hiebert present a brief overview of the video component of TIMSS, which was the first ever attempt to use videotape to study national probability samples of teachers at work. The article discusses the implications of the video study for the improvement of classroom mathematics teaching in the United States.
Clea Fernandez and Makoto Yoshida, Council for Basic Education, October 2001
Reporting on the lesson study process at Paterson School No. 2 in Paterson, NJ, Fernandez and Yoshida reflect on their experiences and offer a vision for implementing lesson study in a powerful way.
Challenges to Importing Japanese Lesson Study: Concerns, Misconceptions, and Nuances (Content forthcoming)
Sonal Chokshi and Clea Fernandez, 2003
The purpose of this article is clarify some of the guiding principles behind the lesson study process, by identifying three categories of challenges (including common concerns, myths/misconceptions, and overlooked nuances) that U.S. lesson study practitioners may encounter at different "developmental stages" of learning about lesson study. Our goal is to help lesson study practitioners distill the core principles of lesson study and more coherently define the purpose of their lesson study work, so that they can move beyond procedural aspects of lesson study towards richer, more sustainable lesson study practice.
Catherine Lewis, Mills College, The CSP Connection, September 2001
This issue of the California Science Project's newsletter features an excerpt from Catherine Lewis' book, Lesson Study: A Handbook of Teacher-Led Instructional Change (2003). To purchase a copy, go to the RBS publications catalog and follow the steps for ordering the book.
Catherine C. Lewis, Northwest Teacher, vol. 4, no. 4 (Spring 2003)
This feature story by Catherine Lewis for an issue of Northwest Teacher focuses on strengthening five key learning pathways: knowledge of subject matter and instruction, "vision to see students," collegial and personal learning structures, connection of daily practice to long-term goals, and motivation to improve.
Catherine C. Lewis, Journal of Staff Development, vol. 23, no. 3 (Summer 2002)
In this article, Catherine Lewis describes the research lesson she observed in Japan when she was first intoduced to lesson study, and overviews the key points of the lesson study process and the impact that it can make on U.S. education.
Hyman Bass, Zalman P. Usiskin, Gail Burrill (eds.), 2002
Following the Ninth International Congress on Mathematics Education held in Makuhari, Japan in August of 2000, the Mathematical Sciences Education Board and the U.S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction hosted a workshop on teacher development. The aim of the workshop was to draw upon the expertise of participants from the U.S. and Japan to work on developing a better understanding of teaching mathematics well. It provided an opportunity to learn about the structure of Japanese lesson study and enabled mathematics educators from the U.S. to share with Japanese colleagues their recent thinking about some promising approaches to teacher development in the U.S. The proceedings from this workshop are available online.
Iris R. Weiss, Joan D. Pasley, P. Sean Smith, Eric R. Banilower, Daniel J. Heck
Horizon Research, Inc., May 2003
This report summarizes findings from observations of and interviews with 364 science and mathematics teachers in schools across the United States. Areas addressed include: how science and mathematics are portrayed, the intellectual engagement of students in lessons, the accuracy of science and mathematics content, teacher questioning strategies, and factors that determine teachers' choice of content and instructional strategies.
by Joan Richardson, National Staff Development Council, Results, December-January 2001
Richardson reports on Paterson School No. 2 in Paterson, NJ, where teachers and administration have undertaken lesson study in collaboration with the Greenwich Japanese School. The article reports on findings that PS No. 2 teachers, administrators, and collaborating teachers have used to modify their teaching strategies.
by Dennis Sparks, National Staff Development Council Results, November 1999
This article reviews The Teaching Gap and highlights the impact of the collaborative process and the need for strong leadership as key elements of the lesson study process.
from "The Education System in Japan: Case Study Findings", U.S. Department of Education, June 1998
This section comes from the chapter "Teachers and the Teaching Profession in Japan." The full report details the education system in Japan, from instructional strategies, to social influences on Japanese students, to teacher attitude.
Education Development Center, 2001
This document profiles the EDC's lesson study work with Watertown High School, MA, which stemmed largely from studying The Teaching Gap. The detailed nature of the report will present a clear picture to those just beginning to learn about lesson study.
California State University Institute for School Reform, July 1997
This report includes a summary of a presentation given by Dr. James Stigler, co-author of The Teaching Gap , on his role in the video component of the TIMSS study.
by Tad Watanabe, NCTM's Mathematics Education Dialogues , November 2001
by Diane Long, Tennessean , November 6, 2000
by Marjorie Coeyman, Christian Science Monitor , May 23, 2000
by Marjorie Coeyman, Christian Science Monitor , May 23, 2000
by Catherine Hawley, Eastside Journal , May 8, 2000
by David J. Hoff, Education Week , February 23, 2000