Lesson study–the form of professional development long favored by Japanese teachers–has recently been initiated by teachers at many sites across North America. This handbook illuminates both the key ideas underlying lesson study and the practical support needed to make it succeed in any subject area.
In lesson study, teachers plan, observe, and refine “research lessons” designed to bring to life their long-term goals for student learning and development. Japan’s steady improvement of mathematics and science instruction since World War II is credited by researchers to teacher-led lesson study.
Nine chapters address topics including the basic steps of lesson study, supports, misconceptions, system impact, and how to pioneer lesson study in your setting. The handbook provides practical resources including schedules, data collection examples, protocols for lesson discussion and observation, and instructional plans for mathematics, science, and language arts. Contributions by US lesson study pioneers Lynn Liptak, Tad Watanabe, and Makoto Yoshida highlight additional issues in lesson study design.
Catherine Lewis received her doctorate from Stanford University. Fluent in Japanese, she has researched lesson study since 1993, and has participated in research lessons at more than 50 Japanese and US schools. Her book Educating Hearts and Minds: Reflections on Japanese Preschool and Elementary Education (Cambridge University Press) was named an outstanding academic book of 1995 by the American Library Association’s Choice. Lewis is a senior research scientist at Mills College in Oakland, California.
This groundbreaking book is available only from Research for Better Schools. If you believe that teachers should be the central force in their own professional growth, then read this book to discover both why and how lesson study matters.