Many professional organizations promote teacher collaboration, but lesson study goes beyond collaboration to co-planning and observing actual lessons with a focus on student thinking. In the lesson study model of ongoing professional learning, teachers learn together, with administrators and specialists, and even with other schools. Participants plan, observe, and refine "research lessons" designed to make real their long-term goals for student learning and development.
A key, concrete component of lesson study is the observing and teaching of lessons, which then are improved collaboratively. The real "lesson" of lesson study is not product, but process. It compels teachers to examine their own practice in depth in the context of student learning, connects them with their students and their professional community, and inspires them to improve continually. This model of ongoing, teacher-led professional development has been applied most successfully and widely in Japan. It has recently been adapted and initiated by teachers at many sites across the U.S.
Conference Papers and Presentations
RBS has held several lesson study conferences. Papers and other resources from those conferences are available here.
- RBS Currents: Volume 5, Issue 2. For several years, RBS published a newsletter, RBS Currents. This issue focuses on lesson study. It offers numerous articles including an explanation of lesson study, a look at the lesson study process, a principal's perspective on initiating the process, and much more.
- A Call to Teachers: Join the Journey Beyond TIMSS. Explains the connection between lesson study and student achievement, based on studies conducted from TIMSS.
- Lesson Study: A Handbook of Teacher-Led Instructional Change. This book, written by lesson study expert Catherine Lewis, is available only through RBS.
- Readings and Resources. Additional online resources on lesson study.
- Frequently Asked Questions. Answers to several frequently asked questions about lesson study.
- Glossary. Definitions for lesson study terminology, for developing a shared understanding and a shared language among lesson study practitioners.