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Getting Started with Lesson Study. A Training Module for 2008 Lesson Study Project Participants. About this Module. This module introduces you to lesson study practices and offers strategies and guidance to help you get started on your lesson study project.
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Getting Started withLesson Study A Training Module for 2008 Lesson Study Project Participants
About this Module This module introduces you to lesson study practices and offers strategies and guidance to help you get started on your lesson study project. If possible, work through this module with your entire lesson study team. I recommend viewing it on a computer with a high-speed Internet connection. If you have questions, please contact Bill Cerbin, Lesson Study Project Director. More information is available at http://www.uwlax.edu/sotl/lsp
Module Contents About this Module • Introduction • Learning Goals • Lesson Design • Gathering Evidence • Analyzing Evidence • Writing Your Report Acknowledgements
What is Lesson Study? Lesson study is a teaching improvement process in which a group of teachers jointly designs, teaches, observes, analyzes, revises & documents a single class lesson, called a Research Lesson.
“Lesson study is a simple idea…. If you want to improve instruction, what could be more obvious than collaborating with fellow teachers to plan, observe, and reflect on lessons? While it may be a simple idea, lesson study is a complex process, supported by collaborative goal setting, careful data collection on student learning, and protocols that enable productive discussion of difficult issues.” Catherine Lewis. Lesson study: A handbook of teacher-led instructional improvement. Philadelphia: Research for Better Schools, 2002.
Can You Lift 100 Kg? The best way to get a sense of what takes place in lesson study is to watch it in practice. This video depicts excerpts of a lesson study by Japanese teachers in an elementary science class. (read more). Despite cultural and educational differences this video is both inspiring and illuminating. (~18 Minutes Total) View online video clip now.Note: Video may take several minutes to download.
Introduction to College Lesson Study Our “homemade” video defines lesson study and discusses key steps in the lesson study process. Created in January 2006 at UW-La Crosse, it provides a glimpse into how college teachers have been using lesson study to build knowledge of teaching and learning. (~15 Minutes) View online video clip now.Note: Video may take several minutes to download.
Learning to do lesson study The remainder of the module explores how to do lesson study, focusing on lesson goals, lesson design, gathering evidence, analyzing evidence, and documenting your lesson study.
Importance of learning goals in lesson study • Student learning goals inform the design of the lesson and provide a rationale for teaching it one way versus another. • Lessons may seem arbitrary or unfocused without clearly stated goals. The lesson is intended to bring about certain types of learning, thinking, actions, or feelings in students.
Liberal learning in introductory level courses • 2008 grant projects focus on liberal education outcomes in introductory level courses • Essential liberal education outcomes are those proposed by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. See College Learning for the New Global Century
College Learning for the New Global Century
Lessons should address two types of learning goals Essential liberal education goals. Habits of mind, intellectual capacities, personal qualities and dispositions Lesson specific goals. Knowledge or skills specific to the subject matter of the lesson (e.g., students can explain the phases of meiosis)
Goal setting • Specific lesson goals tend to be straightforward—they address substantive content matter and skills that students can learn in a single lesson • Liberal education goals are broad, developmental goals that students acquire throughout a course, an academic program and their undergraduate experience
Establishing liberal education goals To establish learning goals for a lesson it may help to translate broad liberal education goals into discipline-based goals or outcomes. Consider the following example.
Critical Thinking as a learning goal Critical Thinking is a ubiquitous goal in higher education. But what does critical thinking mean and look like in your field, in your undergraduate program, in your course—and in the context of a single lesson?
Define critical thinking as a discipline-based outcome A lesson study team in introductory psychology asked, What type of critical thinking is important in the introductory course?
Introductory psychology example, continued After a lot of discussion their answer was, We want students to be able to analyze human behavior in terms of multiple causes.
Introductory psychology example, continued This outcome, analyzing behavior in terms of multiple causes, is one important feature of critical thinking in the social sciences. It became the central focus of their research lesson.
Broad liberal education outcomes and lesson specific outcomes BROAD LIBERAL EDUCATION OUTCOME Critical Thinking DISCIPLINE-BASED CRITICAL THINKING Ability to analyze behavior in terms of multiple causes LESSON SPECIFIC OUTCOME Students are able to explain why people come to the aid of strangers in need of help
Two more examples of liberal education outcomes in disciplinary contexts Examples of discipline-based critical thinking. . . History Historical empathy…perceive past events and issues as they were experienced by people at the time, to develop historical empathy as opposed to present-mindedness. (NCHE) Psychology Demonstrate reasonable skepticism and intellectual curiosity by asking questions about causes of behavior (APA Task Force)
Framing Learning Goals State goals in terms of • what students should know, • what they should be able to do, • how they should be affected or changed as a result of the lesson.
Pitfall Teaching vs. Learning Goals PROBLEM: Goals focus on what teachers do (e.g. “cover topic X”). As a result, the lesson design and observation may focus less on student learning (read more). SOLUTION: Use the generic framework on the next slide to help draft your goals.
analyze… interpret… evaluate… explain… hypothesize… perform… demonstrate… empathize… critique… decide… articulate… etc. Drafting Goals Statements “As a result of the lesson, students should be able to…
--Stop and do this task-- Generate Possible Learning Goals • What essential liberal education outcomes—habits of mind, personal qualities and intellectual capacities– can you address in a course you teach? Refer to the Essential Liberal Education Outcomeslist. • What essential topics, issues, questions, capacities, etc. would be fertile ground for a lesson study? • What problems, misconceptions and difficulties do students experience in learning your subject?
Pitfall Too Many Goals PROBLEM: Disparate or unrelated goals may dilute the effect of a lesson and result in incoherence. Teachers and students may feel frustrated from trying to do too much in a single class session. SOLUTION: Discuss what is most important for students to learn. Adopt an essential liberal education goal worth addressing in subsequent lessons and throughout the course or program.
Goals and lesson design Your team may continue to clarify, refine and even change learning goals as you move on to lesson design. Your goals will influence the types of lesson activities you select—and sometimes the lesson activities you select influence how you define your goals.
Where to Begin Team members share how they have taught or would teach the topic and address the goal(s), discussing and debating the merits of different types of class activities, assignments, exercises, etc. Some teams build on existing lessons while others create new ones.
Key Features of Lesson Design The lesson design should makestudent thinking visible — that is, open to observation and analysis. Instructional activities and experiences ideally provide occasions for students to articulate their understandings and make progress toward learning goals.
— Stop and do this task—Making Thinking Visible • Choose one of the learning goals for your lesson. • Design an experience, exercise, assignment, activity, or lesson sequence that would - make student thinking visible - support student achievement of the learning goal
Example Lesson Sequence #1Problem/Case Based • The instructor presents a problem (or case, question, task, issue, etc.) to the class. • Several students are asked to share their solutions and discuss how they arrived at them. • The instructor provides an overview of solution strategies. • Students attempt to solve a new problem alone or in groups and then discuss their solution strategies. • The instructor leads a summary discussion of solution strategies.
Example Lesson Sequence #2Lecture Based • In a large class the teacher presents a 20-minute lecture and then asks groups of students to discuss possible solutions to a problem. • The instructor collects the responses and then projects 3-4 examples to the class. • The instructor leads a brief discussion in which students explain each solution. • The instructor uses students’ comments to highlight key aspects of the problem. • At the end of class each student writes a “minute paper” about the best ways to solve the problem.
Example Lesson Sequence #3Writing/Discussion Based • Students complete an assignment designed by the lesson study team. • Before or at the beginning of class, students write responses to questions related to the learning goal. • In class students debate their answers in pairs or small groups. • The teacher asks students to share responses. The instructor writes patterns on the board and asks strategic questions. • Students revise their written answers in light of group discussion.
Example Lesson Sequence #4Online/Hybrid Based • Before class, students visit selected websites and participate in an online discussion forum. • The instructor responds to student discussions in an audio recording, which is then uploaded as a podcast. • Students listen to the instructor’s podcast and then post responses to several focused questions. • In an online or a traditional class meeting, the instructor responds to select student posts or highlights patterns in the posts. • The entire session is archived on the course website.
A Japanese Approach • hatsumon— provoking students’ deep thinking about a problem • jirikikaiketsu— solving problems individually • neriage— polishing learning through whole class discussion • matome— summary Recommended Reading: Fernandez, C. & Yoshida, M. (2004). Lesson study: A Japanese approach to improving mathematics teaching and learning . Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.
Pitfall Design Seems Arbitrary PROBLEM: The parts of the lesson do not seem to create a whole. The lesson does not (or portions of it do not) seem to support the learning goals. SOLUTION: As a team, develop a rationale for the lesson design, discussing reasons for adopting one instructional strategy versus another. Discuss how lesson activities are intended support goals throughout the lesson.
Additional Strategies See more instructional techniques that make student thinking visible
What constitutes evidence? By designing a lesson that makes student thinking visible, the lesson study team has already begun thinking about how to gather evidence related to learning goals.
Two Kinds of Evidence • Observations • Live observer reports, video/audio recordings, etc. • Student work • in-class as well as pre- and post-class writing, exercises, exhibits, etc.
Pitfall Before and After PROBLEM: For evidence of student learning the team looks only to pre- and post-test assessments. As a result, it is difficult to determine howstudents learned or did not learn from the lesson. SOLUTION: Whether you use pre- and post-tests or not, make sure to focus on what happens during the lesson. Prepare a set of guidelines to structure in-class observations.
Guidelines for Observers Observation Guidelines include a copy of the lesson plan as well as instructions to observers about • Who to observe • What to observe • How to record data
Who to Observe On the day of the lesson, observers sit so they can see students, not just the instructor. Whether team members observe certain students, groups or the whole class, they focus on how students respond to the lesson.
What to Observe Observers may attempt to monitor “everything students do and say” but they may find it more feasible to focus on specific activities and student responses. They might divide up labor to gather information about different aspects of learning—e.g. group dynamics, use of key terms, etc.