Impact of Lesson Study Research

Evidence of impact is drawn from four funded projects conducted by the LSRG in the following contexts:

  • Secondary school teaching of maths and modern languages (University-funded, 2011-12),
  • Modern languages and geography PGCE teacher education programme (Society for Educational Studies funded)
  • A school-based initial teacher training partnership (University-funded)
  • Masters level teaching (Higher Education Academy funded).

Through our work with teachers, we have found evidence of:

  1. Enhanced quality of teachers’ learning in Lesson Study groups;
  2. Improvements in the quality of pupils’/students’ classroom learning opportunities;
  3. Recognition of the relevance to practice of teachers’ participation in lesson study.

Evidence of effectiveness of lesson study as a positive mode of teacher development has led to the adoption of lesson study in three teaching alliances and 5 large secondary schools in Leicester, as well as other schools in Glasgow, Leicestershire, Northants, Derbyshire and Oxfordshire, as a result of our research and development work. We are the University partner in the organising team of an annual East Midlands Teacher Researcher conference which has been debating and disseminating lesson study practice and findings. Lesson Study Research is an integral part of a growing number of school-led initial teacher education (ITE) programmes (SCITT; GUTP) and has been successfully piloted in traditional teacher programmes (PGCE). The most recently reported study, conducted with cross-curricular groups of trainee teachers of social science, geography, history and citizenship (2014-15), used micro-teaching lesson study to explore pedagogy (Griffiths, 2016). When student-teachers had completed their second placement, 58% of respondents reported that lesson study had had a positive and practical impact on their practice during their second school placement (Griffiths, 2016).

In addition, lesson study has been adopted by three universities with which we collaborate (Stavanger, Valencia, Gediz) where practice has changed with regard to the professional development of educators. Furthermore, the work is having growing impact in our own University, including joint research with English Language Teaching Unit. Internally, we have modelled our own peer observation processes on this model.

The scale of the projects and the range of funders involved is indicative of the need for further research in schools and higher education to improve pedagogy. Further studies are underway on the use of lesson study in initial teacher education, research methods in Masters programmes, and two international projects exploring:

  1. how learning and the observation of learning are defined and achieved in the classroom (Stavanger/Leicester)
  2. pedagogy of English language teaching in Higher Education (Leicester/Gediz, Izmir).

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