Lesson Study is original to Japanese school culture and teacher culture. About 130 years ago, teachers began to enthusiastically study and learn Johann F Hervert’s Pedagogy that was introduced and guided by Western countries. These teachers’ study and learning were the starting point of Lesson Study in Japan.
After that, Lesson Study in Japan developed in various ways. About 100 years ago, Deweyan pragmatism influenced educational change in Japan. Also, in Lesson Study, many teachers focused on both how teachers teach and how children learn. They told stories of their practices and about their students to each other in Lesson Study discussions and wrote about their reflective practice in records called “Practical Report.”
After the two World Wars, many universities and educational researchers began to study lessons and be involved Lesson Study in schools. They developed various methods of implementing Lesson Study and analyzing lessons. Now, we have many methods of Lesson Study in and out of schools.
In Lesson Study, teachers socially interact and talk about their practices. It is one of the key activities which cultivates professional development and capital of teachers in their schools. Moreover, Lesson Study can cultivate Professional Learning Communities in schools because it involves the system of and the sequence of fostering collegiality of teachers. However, in preceding studies, we failed to document sufficient evidence that Lesson Study cultivates professional learning communities in schools.
Thus, now is the time for inquiry: How do we establish strong professional learning communities in our schools? How does Lesson Study cultivate strong professional learning communities and professional development and capital of teachers? What happens in teachers' professional dialogue in lesson study that cultivates professional learning communities?
We, DPDT (Department of Professional Development of Teachers) University of Fukui, are taking on the challenge of the above issues with school teachers, partner schools and you.
(written by Dr. Yuu Kimura, DPDT)
The staff in DPDT is comprised of about 40 teachers and researchers. Our specialties cover a broad range of educational fields, including lesson study, pedagogy, educational methods, educational psychology, subject-matter education, special education, social education, management and so on. A list of staff members can be found here.