In Japan, teachers improve their teaching through “lesson study,” a process in which teachers jointly plan, observe, analyze, and refine actual classroom lessons called “research lessons”. Lesson study is widely credited for the steady improvement of Japanese elementary mathematics and science instruction. Since 1999, lesson study has rapidly emerged in many sites across the United States.
In Lesson Study teachers:
* Think about the long-term goals of education – such as love of learning and respect for others;
* Carefully consider the goals of a particular subject area, unit or lesson (for example, why science is taught, what is important about levers, how to introduce levers);
* Plan classroom “research lessons” that bring to life both specific subject matter goals and long term goals for students; and
* Carefully study how students respond to these lessons – including their learning, engagement, and treatment of each other.