Lesson Study is an intensive professional development model in which teachers learn through a process of planning and observing lessons together. Originating in Japan, lesson study involves systematic inquiry into teaching practice. Stigler and Hiebert (1999) describe lesson study as a way for teachers to look at their own practice “with new eyes”.
Lesson study has proved to be a powerful experience for teacher, because it “is embedded in the classroom and focused on students, it is collaborative and ongoing, and it is based on teachers’ own concerns and questions” (Darling-Hammond & McLaughlin, 1995). In this way, lesson study is a teacher-led or teacher-initiated activity that has the potential to increase research-based knowledge that is critical to improving instruction (Lewis et al., 2006a). Teachers “engage in lesson study as researchers and scholars of their own classrooms. Their inquiries honour the fascinating and complex nature of teaching” (Stepanek, 2001).
Collaborative Action Research
The process of action research allows educators to:
- reflect on an issue or a problem relevant to their teaching;
- to determine what research question(s) they are trying to answer;
- to implement an intervention designed to address the problem;
- to collect and analyse data to determine if their intervention is having an effect, and;
- to implement changes in their practice based on their findings.
One of the distinctive features of action research in comparison to other forms of research is that teacher-researchers aim to do more than simply describe or explain a phenomenon;
Effective questioning is a researched-effective approach to mathematics teaching that directly impacts student interest and willingness to pursue tasks. In this study, we found that examining, planning and executing effective questions has immediate impact on the level of student engagement and achievement. Teacher participants were the creators of the questions they used, rather than using externally-created questions; the strategies became their own and were integrated into regular and on-going teaching.
Professional Learning About Fractions
During the 2011-2012 school year, the Ontario Ministry of Education Curriculum and Assessment Policy Branch attained a grant from Knowledge Network for Applied Education Research (KNAER) to build and extend understanding of effective teaching and learning of fractions.
Following a review of the research literature and the development of documents that supported teachers with linking this research to their practice more easily, the professional learning series began in three school boards. The teams used a collaborative action research model. These three boards were selected based on readiness factors which included thoughtful and precise long-term professional learning plans focused on mathematics, strong board-level mathematics leadership, and meaningful connections with existing professional learning opportunities...