Rethinking Learning
conversations about the future of teaching and learning
Barbara Bray
be creative, innovate, take risks, unlearn to learn
Oakland, CA

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Lesson Study Teams
By Barbara Bray    February 24, 2006 -- 12:23 PM

Have you thought of using My eCoach for Lesson Study?
More and more of you are forming collaborative teams and sharing ideas about how you would teach to this standard or how to meet this studentís learning style. The dialog is becoming so rich that I am thinking that our learning community is becoming something different than what we first thought.

What is Lesson Study?
Lesson Study is a form of professional development that breaks a tradition of isolation in education to bring teachers together as a professional learning community to improve teacher practice.

The Lesson Study approach to professional development builds on teachersí knowledge and experiences and provides a structure for continual improvement of instruction focused on student learning. Itís based on...

  • Maintaining a constant focus on student learning goals where the goal of improving teaching is to improve student learning.
  • Reflecting on the practice of teaching as a community of professionals with the belief that long-term improvement of teaching depends on the development of effective teaching methods.
  • Encouraging teachers to keep track of changes in practice so that their learning can be shared with the broader teaching community.
  • Providing support within the context of school because improvements in teaching will be most successful if they are developed in classrooms where teachers teach and students learn.
  • Valuing teachers as the driving force behind school improvement because teachers are the only ones who can ensure that studentsí learning improves in the classroom.
Check out my WRL for reference.

So think about how being in a safe environment like My eCoach Online where you can create your own ILP that helps you define the direction you want to go as a professional and a learner yourself can possibly be an effective resource for Lesson Study. If you are on a team, you have an eCoach who guides you, points you toward your goals, and even shares with you some resources. You also have different communication tools that allow you to share with others on your team and even the entire community. You can create a project that you can use with your students and change it from anywhere - adding or changing new resources at anytime.

We created the Game Plan using the Wiki format and have not launched it on every team yet. It takes a little time and patience to learn but this is where the idea of Lesson Study can go a huge step forward. You can create a Game Plan around a concept or standard, invite others to plan with you, and then develop a feedback loop process:
  • How I teach now - putting up strategies on how you teach to this concept or standard now.
  • Artifacts - share student work from existing lessons on this concept. You can put up pictures, files, and reflections.
  • Feedback #1 - what do you see that worked and didnít work
  • What to change - sharing ideas on how you might extend lessons that engage the students
  • Lessons - call for collaboration on specific lessons that came out of the ideas (set up projects using builders)
  • Lesson Results - share pictures, student work, interviews
  • Feedback #2 - what worked - didnít work
This is a research project - there is funding for this kind of project and research. We are associating with more universities and evaluation teams. What do you think? Interested?

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Comments: Add New Comments
By Patti Kennamer      March 3, 2006 -- 07:30 AM
I am very interested in this project.  Will there be a searchable database by lesson or objective?  Will everyone who subscribes have access to the information or will it just be available to those participating on a team?

Reply to Patti Kennamer

By Chuck      December 21, 2006 -- 02:28 AM
I am looking for good examples of protocols used by collaborative teams participating in lesson study. Where might I find some?

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By small Barbara Bray      December 21, 2006 -- 07:02 AM
Chuck - many of the teams participating in lesson study keep their information private. They want to share with the other teachers what works and what doesn't work. They are taking risks by sharing problems, students they had concerns about, etc. I can give you ideas on how they use eCoach and if you are interested in seeing more for your team, I can share with you several examples if the eCoach for that team allows it.

What one team does is use the custom builder for 4 to 6 teachers. Then each teacher is assigned a different color. They brainstorm which standard or lesson they want to study. Then brainstorm topics of concern they will study, i.e. what worked, what didn't work, examples of student work, how they might change their teaching method, videos or pictures of them working, interviews of students, artifacts of work that exemplifies the lesson. We are creating a new builder and will create a template for lesson study for people to use. Hope this helps.

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