PDO/Supervisors Summary

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Akihiko Takahashi led a question and answer session on Lesson Study.

The following is a summary of this discussion as recalled by Debbie Ferry.

Aki shared his experiences with the Paterson #2 School in New Jersey. He worked with Bill Jackson. The school has a very high percentage of free and reduced lunches (98-99%) and also a very high rate of turnover in the school population. Spanish is the language most often spoken in the home. The change he has noticed the most is in the school atmosphere. In the beginning students were not happy, trying to be cool, now the students are smiling and they are more engaged in the classroom. They talk a lot more about math. They write more and can justify and explain what they are doing. The lessons are more interesting.

Traditional Professional Development starts with the answer whereas Lesson Study starts with the question.

Lesson Study helps the teacher to become a researcher.

The lesson plan is the proposal for the research, along with the observation, and the discussion of the lesson.

One barrier is getting teachers to look at lesson plan in different way. Student needs to be a major part of the lesson plan. Plan should focus on student-centered instruction.

We need to provide more opportunities for teachers to participate in observing lesson and post-discussion (debriefing of lesson). Not every teacher needs to be part of a planning team right away. It is valuable to participate as an observer many times first. Quality of discussion after lesson is very important because opportunities or missed opportunities for learning can be brought out.

There are three necessary (important) parts to Lesson Study.

  • A well planned lesson
  • A live observation
  • Good quality discussion after lesson

To launch a new group is difficult because teachers do not have experience in observing Lesson Study first. Teachers should first observe. Then present Lesson Study and begin with those that are interested, share video of debriefing and think about the plan of the lesson and also think about the post-discussion.

Aki mentioned the need for three persons outside the planning team to help in the post-discussion. A moderator to guide the flow and narrow down the discussion, a person that can raise questions from the floor, and a knowledgeable outsider that can highlight important math and add new perspective to the discussion.

Gail Burrill mentioned a good single source for Lesson Study information would be Patsy-Wang Iverson with the Research for Better Schools (http://www.rbs.org). Also mentioned was site at Columbia University and Global Education Resources.

Discussion of PDO and PD (Supervisors) Issues in Connection with Tuesday's homework.
See Chart of PDO's and PD (Supervisors) Issues for summary of discussion.

Read excerpts from Implementing Standards-Based Mathematics Instruction
Read excerpts from The Changing Mathematics Curriculum

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