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LESSON STUDY ARTICLES/ PAPERS

In this section, you will find a selected bibliography of articles and papers that we consider to be especially relevant for people who are interested in learning more about lesson study, or conducting it in their schools. You can download or request many of these articles/ papers directly from this webpage.

***The following list is alphabetized by author(s):

[The first 7 papers listed below were written by members of the Lesson Study Research Group. The goal of these papers is to help deepen perspectives about lesson study and what it takes to implement lesson study well. You can request individual papers below, or request all 7 papers at once by sending an e-mail to lsrg@columbia.edu. For a list of all LSRG materials, please click here.]

Cannon, J. & Fernandez, C. (2003). "This research has nothing to do with our teaching!": An analysis of lesson study practitioners' difficulties conducting teacher research. Manuscript submitted for publication.*

Recent calls for teachers to engage in teacher research have left many in the educational community questioning whether teachers can produce sound research while simultaneously meeting their professional responsibilities in the classroom. In this paper, we examine this issue empirically through a case analysis of teachers engaged in lesson study. We show that these teachers did in fact encounter difficulties merging their research and practice and that their struggles were rooted in their beliefs about research. Based on these observations, we propose six principles for conducting teacher research that are grounded in an alternative view of research and that aim to enable teachers to successfully merge their practice and research. We also discuss the implications of these principles for the teacher research movement. If you would like to obtain a draft of this paper, please e-mail us at lsrg@columbia.edu.

Chokshi, S. & Fernandez, C. (March 2004). Challenges to importing Japanese lesson study: Concerns, misconceptions, and nuances. Phi Delta Kappan, 85(7), 520-525.*

The purpose of this article is clarify some of the guiding principles behind the lesson study process, by identifying three categories of challenges (including common concerns, myths/ misconceptions, and overlooked nuances) that U.S. lesson study practitioners may encounter at different "developmental stages" of learning about lesson study. Our goal is to help lesson study practitioners distill the core principles of lesson study and more coherently define the purpose of their lesson study work, so that they can move beyond procedural aspects of lesson study towards richer, more sustainable lesson study practice. To access this article online, please click here. If you would like to obtain a draft of this paper, please e-mail us at lsrg@columbia.edu.

Fernandez, C. (2003). Lesson study: A means for U.S. teachers to develop the knowledge of mathematics needed for reform-minded teaching? Manuscript submitted for publication.*

This paper examines the work of a lesson study group in order to speculate about the educative value of lesson study. Specifically, this paper explores whether lesson study can afford teachers opportunities to learn about mathematics in ways that are useful for the enactment of reform-minded teaching. What stands in the way of teachers taking advantage of such opportunities and how such obstacles can be overcome are also addressed. Implications for future research on lesson study and for our broader understanding of what teachers learn from examinations of practice are also discussed. If you would like to obtain a draft of this paper, please e-mail us at lsrg@columbia.edu.

Fernandez, C. (2002). Learning from Japanese approaches to professional development: The case of lesson study. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(5), 393-405.*

This article describes the Japanese professional development practice of lesson study both in terms of its process as well as how it is articulated within the Japanese educational system. The article also describes the insights gained from an empirical study that explored the feasibility of lesson study in a U.S. setting. More specifically, challenges to lesson study practice are highlighted, with particular attention paid to the difficulties faced by American teachers trying to adopt the research focus that is inherent to lesson study. The article concludes with reflections about what the study of lesson study can teach us more broadly about efforts to improve teaching, which, like lesson study, center on having teachers examine their own and/or others' practice. If you would like to obtain a draft copy of this paper, please e-mail us at lsrg@columbia.edu.

Fernandez, C., Cannon, J., & Chokshi, S. (2003). A U.S.-Japan lesson study collaboration reveals critical lenses for examining practice. Teaching and Teacher Education, 19(2), 171-185.*

Strong claims have been made about the potential of lesson study, a Japanese form of professional development in which teachers collaboratively plan and examine actual lessons. We have explored these claims by asking a group of U.S. teachers to engage in lesson study with the support of Japanese teachers. Our findings suggest that to benefit from lesson study teachers will first need to learn how to apply critical lenses to their examination of lessons. We describe three such lenses (e.g. the researcher lens) and their role in making lesson study powerful. We also discuss the implications of these findings for other professional development efforts in which teachers attempt to learn from concrete examples of practice. You can download this article (including summary, full text, links, and PDF file) directly from the website for the journal Teaching and Teacher Education. If you would like to obtain a draft copy of this paper, please e-mail us at lsrg@columbia.edu.

Fernandez, C. & Chokshi, S. (October 2002). A practical guide to translating lesson study for a U.S. setting. Phi Delta Kappan, 84(2), 128-134.*

This article was written for U.S. educators who are interested in conducting lesson study, and who have a basic working understanding of this practice. The purpose of this article is to provide concrete ideas for how to structure, organize, and implement lesson study in U.S. schools. If you would like to obtain a draft copy of this paper, please e-mail us at lsrg@columbia.edu. Please click here to view articles online.

Fernandez, C., Chokshi, S., Cannon, J., & Yoshida, M. (in press). Learning about lesson study in the United States. In E. Beauchamp (Ed.), New and old voices on Japanese education. Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe.*

This article describes a one-year exploration of lesson study in an American school. This exploration was unique because it rested on the on-going support and guidance of a group of Japanese teachers who had extensive experience doing lesson study. In this paper, we report how this collaboration between American and Japanese teachers shaped our understanding of lesson study, and how it informed our thinking about what it will take for American teachers to incorporate the essence of lesson study into their work. If you would like to obtain a draft copy of this paper, please e-mail us at lsrg@columbia.edu.

Hiebert, J., Gallimore, R., & Stigler, J. (2002). A knowledge base for the teaching profession: What would it look like and how can we get one? Educational Researcher, 31(5), 3-15.

In this paper, the authors argue that the teaching profession needs a knowledge base that grows and improves in order to imporove teaching in a steady, lasting way. The authors begin with practitioners' knowledge, outline key features of this knowledge, and identify the requirements for this knowledge to be transformed into a professional knowledge base for teaching. To download or print a pdf version of this paper, please click here (also can click here for another pdf link).

Hiebert, J., & Stigler, J. W. (2000). A proposal for improving classroom teaching: Lessons from the TIMSS video study. Elementary School Journal, 101, 3-20.

By presenting results from the TIMSS Video Study regarding U.S. teachers' view of reform, the authors show that many teachers believe they are changing the way they teach even though the core of their practice remains the same. Reasons for the persistence of U.S. patterns of teaching are explored and suggestions are offered for developing school-based teacher-driven systems for improving teaching.

Kelly, K. (2002). Lesson study: Can Japanese methods translate to U.S. schools? Harvard Education Letter, 18(3), 4-7.

Based on observations and conversations with U.S.-based lesson study practitioners and researchers, the author discusses how Japanese lesson study practice shows promise in the United States, but also highlights cultural differences. A number of questions arise. Does lesson study improve teachers' classroom methods? Does it improve their content knowledge? Should it be the cornerstone of one's practice or just another professional development tool? Can it work in an environment shaped by high-stakes testing? To order a copy of this article, please click here.

Lewis, C. (2002). Does lesson study have a future in the United States? Journal of the Nagoya University Department of Education, January(1), 1-23.

To download or order a copy of this paper, please click here: www.lessonresearch.net/Publications.

Lewis, C., Perry, R., & Hurd, J. (2004). A deeper look at lesson study. Educational Leadership, 61(5), 6-11.

In this article, the authors contend that lesson study is rich in possibilities for improving current mathematics and science instruction. Citing results from a successful teacher-led lesson study initiative, the authors show how teachers can benefit from increased knowledge of subject matter, increased knowledge of instruction, increased ability to observe students, stronger collegial networks, stronger connection of daily practice to long-term goals, stronger motivation and sense of efficacy, and improved quality of available lesson plans. The authors conclude that lesson study goes far beyond simply improving a lesson—it challenges teachers to improve their classroom instruction. To read the abstract for this article or buy it online, please click here.

Lewis, C. & Tsuchida, I. (1998). A lesson is like a swiftly flowing river: Research lessons and the improvement of Japanese education. American Educator, Winter, 14-17 & 50-52.

To download or order a copy of this paper, please click here: www.lessonresearch.net/Publications.

Liptak, L. (2002). It's a matter of time. RBS Currents, 5(2), 6-7.

In this article, Dr. Lynn Liptak, adminsitrator at School #2 in Paterson, NJ (the site of much pioneering lesson study work), writes about strategies for scheduling lesson study logistics. To read this article online, please click here.

NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education: Establishing High-Quality Professional Development. (Spring 2003, No. 5). Using data about classroom practice and student work to improve professional development for educators.

Examines how data analysis can be the focus of teacher learning and how it can help guide sound decision-making about professional development. To read/ download a pdf version of this article, please click here.

Stigler, J., & Hiebert, J. (1998). Teaching is a cultural activity. American Educator, Winter 1998, 4-11.

This article is excerpted from the authors' book, The Teaching Gap (see above). In this article, the authors compare videotape samples of Japanese and U.S. teaching that were collected from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). From this cross-cultural contrast, the authors draw conclusions about how observable teaching patterns can be influenced by cultural scripts.

Stigler, J. (article by Willis, S.). (2002). Redesigning professional development: Creating a knowledge base for teaching: A conversation with James Stigler. Educational Leadership, 59(6), 6-11.

James Stigler discusses how we can improve professional development by helping teachers learn to analyze classroom practices and accumulate professional knowledge. To read this article or download a word version of it, please click here.

Wang-Iverson, P. (2002). Why Lesson Study? In Lesson Study: Collaborative Teacher-Led Professional Development Focused on Student Thinking (conference).

With all the many promising professional development models to consider, some people have asked, why lesson study? In this paper, Patsy Wang-Iverson explores why lesson study is useful for educational improvement and addresses specific educational needs that it can meet. Wang-Iverson also discusses issues of looping, curriculum, and systemic reform that are necessary for lesson study to be most effective. To read this paper online, please click here.

Watanabe, T. (Winter 2003). Lesson study: A new model of collaboration. Academic Exchange Quarterly, 7(4), pp.

Successful lesson study requires collaboration among the participants. In this article, the author describes the process of lesson study and illustrates how lesson study may serve as a new model of collaboration in teacher professional development. To read this paper online or to view a related presentation, please click here.

Yoshida, M. (1999). Lesson study [Jugyokenkyu] in elementary school mathematics in Japan: A case study. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (1999 Annual Meeting), Montreal, Canada.

This paper summarizes and highlights the results of an ethnographic exploration of lesson study. It focuses on the work of a mathematics lesson study group at an elementary school in Hiroshima, Japan. The author observed and regularly interviewed the teachers during a five-month period. To obtain a copy of this paper, please e-mail Makoto Yoshida at myoshida@globaledresources.com.

***For another annotated bibliography of lesson study articles, including more detailed descriptions of some of the articles listed above, please click here.