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Materials produced by members of the LSRG

Below is a list of materials (papers, books, etc.) produced by members of the Lesson Study Research Group. You can download/ request many of these articles/ papers directly from this webpage, or obtain them from their respective web pages. If you would like to learn more about the work of the Lesson Study Research Group, and/or download a handout that describes available lesson study resources, 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 M. 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.

Fernandez, C., & Yoshida, M. (in press). Lesson Study: A Japanese Approach to Improving Mathematics Teaching and Learning. Manuscript submitted for publication. coming soon! >>>click here for ordering information