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Below is a summary of the history for U.S. lesson study research and activity*:

  • 1989--Makoto Yoshida mentions lesson study to advisor Jim Stigler at the University of Chicago in the context of a study comparing mathematics teaching and learning
  • 1991--Stigler and his research team, including Clea Fernandez and Yoshida, conduct an NSF-funded videotape-sample study to analyze differences in classroom practices between Japan and U.S.
  • 1991--Yoshida suggests Japanese teaching practices may be partially attributed to Japanese in-service professional development (lesson study); Stigler encourages Yoshida to investigate this further in his dissertation
  • Early 1993--Yoshida lays groundwork for data collection of lesson study group in Japan
  • 1993--Catherine Lewis first hears about lesson study while observing classrooms for her book Educating Hearts and Minds (published 1995)
  • February 1993-October 1994--Yoshida collects data for his dissertation on a lesson study group in Japan
  • 1993--Stigler initiates TIMSS Video Study and communicates with James Hiebert about this work
  • 1993-1994--Fernandez and Stigler form first lesson study group at UCLA Lab School; Yoshida reports findings via e-mail to answer their questions about lesson study
  • 1994--Yoshida begins writing dissertation on lesson study
  • 1994-1995--TIMSS Videotape Study data collection
  • 1995-1996--TIMSS code-development team meets to analyze videotapes; Hiebert consults with this team
  • 1996--Lewis funded by NSF to study change in Japanese science education, including lesson study as one of the vehicles of this change
  • 1997-1998--Stigler and Hiebert collaborate in writing The Teaching Gap (published 1999)
  • 1998--Lewis publishes first scholarly article on lesson study in the United States: "A Lesson is Like a Swiftly Flowing River" (published in American Educator)
  • 1998--Stigler forms Lesson Lab corporation with other partners
  • 1999--The Teaching Gap published
  • 1999--Yoshida completes dissertation
  • Spring 1999--Fernandez and Yoshida lay groundwork for studying lesson study in U.S. (NSF grant begins officially in January 2000)
  • 1999--Lewis begins lesson study work with San Mateo, CA teachers
  • September 1999--Fernandez and Yoshida form collaboration with Greenwich Japanese School and launch first collaboratively-guided lesson study group at Paterson School #2, NJ
  • February 2000--first U.S. lesson study open house takes place at Paterson School #2, NJ
  • May 2000--first large-scale public lesson study open house is held at Paterson school in conjunction with Principal Lynn Liptak, Patsy Wang-Iverson of Research for Better Schools, Lesson Study Research Group of Teachers College Columbia University, Greenwich Japanese School of CT. The event also hosts the American Math Teachers of New Jersey (AMTNJ)'s annual meeting.
  • September 2000--first state-wide lesson study initiative launched in Delaware
  • September 2000--first district-wide lesson study initiative launched in Bellevue School District, WA
  • November 2000--first national lesson study open house/ conference, hosted by Fernandez/ Yoshida's Lesson Study Research Group and Greenwich Japanese School of CT
  • Summer 2001--Lesson Lab launches web-enabled software platform for supporting professional development work
  • March 2002--at least 50 lesson study clusters (span 25 states, over 60 districts, over 200 schools, at least 1000 teachers), 14 scholarly articles on lesson study, 2 websites solely devoted to lesson study, Lesson Study Listserv with 575+ members, Lesson Study Discussion Forum in place, and at least 12 major research conference presentations that address lesson study as a topic of interest
  • September 2003--at least 29 states, 142 lesson study clusters/ groups, 247 schools, 81 school districts, 1100 teachers involved in lesson study
  • May 2004--At LEAST: 32 states, 150 lesson study clusters/ groups, 335 schools, 125 school districts, listserv with 900+ members, and 2300 teachers involved in lesson study


*compiled by Sonal Chokshi for NAS/ NRC's Board on International Comparative Studies in Education commissioned report, "Impact of Lesson Study"