ERIC Number: ED444972
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr-28
Reference Count: N/A
Lesson Study: The Core of Japanese Professional Development.
This paper describes research lessons, which form the core of a larger process called lesson study within Japanese elementary science faculty development. Research lessons are actual classroom lessons with students which are: observed by others; planned for a long time, usually collaboratively; designed to bring to life particular goals of education; recorded; and discussed. Types of research lessons include within-school lessons, lessons open to teachers outside the school, and lessons as part of national conferences. After presenting an example, the paper discusses the impact of research lessons, examining how they contribute to the improvement of education. The strengths of research lessons are: individual professional development; learning to see children; spreading new content and approaches; connecting individual teachers' practices to school goals and broader goals; competing views of teaching bump into each other; creating demand for improvement; shaping national policy; and honoring the central role of teachers. Several features of Japanese education support research lessons: a shared, frugal curriculum; established collaboration; belief that teaching can be improved through collective efforts; self-critical reflection; stability of educational policy; instructional improvement time focused on instruction; and focus on the whole child. The paper concludes by discussing lesson study's future role in the United States. (Contains 25 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan