Author: Whalan, Frances, Williams, Cheryl
Type of paper: Refereed paper
A lesson study approach provides the key components of a collaborative model of professional learning that can facilitate teachers' demonstration and attainment of key career stages described by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) National Standards for Teaching. Through engagement in continuous cycles of improvement, guided by the lesson study approach, teachers have opportunities to create effective teaching and learning experiences for their students while deepening their knowledge and skills in curriculum, assessment and pedagogy.
Mapped to the National Professional Standards for Teachers at the Proficient stage, lesson study processes provide a focus for designing and implementing effective, well sequenced teaching activities and to evaluate these practices through critical reflection supported by detailed feedback from colleagues. Mapped to the Highly Accomplished stage, lesson study enables experienced teachers to work with colleagues to model effective practice to improve their teaching along with providing detailed feedback on teacher performance. Across these two career stages, using a lesson study approach, the dimensions of Quality Teaching can be developed and implemented to demonstrate the standards for Professional Knowledge and Professional Practice.
The study reported in this paper documents teachers' experiences of the lesson study cycle and using Quality Teaching as a foundation for their pedagogical approaches to: identify a challenge in their teaching; consult research and their own personal experience to hypothesise a solution; collaboratively develop a lesson; observe the lesson being taught to monitor student learning; debrief the lesson; revise the lesson and re-teach it; share, document and apply their new understandings to their daily teaching.
Findings from the study indicated that lesson study provided teachers to work with the standards for Proficient Teacher and engage in opportunities to develop a range of teaching strategies that reflected improved understanding of the nature of a quality learning environment and a greater willingness to trial innovative teaching approaches particularly to integrate ICT. This paper will provide a forum to discuss and review the opportunities for using lesson study in Australian school contexts when mapped to National Professional Standards for Teachers and Quality Teaching.