The article describes the importance of Lesson study method at schools for the ESL students.
В статье рассказывается о важности метода “Lesson Study” в школах для преподавания английского языка как иностранный язык.
Learning never ends, especially for the most capable people. K. H. Ushinsky said: “The teacher remains a teacher until he learns himself, as soon as he stops learning, the teacher dies in him”. Lesson Study is a pedagogical approach in action on lessons that contributes to the accumulation of knowledge in practice between teacher and student. The approach was founded in Japan in the 70s of the 19th century and is used as a “Research in Action” approach. This method involves groups of teachers meeting regularly over a period of time to work on the design, implementation, testing, and improvement of one or several “research lessons”. Research lessons are actual classroom lessons, taught to one’s own students that are:
− Focused on a specific teacher-generated problem, goal, or vision of pedagogical practice,
− Thoroughly planned, usually in cooperation with one or more colleagues,
− Monitored by other teachers,
− Recorded for analysis and reflection,
− Discussed by lesson study group members, other colleagues, administrators, and an invited commentator.
The main difference between Lesson study method and other methods is that teacher supervises learners from the beginning of the lesson till the end. The teacher organizes and plans all the lesson plans with students’ consent. During such lessons, there are always invited commentators in the face of teacher’s colleagues who give feedback and observations at the end of the lesson.
There are ten steps of Lesson Study Execution.
The first stage is to create a lesson study group. Lesson study in its initial form is mostly integrated in centralized education systems. Teachers, who teach a specific subject in schools, can attend a lesson. Teachers are divided into small groups which consist of teachers from different grades and levels. This creates a valuable opportunity to comprehend the quality of education and provide a concept of different grades.
The next step for the lesson study group is to select a topic which is a part of educational goals. It must be placed between the existing situation of students’ learning and the situation which is desirable and anticipated by teachers. The group’s main objective is to study the method of coverage and desirable filling of this distance and gap.
The third step includes studying and discussing topics. The requirement of an excellent lesson study is that the topic must be carefully studied through studying books, papers and researches which have been already published.
The fourth step is draft the lesson. Since each lesson is a small part of a larger learning scope, specification of the learning goals and their role in the curriculum must be done initially. Following this, the members begin the main stage of outlining the lesson by discussing how the course was taught in the past and its quality and what should be improved.
During the fifth stage, teaching and scrutinizing the topic takes place. The final lesson study is evaluated in real classroom settings. One of the group members steps forward to present the final plan in his or her classroom in the correct way. During this process, other group members record every event and action in the classroom with the help of taking a detailed view.
Assessment of the course and evaluating its effect is the sixth stage. Teacher and all the group members get feedback from the outcome of objective evidences displayed in session, the importance of taught subject, used educational materials and teaching method. Usually, it is the teacher who taught the subject is permitted to voice his/her opinion on the executed methods, students learning and other significant issues of the classroom. Following this, other teachers express their critical views and discuss the most problematic moments of the course.
Seventh step consists of the revision of the course. The teachers improve their course by taking into account observations and feedback. Their priority is mostly about altering the materials. Classroom practice results in the necessity of changes in these materials.
When the course is improved and the new plan is prepared, this course is then instructed in another classroom. There are times when the same teacher conducts the course, however, usually another teacher in the group takes the charge.
During the ninth stage, re-evaluation and re-thinking takes place. All the group members take part in a long session. There are times when a specialist is requested to participate in this meeting. The teacher of the taught course expresses group’s requests. Additionally, he/she voices evaluation of the success of the course and speaks about parts that should be revised. The listeners then reassess it and then suggest some changes.
The last stage is about sharing the results. This process is done with the help of several methods. One the methods includes writing a report. Writing a report and documentation enables to save time. Additional method of sharing is to provide the outcome of classroom research and invite teachers from other schools to attend the final version of the lesson.
Collaborative lesson study
Comprehensive and fair access to high quality education for everybody is a necessity in developing universal knowledge-based society. It is considered as one of the key tools for achieving sustained development all across the world. Enrichment of education culture consists of a series of teaching-learning experiences for deepening the learning.
There has been one decade since lesson study has been introduced and improved in Kazakhstan. Educators define it as a model for education improvement and education researchers propagate it as a model of professional education of teachers in school. Educational researchers, who are comparing the Japanese model of lesson study with other methods, are facing some problems. Changing the old methods of professional development of teachers and organizing school as place for teachers’ learning is not an easy task. Schools require conditions, elements and facilities which provide them with approaches, strategies and tools required in facilitating lesson study process.
In the last ten years, the lesson study has attracted attention of many educational researchers and educators all across the globe.
Teachers follow eight steps for collaborative lesson study. The steps include:
- Specifying and researching a problem
- Outlining the lesson
- Instructing and observing the lesson
- Assessing the lesson and reflecting on its effect
- Revising the lesson
- Teaching and observing the revised lesson
- Evaluating and reflecting a second time
- Sharing the results
The process for accomplishing the eight steps demands a group of teachers to cooperate and exchange their ideas, opinions, and conclusions concerning the research lesson. This process demands considerable time and commitment. However, it functions as a catalyst that encourages teachers to become reflective practitioners that use what they have learned from research-based lessons to collegially revise and implement future lessons. Additionally, their new-found knowledge of instructional practice is shared and discussed with their peers at the school level, and possibly even at a broader regional or national level. Through lesson study, Japanese educators have established a system that leads to gradual, incremental improvements in teaching over time.
By the Lesson Study method it is easier to teach students, because by this approach students feel themselves comfortable and confident. From the beginning of the lesson teacher conducts the lesson with students. They plan and assess the lesson together. These days in Kazakhstan teachers are using Lesson Study method at their classes to conduct the subject more effectively and efficiently. Furthermore, with the help of the Lesson Study method, teacher and student can make perfect long-lasting relationship which will benefit them both.
- Hourizad, B. (2012). Lesson Study, Participative Research of School Staff. Tehran, Sayeh Sokhan Publication
- Manifest of Global Summit of Technology in Education. (2015). UNESCO, Drawing up the Policies of Global Future for Technology in Education, Chindaeo, Chin, June 2015.
- Saki, R. (2013). Lesson Study, Fundamentals, Principles and Procedures. Tehran, ACCER Publication.