Using ‘Lesson Study’ for Instructional Improvement
There are a couple of ways of looking at continuing education for classroom instructors. There’s the Henry Ford method, which suggests, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
And then there’s the Marine Corps way: “If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind.”
Here at the Eagle Rock School, we subscribe to the above-mentioned automaker’s optimistic view and apply it to our own instructors’ commitment to become lifelong learners who are continually improving their craft. In fact, we believe continuing education to be a critical part of becoming — or remaining — a successful educator.
Our School’s instructional specialists and Public Allies Fellows constantly experience being part of a professional community where they are giving and receiving feedback, as well provided with opportunities to reflect on their practice. You can see this professional learning community in action through our instructional meetings, staff workdays at the start and end of each trimester, and conversations between co-teachers.
One specific structure that we use — primarily with our Public Allies Fellows — is a cycle that we refer to as “lesson study.” Other schools might call it by a different name such as “educational rounds.” Our lesson study cycle has three distinct sections:
- Pre-meeting session
- Classroom observation
- de-briefing session
The pre-meeting brings together all of the teachers who will participate in the three-part cycle, and employs a couple of different formats. For instance, we could be learning about Continue reading…