Lesson Study at UW-L

About UW-L's Pilot Project

"We are finding that lesson study is a powerful form of practical inquiry. It has served to focus us more precisely on the lesson as a unit of change. Developing, testing, discussing , and revising our lessons have become our action research . . . Teaching, conducted collaboratively  and reflectively, is research."

Lynn Liptack
qtd. in Lewis (2002)

Lesson Study is a process in which a group of instructors carefully plans, teaches, evaluates and revises a lesson for one of their classes. Please read "Lesson Study for College Teachers: An Introduction" for more information about this approach to improving teaching and learning.

Groups of college faculty in different disciplines have worked to

  • formulate goals for student learning and long-term development.
  • collaboratively plan a "research lesson" designed to bring to life these goals.
  • conduct the lesson, with one member teaching and others gathering evidence of student learning and development.
  • analyze the evidence gathered during the lesson and uses it to improve the lesson.
  • may teach, study and revise the lesson a second time.
  • write a Research Lesson Report that describes the lesson, analyzes data about student learning and discusses what was learned.

In 2003-2004, instructors in Biology, Economics, English and Psychology undertook lesson study in one of their introductory level courses. Each group designed, taught, assessed and revised a Research Lesson in the fall semester and has taught, assessed and revised the Research Lesson once again in spring 2004. 

Bill Cerbin, Ph. D.
LSP Director

View a presentation on our Lesson Study Project:


Lesson Study Groups, 2003-04
Course Lesson
Initial Teaching & Learning Goal
(Scott Cooper, Anne Galbraith, Tim Gerber, Deb Hanmer, Dan Sutherland)
Introductory Biology Human population Engage students in collecting and analyzing data on how human population growth affects quality of life and the environment

(Donna Anderson, TJ Brooks, Lisa Giddings)

-> read preliminary report

Microeconomics Marginal costs Promote understanding of how marginality is linked to supply by examining diminishing returns & evaluating effect on marginal cost
(Terry Beck, Susan Crutchfield, Bryan Kopp)

-> view departmental presentation (ppt)
Freshmen Composition Thesis revision Develop students' abilities to revise their drafts by identifying and evaluating main ideas and entering into critical conversations with peers
(Melanie Cary, Bill Cerbin, Rob Dixon, Carmen Wilson)

-> read preliminary report
Introductory Psychology Bystander intervention Develop students' ability to analyze and explain human behavior in terms of relationships among multiple factors

Lesson Study Resources

Can Terry Beck (above) lift 100kg?








University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
1725 State Street
La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601