6. Analyze and Revise

After the lesson is taught, while it is still fresh in everybody's minds, the team members and the outside invited observers hold a debriefing meeting to discuss and analyze the lesson. Teams may want to establish a few ground rules for the discussion, e.g., focus on the lesson (not the teacher) and on analyzing what, how and why students learned or did not learn from the experience.

The debriefing focuses on three core questions: In what ways did students accomplish the lesson goals? How could the lesson be improved? What did we learn from this experience?

During the debriefing participants offer their observations, interpretations and comments on the lesson. The purpose is to analyze and evaluate the lesson thoroughly in terms of student learning, thinking and engagement. After the debriefing, the team holds additional meetings to further organize and analyze their findings.

As a result of their analysis, teams identify ways to revise the lesson. Some teams stop at this point but typically, lesson study involves a second research cycle in which the team teaches and studies the revised lesson. Teams may also modify their strategies for collecting evidence to align them more effectively with the revised lesson.

Q & A

Is there a preferred way to organize and interpret the evidence?

Analyzing the evidence usually takes place in two steps. The first is a debriefing meeting in which the team members and observers discuss their observations and second when the lesson study team meets to further organize and analyze the evidence. Teams may: 1) focus on pivotal moments in the lesson to evaluate how student thinking changed, 2) examine extremes in student performance by comparing the responses of those who struggled with those who did well, 3) develop rubrics to analyze qualitative differences among students’ responses and actions, 4) compile the results of checklists used during the observation, 5) examine the entire sequence of lesson activities to determine how they contributed to student learning.

What should we learn about student learning?

Lesson study uncovers the ways that students think about the subject matter--how they interpret and construe and misconstrue specific ideas and concepts. Teachers can gain new insights about their students’ minds and what it is like for novices to learn the subject.

Is it sufficient to teach and observe the lesson only once?

The team may decide that one cycle of lesson study is sufficient to accomplish their objectives. We recommend a second iteration in which the group teaches and observes the revised lesson, and makes additional modifications. The second iteration, which usually takes place the following term, is an opportunity to test out revisions and to deepen your understanding of how the lesson works.

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Lesson Study Project

Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601