Lesson Study for College Teachers: An Online Guide

Step 4: Teach & Observe the Lesson

In this step, one member of the group teaches the lesson, and other group members attend the class to observe and collect evidence of student learning, thinking and engagement.

In preparation for teaching the lesson, teams think about how to collect data that will help them determine the extent to which the learning goal is achieved. Teams develop an observation protocol based on their predictions of student responses and decide what types of evidence will be collected from students. See sample observation guidelines.

Before the actual class period, inform students about the Research Lesson and the observers that will be in the classroom. Prior to the lesson, introduce the observers to the class and indicate what they will be doing. If you are doing Lesson Study as a formal research project, remind students of informed consent.

Traditional classroom observations tend to focus on what the teacher does during the class period. Observations of Research Lessons focus on students and what they do in response to instruction. Observers should have a copy of the lesson plan and student handouts used in the lesson. Also provide observers with specific questions to focus their attention during the lesson.

To get richer information, you might invite outside observers to attend the lesson.

Do teachers need "thick skin" to be observed like this?
Won't the presence of observers negatively affect student performance?
Can the person teaching the lesson make changes during the lesson?


Documenting Progress

  1. What kinds of evidence will be collected (e.g., student work and performance related to the learning goal)?
  2. What aspects of teacher and student activity should observers focus on? (See sample.)
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