This book includes a plain text version that is designed for high accessibility. To use this version please follow this link.
The lesson study process begins when participating teachers jointly plan a lesson in re- sponse to a pre-established study question or goal. One teacher then teaches the lesson while the remaining team members observe. Afterward, the team discusses the lesson, re- vises it, and another member teaches the lesson to a new group of students. This process of observation and discussion is repeated over the course of the school year, culminating in the creation of a written report of the team’s findings related to teaching and learning (Chokshi & Fernandez, 2004).

One reason that lesson study has grown in popularity is its striking contrast with professional development models based on one-time workshops with limited or no follow-up support. Teachers can react negatively to such models, expressing frustration with the focus on one- way transmission of information from an outside “expert” and the incompatibility of the proposed instructional methods with the daily demands of their actual classrooms (Comber, Kamler, Hood, Moreau, & Painter, 2004). Teachers have also expressed that traditional profes- sional development workshops lack a clear purpose (Loeser, 2008). In contrast, lesson study provides teachers with a clear instructional goal and creates opportunities for teachers to reflect on instruction, learning, curriculum, and education (Loeser, 2008). The lesson study process naturally creates a professional learning community (Kolenda, 2007), and cultivating such learning communities is a key component in the professional development of teachers that can lead to improved student achievement (Weast, 2008). Teachers are more likely to focus on student achievement when participating in a learning community because they feel empowered to guide their own professional learning (Wilson & Berne, 1999). A lesson study approach to professional development is directly supported by the standards of the National Staff Development Council (2009), which assert that “the most powerful forms of staff devel- opment occur in ongoing teams that meet on a regular basis… for the purposes of learning, joint lesson planning, and problem solving.”

Professional Development Learning Communities

The present study has adapted Ludwig-Hardman’s (2003) definition of an online learning community to define a “professional development learning community” as a group of edu- cators, who share a number of values and practices, engaging in ongoing collaborative ac- tivities to foster the creation of knowledge with the goal of improving teaching and learning. A learning community of teachers focuses on student learning rather than on teaching, in an attempt to ensure that students learn and are not simply taught (DuFour, 2004). In order to work successfully toward that goal, teachers have to move beyond the practice of working in isolation and embrace a culture of collaboration (Stewart & Brendefur, 2005). Along with collaboration, essential features of a learning community include shared values and visions, collective responsibility, reflective professional inquiry, learning, mutual trust, and inclusive

55

Virginia Educational Leadership

Vol. 7 No. 1

Spring 2010 Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73
Produced with Yudu - www.yudu.com