Introducing Lesson Study into Thai schools has influenced not only the improvement of teaching practice, but also improvement of the system of teacher education. A number of major changes have occurred during the last nine years since the introduction of Lesson Study and the Open Approach in 2002. It has a great contribution to model how to improve mathematics education in Thailand.
In 2002, Dr.Maitree Inprasitha introduced the ‘Open Approach’ using open-ended problems in mathematical activities with fifteen student teachers teaching in seven secondary schools in Khon Kaen city. The Lesson Study process was implemented implicitly without using the term ‘Lesson Study.’
In 2004-2005, the Open Approach was expanded in two districts in Khon Kaen Province. More than 800 teachers were trained to use open-ended problems in order to create rich mathematical activities in their classrooms.
In 2006-2008, the Center for Research in Mathematics Education started a long-term collaborative project with the Ministry of Education in “Improving Mathematical Thinking using Open Approach through Lesson Study Approach.
In 2009, Lesson Study and Open Approach have been implementing in 22 schools in the northeastern and northern parts of Thailand, a collaborative project with the Office of Basic Education and Office of Higher Education, Ministry of Education.
In 2010, sixty Internship Mathematics Student Teachers from Khon Kaen University and six Internship Mathematics Student Teachers from Chiang Mai University practiced teaching at 22 project schools.
There are now 60 project schools implementing Lesson Study and Open Approach across Thailand.
Lesson Study in Thailand
In Thailand, the Center of Research in Mathematics Education (CRME) has been implementing Lesson Study (LS) since 2002. An adaptive feature of this implementation is the incorporation of four phases of the Open Approach as a teaching method within the three steps of the LS process, the four phases of this open approach are:
1) Posing open-ended problems
2) Students’ self learning
3) Whole class discussion and comparison
4) Summing-up by connecting students’ emergent mathematical ideas.
The three steps of the LS model are: collaboratively design a research lesson; collaboratively observe the research lesson; and collaboratively discuss and reflect on the research lesson.