Newsletter | May 2017
Introduction from WALS President Pete Dudley
Our first WALS News in December had a strong East Asian feel with an interview with Pr. Manabu Sato and reports from conferences in Beijing and Thailand. This WALS News has a more European feel with a ‘first’ in Greece, and a ‘second’ in the Netherlands. There is IJLLS update from its new Editor in Chief and a brief review of WALS’s first Webinar last month (and details of the next!!). So please do read about these Lesson Study events before our attention again moves East for WALS 2017 in Nagoya where preparation is well underway with registration and paper submission details on the WALS website.
Second Dutch Lesson Study Conference, May 9, 2017
Approximately 150 Dutch teachers, teacher educators, researchers, and administrators attended the 2nd Dutch Lesson Study Conference on May 9, 2017, in Utrecht, the Netherlands. This conference was organised by the newly established consortium LessonStudyNL, consisting of four universities jointly promoting research regarding Lesson Study in the Netherlands (see www.lessonstudyNL.nl, website in Dutch).
The conference was opened by Dr. Catherine Lewis who delivered the first keynote. She spoke about Japanese Lesson Study and progress its implementation in the US. She went on to discuss the suitability of Lesson Study for the Netherlands. In two rounds of workshops Dutch Lesson Study practitioners and researchers shared their experiences and results. In the second keynote Professor Dr. Klaas van Veen, Dr. Siebrich de Vries, and Dr. Gerrit Roorda shared the results of their review of Lesson Study research.
The masterpiece of our conference was the live research lesson that could be observed by all participants. This mathematics lesson had been prepared by teachers from a local school and was about finding equations of circles. Pupils were working in small groups and could ask for hints during problem solving. After the lesson pupils and teachers were interviewed live on stage. This was the first time a live research lesson had been performed in the Netherlands with an audience of this size.
Prior to the conference we held a PhD seminar on Lesson Study where PhD students presented their work. We also ran a seminar with the Freudenthal Institute of Utrecht University on current Issues in Dutch Mathematics Education. We concluded discussing how we could strengthen Dutch schools by implementing Lesson Study. Catherine Lewis’s visit to our Dutch Lesson Study community has inspired us and we have learned a lot from her wisdom and experience in Lesson Study!
Sui Lin Goei (VU Amsterdam/Windesheim University of Applied Sciences), Siebrich de Vries (Groningen University), Nellie Verhoef (Twente University) LessonStudyNL
International Journal of Lesson and Learning Studies: an update from the new Editor in Chief, Dr Keith Wood.
Mun Ling and John Elliott passed the baton to a new editorial team earlier this year. We will endeavour to maintain the high standard and success achieved by the journal in its first five years under their stewardship. The growth in the journal’s readership can be seen below in the year on year increases in international downloads.
We encourage members to submit their work to the journal and to inform others about the journal through their networks. The aim of the journal remains ‘the promotion of interdisciplinary and cross-national collaboration between groups of teacher educators, educational researchers and schoolteachers through the publication of lesson and learning studies that are pedagogically aimed at improving the quality of teaching and learning in formal educational settings. These studies may take the form of action research, design experiments, formative evaluations or pedagogical research more generally that is designed to foster a democratic, discursive search and action orientated inquiry process.’
We hope we can forge links around the globe with SIGs such as Lesson Study (American Educational Research Association) and Phenomenography and Variation Theory (European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction). We are linking up with conferences this year such as the 4th International ELLTA Conference ‘Perspectives on Leadership, Learning and Social Enterprise in Asia: Sharpening Focus on Collaborative Research Projects’, July 25-27, 2017, Bangkok, Thailand, and GLOBED 2017 International Conference on Global Education and E-Learning, 10th – 11th, October, 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The journal is first and foremost an opportunity for teachers as researchers and for teachers and researchers in collaboration, to publish and share the outcomes of their investigations into what makes teaching and learning effective. The journal welcomes submissions – research reports, concept papers, review papers, and discussion – related to all levels of education systems across the globe. We would welcome suggestions from guest editors for special issues of the journal. The next special issue (2017) will focus on Chinese Lesson Study.
Editorial Team: Airi Rovio-Johansson, Yanping Fang, David Pedder, Ming Fai Pang, Miriam Mcgregor and Keith Wood
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
WALS hosts its first Webinar to an international Audience
On 3 April the first WALS webinar was held with an international audience of WALS members drawn from five continents.
Akihiko Takahashi from De Paul University and Shelley Freidkin from Mills College, California jointly hosted the conference on the subject of ‘Taking Lesson Study School Wide’.
Akihiko set out a powerful recapitulation of all that his research has pointed to in terms of the need for prior study of the materials, and for the participation of knowledgeable others in contexts where lesson study is not deeply rooted in the culture. He also expelled a number of popular myths about lesson study including a common misunderstanding that lesson study involves the teaching, re-teaching and re-re-teaching of the same lesson over and over again.
Shelley set out practical examples of how lesson study had enabled teachers to improve the learning of students in mathematic lessons with illustrative video clips to exemplify her points.
For a first run at it the technology worked well. Audience members were able to ‘put their hands up’ and ask questions as well as to comment to each other and to the presenters on what was being said. Next time we will definitely use a chair to co-ordinate the dialogue. So we would like to thank Akihiko and Shelley (two experienced webinar speakers) for helping us to launch WALS webinars and also Edmund Lim and Jean Lang for technical help and preparation for the event. The support of Swee Kim and Renzhan our WALS administrator and webmaster was tremendous.
Our WALS Vice Presidents, Professor Kiyomi Akita from the University of Tokyo and Dr Catherine Lewis from Mills College will be speaking about “Cultural Practices and Cultural Adaptations in the Implementation of Lesson Study” on Friday, 9 June at 2:45pm BST (GMT + 1), using Adobe Connect. Please check our WALS website for additional details.
Greece holds first international Lesson Study symposium
Lesson Study practitioners from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and WALS president Pete Dudley joined the Democritus University of Thrace Education departments team in Alexandroupolis, North Eastern Greece in March for this ‘first’ for Greece.
The symposium was led by Professor Galini Rekalidou (pictured), Assoc. Professors Konstantinos Karadimitriou and Maria Moumoulidou and Dr Katerina Giofstali who have been developing a Lesson Study component in their initial teacher preservice training courses for some years. The proof of the pudding was evident in the contributions of former trainees who are now using Lesson Study in their schools in Northern Greece to raise achievement. Many of these teachers and academics are also volunteering at weekends in refugee camps along the northern Greek borders teaching Greek mainly to Syrian adults and children.
There were tremendous contributions too from the Lausanne team led by Professor Daniel Martin. The two Greek and Swiss Universities hope to hold a follow up symposium in Lausanne in 2018.