Dear WALS members everywhere
Welcome to the April 2018 Newsletter. My thanks to all the WALS portfolio holders, Council members and the WALS office staff who have been busy developing this year’s programme.
The first 2018 Issue of the International Journal of Lesson and Learning Studies hit the WALS theme of 2018 on the head with its focus on the use of Lesson Study in initial and early teacher education.
Plans for November’s WALS conference in Beijing (which develops this ITE theme) are now well advanced. We hope that Beijing colleagues will feature in a WALS webinar later this year also focusing on Lesson Study in Initial Teacher Education. The 2018 WALS webinar programme kicks off in May with Catherine Lewis, Shelley Friedkin and Sharon Dotger presenting a webinar focusing on ‘Making student learning visible’. Other contributors to this year’s programme are listed below along with how you can apply to host a WALS webinar. It should be an exciting year!
I also want to say a huge thank you to the WALS office – and in particular to WALS web manager Renzhan and Hon Gen Sec Jean Lang – for all the work they have put into revamping the WALS website. It is brighter, clearer, and easier to navigate. It also features new innovations like the PhD student area described below, developed by Stéphane Clivas who also deserves our thanks. Please send the website link to any colleagues you know who are getting interested in Lesson Study. The ‘How to join’ section makes it easy and sets out the benefits very clearly.
My final thanks go to Pr. Kuno and the Nagoya University team for completing the 2017 conference business so professionally and for transferring the registration fees and surplus share to WALS which has hugely helped our finances and future development.
I hope you enjoy this newsletter, the new website and the 2018 programme – don’t forget to follow WALS on Twitter and/or Facebook.
Following on from the agreement at the WALS AGM in Nagoya in November 2017, a great deal of work has taken place to review and revise the WALS website to ensure that it is at the heart of the WALS community, bringing together up to date information about the organisation as well as news of events and resources. Please follow this link to take a look at the newly launched site. We would like to include your news on the site and so if you would like to publicise events, publications, achievements or resources please email firstname.lastname@example.org with up to 200 words of information and any photographs you have permission to share.
The WALS website now includes a link to a database for PhD students interested in LS. The database will help PhD students to share their research theme and to initiate exchanges about research into lesson study. We encourage PhD Students to fill out the form with some basic information about you and your doctoral study at this address: tinyurl.com/LSdocstuForm. Contributors will be able to edit their data at any time. The database is publicly available at this address: tinyurl.com/LSdocstuDatabase. We are planning to arrange webinars specifically for PhD students who are members of WALS to allow them to share and discuss areas of interest. We are very grateful to Stéphane Clivaz for developing this resource for WALS.
@WALessonStudy now has over 1600 international followers and from Friday, March 9 through to Sunday, March 11, we held our first WALS “slow chat” on twitter. Hosted by Sharon Dotger (Syracuse University, USA), the chat engaged 70 participants from 8 countries.
The discussion focused on coaching or facilitating lesson study teams. We talked about the importance of establishing trusting collaborations while navigating tough conversations among participants with different views. We shared resources, such as books, articles, and webpages that have influenced our understandings of lessons study and have been useful in our coaching. An archive of the chat will soon be available on the WALS website. We are grateful for the participation in our first chat and we are making plans for more in the future. We welcome novice and expert lesson study practitioners to join us. If you are new to Twitter, be sure to follow WALS @WALessonStudy. The graphic below shares all the connections made during the slow chat and the twitter handles of those that took part.
The first webinar of 2018 has been arranged for May 29th at 3pm GMT. The webinar will be chaired by Professor Catherine Lewis and will include presentations from Associate Professor Sharon Dotger from Syracuse University USA and Dr Shelley Friedkin from Mills College, USA. All lesson study practitioners want lesson study to maximize learning for teachers and students. A key component for maximizing learning is developing lessons that make student thinking visible. When student thinking is visible in the research lesson, observers’ notes are rich with descriptions of students’ talk, writing, interactions, expressions, and body language. This webinar will focus on two tools useful for making student thinking visible: journals (notebooks) and board writing (bansho). The speakers will present a mathematics and a science case study to show how these tools are used. These case studies will highlight similarities and differences in the use of these tools in these content areas. They will also discuss evidence of teacher learning form these studies and there will be an opportunity for webinar attendees to ask questions. All current WALS members will be sent an invite to join this webinar soon. Further events are being planned for the coming months – watch out for information on the website. If you have an idea for a webinar, please submit a proposal of up to 200 words with details of WALS members who would Chair and present the webinar and a proposed date and time here.
WALS and Beijing Normal University welcome you to participate in the WALS 2018 International Conference to be held between Friday November 23 and Monday November 26 in Beijing, China. The conference theme for this year is “Lesson Study and Teacher Education: International Dialogue”. Now is the time to submit a paper for consideration by our conference committee.
The latest version of the IJLLS was published and includes 6 extremely interesting articles. The editorial review provides an overview of the insights and issues identified by the authors in this issue of the journal which includes the following papers:-
- The many faces of lesson study and learning study
- A literature review of lesson study in initial teacher education
- Spreading lesson study in pre-service teacher instruction
- Learning study is “hard”: case of pre-service biology teachers in British Columbia
- Improving teacher learning: variation in conceptions of learning study
- Spiritual group training for adolescences
All members of WALS have free access to these and all other papers in the 7 volumes of IJLLS and details of how to access them can be found here on the WALS site.
Professor Kiyomi Akita, Vice President of WALS, introduced Lesson Study to a new and influential global body of researchers and educators when she gave a keynote address at the annual conference of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI) which took place in January in Singapore.
Welcomed on stage by immediate WALS past President Christine Lee, Pr. Akita spoke on ‘Improving Quality in Education through Lesson Study’. Her speech was received very positively with appreciative Tweets of her talk emerging as she spoke from well known international figures including the President of ICSEI, Professor Andy Hargreaves who had heard Kiyomi’s speech at WALS 2016 in Exeter and invited her to speak at ICSEI.
WALS Members Stephane Clivas, Akihiko Takahashi and Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain are amongst the editors of this new book published in March 2018 exploring mathematics mathematics lesson study in Portugal, Denmark, Switzerland, Ireland and the US. The electronic book can be downloaded from the publishers here