The 2018 Ohio Lesson Study Conference for the Mathematical Proficiency of Students (OLSC) occurred at Bowling Green State University on June 20th, 2018. The Conference Primer was given by Dr. Gabriel Matney on the question, “Why Lesson Study?” The conference keynote speeches came from two international guests who were essential to the progression of Lesson Study research, Dr. Maitree Inprasitha and Dr. Masami Isoda. The former is an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at Khon Kaen University in Thailand with a research focus in professional development innovations of Lesson Study and Open Approach. At the 2018 OSLC, Dr. Inprasitha presented a summary of his research on Lesson Study innovations in Thailand that took the country from having no lesson study teams to hundreds of teams. The second keynote speech came from Dr. Isoda who is an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Tsukuba, Japan. His research is focused on Lesson Study, international mathematics education, and teacher professional development. He offered thought-provoking illustrations of mathematical thinking and processes that can engage students in problem-solving and reasoning.
Several breakout sessions featured presentations from lesson study teams. The teams of educators presented lessons that spanned all grades from Kindergarten to year twelve. These presentations shared experiences in Lesson Study including the professional learning gained from participating teachers and considerations of student work. Visitors of the conference had opportunities to attend conference sessions to engage in professional development.
The 2018 OLSC concluded with a Demonstration Lesson Study enacted by Yushi Takigahira, a renowned Japanese mathematics teacher from Sapporo Elementary School. The lesson engaged local 4th grade students with ideas of functional thinking using noncustomary tools and collaborative learning techniques. Conference visitors had opportunities to observe the lesson while utilizing supporting technology to notice specific examples of student work. The Demonstration Lesson Study concluded with a discussion between a panel of observers and facilitators composed of Dr. Gabriel Matney, Dr. Maitree Inprasitha, Dr. Masami Isoda, Yushi Takigahira, Tom McDougal of the Lesson Study Alliance, and Sherry Lane, a United States education consultant for Lesson Study. Visitors of the conference were able to participate in a post-lesson discussion to wrap up the Demonstration Lesson panel. Concluding remarks were given by Dr. Gabriel Matney where he challenged conference attendee’s to consider what might be possible if we, as teachers, worked together to solve the difficulties we encounter in our classrooms? He then ended the conference with the question, “What do you and your team want to investigate next?”