CLeStuM’s First International Seminar on Lesson Study

Collaborative Lesson Study Malta (CLeStuM) in collaboration with the Faculty of Education at the University of Malta organised its first international seminar on Learning to Lead Lesson Study. Lesson study, which is recognised as the world’s fastest growing professional development model for teachers, is a learning process through which teachers collaboratively identify issues with teaching, do research, plan, teach and observe, and reflect to build new knowledge in their attempt to refine their classroom practices. Held on Saturday 15 January 2022 and using a hybrid format, this 4-hour long seminar involved the international remote participation of more than 120 lesson study practitioners, researchers, teachers and school leaders from Austria, Brunei, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malta, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland and the UK. This seminar showcased and disseminated the work carried out by nine novice lesson study leaders in Malta.

These novice lesson study leaders were students reading for the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Management offered by the Department of Leadership for Learning and Innovation at the Faculty of Education. These students had just completed a 35-hour elective course on Leading Lesson Study and this seminar provided them with a platform to share and present their leading lesson study journeys. Dr James Calleja (coordinator of the Master’s course and CLeStuM leader) and Ms Laura Formosa (assistant head of school and lesson study practitioner) who delivered the Leading Lesson Study course were also the seminar conveners.

Five out of nine lesson studies were carried out in a secondary school setting (students aged 11 to 16 years), three in a primary school setting (students aged 5 to 10 years) and one within a football club setting (players aged 16 to 21 years). While seven of the nine lesson study leaders implemented lesson study within their own work setting, two were outsiders. Of the nine lesson study leaders, three also held a leadership role within their school. The presentations and follow-up discussions focused on three themes:

  1. approaches to cultivate collaboration among teachers;
  2. gathering timely and targeted feedback; and
  3. the roles of lesson study leaders when they are insiders or outsiders to the educational setting.

Besides the nine presenters, this seminar included an introductory speech by Prof Colin Calleja (Dean of the Faculty of Education), a keynote speech by Dr Pete Dudley from the University of Cambridge (former President of the World Association of Lesson Studies) and the intervention of three Faculty of Education colleagues – Dr Michelle Attard Tonna, Prof Christopher Bezzina and Dr Michael A. Buhagiar acting as discussants. Following each theme and the keynote speech, there was also a Q&A session to which the audience participated actively.

The recording of the full seminar is available for viewing here.

James Calleja
Faculty of Education, University of Malta

Laura Formosa
St Joseph Junior School, Sliema (Malta)

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