Founding Members

History of WALS

In 2000, LO Mun Ling and Ference Marton, together with a number of colleagues in the University of Hong Kong and the Education University of Hong Kong (the then Hong Kong Institute of Education) started to experiment with a unique integration of Japanese lesson studies and variation theory called learning studies in schools in Hong Kong through a number of large scale projects. These projects were funded by the Hong Kong government and the Quality Education Fund. To disseminate the work done by teachers and to learn from and make connections with other lesson study research groups from different parts of the globe, two international conferences were held in Hong Kong in December 2005 and 2006. These conferences were characterized by two features. First, teachers participated actively and presented their learning studies. Second, pioneering researchers well known in lesson study were invited to an expert seminar in which practices in each country were shared and friendships were built among the researchers. These conferences led to the idea of the creation of the World Association for Lesson Study (WALS), which draws its members from teacher educators, education researchers, school leaders, professional teachers, and those engaged with education policy-making and implementation. A number of key persons, John Elliott, Colin Marsh, Paul Morris, Ference Marton, Lo Mun Ling and Sylvia Sam contributed to the successful creation of WALS. WALS was founded in 2007, Professor Lo Mun Ling was elected as its first President, and those researchers that gave unfailing support to these conferences and the idea of WALS became founding members of WALS. The first three WALS annual conferences were held in Hong Kong. Subsequent conferences were moved to other countries. Later, in 2012, thanks to the great effort of John Elliott, the official journal of WALS, the International Journal of Lesson and Learning studies (IJLLS), was launched. Both WALS and the IJLLS help to raise the international profile of Lesson and Learning Studies as both intellectually rigorous and practical forms of Educational Inquiry.


Scholars from different parts of the world exchanged information and gave an update on research and development in Lesson Studies in their respective countries.

The conference brought together over 600 educators and teachers from all over the world to share research findings and practices on Lesson Studies.

Around 150 participants attended a Conference in Shenzhen co-organized by The China National Institute for Educational Research and WALS.

Around 70 scholars and researchers from different regions gathered at the Expert Seminar to discuss the development of lesson studies.

The Conference has brought together 470 teachers and academics from various regions, e.g. Japan, Sweden, UK, US, Singapore, Hong Kong to the HK Institute of Education. Prof John Elliott, Prof Lo Mun Ling, Prof Ference Marton, Prof Manubu Sato and Dr Makoto Yoshida served as keynote speakers.

At the conclusion of the Conference, participants took part in an education and ecological tour, in which they visited heritages in Kam Tin and experienceed a Hong Kong styled barbeque.


Curtin University
Prof. Colin MARSH (Deceased)

Hong Kong SAR, China

Education and Manpower Bureau
Dr. CHAN Ka Ki Catherine

The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Dr. NG Pun Hon

The Hong Kong Institute of Education
School Partnership and Field Experience Office(SPFEO)
Learning Studies Forum
Dr. KO Po Yuk
Mr. KWOK Wing Yin
Dr. LAI Yiu Chi
Dr. LI Shuying Sean
Prof. LO Mun Ling
Dr. LO-FU Yin Wah Priscilla
Dr. PONG Wing Yan

Shanghai, China

Shanghai Academy of Educational Sciences
Prof. GU Lingyuan
Prof. WANG Jie
Dr. YANG Yudong

Beijing, China

China National Institute for Educational Research
Prof. FANG Xiao Dong
Prof. WU An Chun


Aichi University of Education
Prof. Hiroyuki KUNO, Ph.D.

Allameh Tabatabai University
Dr. Mohammad Reza Sarkar Arani

Nagoya University
Prof. Masami MATOBA

The University of Tokyo
Prof. Kiyomi AKITA


National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
A/P. LEE Kim Eng Christine
Dr. FANG Yanping
Mr. LIM Wee Kiat Edmund


Göteborg University
Prof. Ference MARTON

United Kingdom

University of East Anglia
Prof. John ELLIOTT

United States

Mills College
Prof. Catherine LEWIS

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