Applying the Principle of "Lesson Study" in Teaching Science

Article excerpt

Abstract

Lesson Study is a model of professional teacher development aimed at improving teaching and learning process. The Malaysian Ministry of Education had been implementing Lesson Study at the school level gradually. Science program's students at the Faculty of Education are asked to simulate teaching in macro teaching according to their field of specialization. To enhance the development of teaching and learning, lesson study is applied in the chemistry method course. This article aims to discuss the planning and implementation of lesson study in the teaching of chemistry method course.

Keyword: macro teaching, micro teaching, teaching and learning, lesson study

1. Introduction

Existing teaching method should always be refined and developed in order to guarantee the quality of teaching. Recent studies primarily focus on attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors of students as well as their relationship with students' achievement. Further research is needed to explore the process and implementation of teaching because the development of teaching and learning includes input, process, and output. Thus, the processes that occur during teaching and learning play a big role in developing students' pedagogical skills. Pedagogy is one of the important elements that students enrolled in teaching courses in all education institutions have to understand and master. Pedagogy is a basic knowledge because it involves the methods and principles of teaching. Pedagogy can be defined as a method of teaching that includes skills and abilities in terms of the principles of teaching, classroom management, teaching methods, application of technology, learning styles, and learning and teaching assessment (Sulaiman, 2004). The students can learn all these aspects through Macro Teaching or Micro Teaching. Micro Teaching and Macro Teaching is a simulation activity that introduces students to the process of teaching and learning at trainee teachers' level. Micro Teaching is a 7 to 15-minute simulation activity that emphasizes specific skills in teaching. Meanwhile, the Macro Teaching is a simulation that involves a 30 to 40-minute simulation teaching session. The Micro and Macro Teaching can be done with various techniques and teaching methods that is appropriate to students, classroom environment, facilities, and time. The goal of the Micro and Macro Teaching is to expose students directly to the teaching and learning process.

Micro Teaching is one of the most important developments in the field of teaching practices. Dwight Allen, the Chief Research and Development in Education, developed this lesson. It was introduced at Stanford University in 1963. Micro Teaching gives trainee teachers the experience and skills similar to those needed in a real teaching situation. Basically, Micro Teaching is a teaching simulation in which the teaching is limited in certain aspects, such as class size, lesson content, and reduced discipline. Portner (1998) stated that trainee teachers are responsible for devising teaching pattern. A usual practice in this chemistry method course is that each student is required to teach by applying experiments, demonstrations, or group work approaches. Before teaching started, he or she needs to prepare individual lesson plans to be used in the teaching process. Two students evaluated the teaching simulation conducted by their peer. Based on our observation, students appeared to experienced difficulties in preparing lesson plans. In terms of teaching, students repeated the same mistakes despite the evaluators' comment and warning. Thus, researcher felt that teaching each student through a current simulated teaching method was not satisfactory or effective. Hiebert et al. (2002) emphasized that continuous professional development of teachers should be done through collaboration between teachers and should be shared and documented. The collaborative efforts can be analyzed and developed, thus it can become reference in the future. …