Academic journal article International Journal of Education

How Reflective Are Lesson Study Discussion Sessions? Developing an Instrument to Analyze Collective Reflection

Academic journal article International Journal of Education

How Reflective Are Lesson Study Discussion Sessions? Developing an Instrument to Analyze Collective Reflection

Article excerpt

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to report on the development of an instrument designed to measure the topics and levels of reflection that occur during the post-lesson discussions of the lesson study cycle. The main elements of lesson study are:

* Collaborative design of lessons or units of study

* Execution of the design with observation

* Reflection on the product with a view to its improvement

It is seen as a cyclical process in that the reflection stage leads to a renewed collaboration on the design of an improved lesson or unit. Hence the quality of the reflection stage is seen as crucial to the success of the enterprise.

The literature on definitions of reflection and on levels and topics of reflection was reviewed to provide a starting point for the development of the instrument. Initial categories of both levels and topics of reflection were developed by analyzing transcripts of post-lesson discussion sessions using a grounded approach. These initial categories were then further refined by analyzing some additional post-lesson discussion transcripts. Finally the developed instrument was applied to the transcript of a discussion that occurred in an Indonesian school to establish its usefulness and sensitivity.

Keywords: lesson study; post lesson discussion; reflection

1. Introduction

Over the past twenty years the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has become increasingly active in supporting education in developing countries. As of the end of 2011 it is, or has recently been, active in many African countries including Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, as well as Asian countries including Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines. Most of these initiatives are geared towards science and mathematics education, and many involve, as part of the initiative, an introduction to lesson study with the goal that it will continue to be practiced in the host country. Lesson study, as a vehicle for professional development and research, has also gained adherents in countries such as the USA, United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Thailand and others, where it is not promoted by JICA.

The main elements of lesson study are:

* Collaborative design of lessons or units of study

* Execution of the design with observation

* Reflection on the product with a view to its improvement

It is seen as a cyclical process in that the reflection stage leads to a renewed collaboration on the design of an improved lesson or unit. Research on the introduction of lesson study has been carried out in a number of countries, including those listed above. Most of the studies to date have focused on the introduction of lesson study in various contexts, or more generally on broader issues to do with reform. We wish to focus specifically on one aspect of lesson study, the nature and effectiveness of the post-lesson reflection phase. Since the purpose of this reflection session is to improve a lesson or unit for future use, our concern as promoters of this practice in a number of different countries is whether, over time, these discussions become more thoughtful, insightful, and effective in terms of lesson improvement. Unless lesson study is able to show results in terms of better teaching and learning, there is little point in expending the effort and time that it demands. During the past years we have experienced intuitive-based impressions of what constitutes insightful and effective discussion sessions. However, if we wish to claim, for example, that one particular method of promoting lesson study leads to more effective post-lesson discussions, we need to go beyond intuitive impressions and develop a more rigorous method of describing these sessions. The development of such an instrument represents the first step in our research program, and the focus of this article.

2. Literature Review

2.1 Definitions of Reflection

In an attempt to categorize various meanings that the term reflection might take on, Fendler (2003, p. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.