Lesson Study: A Japanese Approach to Improving Mathematics Teaching and Learning

By Clea Fernandez; Makoto Yoshida | Go to book overview

Appendix A
A Glossary of Japanese Education
Terms Referred to in this Book

Through working together, particularly during lesson study, Japanese teachers have developed a large array of technical terms and expressions to help them communicate more effectively. This professional language is widespread and specific to teaching in that none of these terms or expressions can be found in a regular Japanese language dictionary. Instead, there are several technical dictionaries that educators use as reference tools.

In addition, many new education words (or ideas) are introduced by the Ministry of Education or by researchers (e.g., ko no yosa [merits of individuality], mondaikaiketsu-gakushuu [problem-solving learning]). As teachers try to make sense of these words, in the context of their practice and through the conduct of lesson study, they develop a grounded and shared understanding of these words. This allows for these terms to become more than just catch phrases or buzz words, but rather meaningful and useful to teachers.

Here we provide definitions for some of the more commonly used of these terms, including all those employed throughout this book.

Bansho and bansho-keikaku

Bansho can be translated into English as “use or organization of blackboard” or more literally as “board writing. ” Japanese teachers consider the blackboard an important instructional tool for organizing students' thoughts and they therefore take bansho very seriously. Planning how to organize the blackboard is usually called bansho-keikaku and Japanese teachers often discuss this aspect of their teaching as a part of lesson study

Donyu, tenkai, and matome (or shumatsu)

These terms refer to the three key parts of a lesson: introduction, development (or expansion), and summary. Lessons are often planned and discussed in these three stages.

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