Lesson Study Resources

Tools and useful documents

Template for a lesson research proposal
There is no one format used for lesson study in Japan, but many groups have found this template useful for organizing their lesson study work and communicating their thinking and learning to others.

  • Revised Feb 24, 2017 – Introduction clarifies the purpose of the document. Relationship to standards includes a link to the Concept Maps on AchieveTheCore.org. Other small changes to explanatory text.
  • Revised Dec 3, 2016 – Includes a suggested order for working through the document (hint: don’t start at the top and work down).
  • Revised Nov 16, 2016 – more clarifying text, including specific examples of what should be in the third column (Points of Evaluation), which many teams have had trouble with.
  • Revised May 9, 2016 – text clarifying the purpose of the third column in the lesson plan; links to potentially helpful articles about learning goals and monitoring student work.
  • Revised November 25, 2015, to include guidelines for the reflection.

Guide for facilitating a post-lesson discussion

Teaching guide for the 2008 Japanese Course of Study (English translation)
This document is published by the Japanese Ministry of Education as an elaboration of their national standards, discussing both the content and ideas for the teaching of that content. It is frequently consulted by Japanese teachers involved in Lesson Study as part of their kyouzai kenkyuu. We believe it can be useful to non-Japanese educators as well. The original Japanese document was translated and edited by Lesson Study Alliance personnel, as well as others, under contract with the U.S. Department of Education.

Lesson Study Research

There is an increasingly active academic and professional community conducting research on lesson study.  Here is a brief listing of published source material and information on line based on this research. Hart, Murata, and Alston (eds.) Lesson Study Research and Practice in Mathematics Education, published by Springer in 2011. The link is to an on-line excerpt of commentary by Catherine Lewis of the Mills College Lesson Study Group. The Mills College Lesson Study Group maintains an extensive listing of their own and others’ research here. One item in particular is a collaboration between Catherine Lewis of the Mills group and Dr. Takahashi of our Lesson Study Alliance.

Lesson Study in the news

Lesson Study, and Lesson Study Alliance, have been written up in several recent articles.

Catalyst Magazine has written about lesson study and the Alliance as “an example of quality professional development that both improves their teaching and fulfills requirements for state certification renewal and salary advancement.”

The New York Times, in an article headed “Why do Americans Stink at Math?” wrote about how lesson study was brought from Japan to the United States in part through the work of Dr. Akihiko Takahashi. It also describes how in

 “… one experiment in which more than 200 American teachers took part in lesson study, student achievement rose, as did teachers’ math knowledge — two rare accomplishments.

WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR-affiliated radio station, featured a story on lesson study, which in part looks at the impact on individual teachers working to implement higher order thinking in their mathematics classroom.

In California’s Bay Area, this article talks about the role that lesson study plays in professional development for teachers there.

using LessonNote

Using LessonNote to capture data during a research lesson

KQED radio in San Francisco did an article on lesson study and our free iPad app, LessonNote: Lesson Study? There’s an app for that

lesson study researchers
takahashi observing lesson
young scholar at lesson