Our conceptual model of teachers’ development during lesson study predicts lesson study impact on three areas of teachers’ development: mathematical knowledge for teaching, teachers’ learning dispositions, and teacher learning community.
Development of Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching: Preliminary t-tests and HLM analyses show that the experimental condition (toolkit-supported lesson study) did not significantly impact teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT) as measured by items from standardized tests of MKT. Analysis of constructed-response mathematical items revealed a different picture of teachers’ knowledge. Items that required teachers to generate mathematical ideas (about the characteristics of a proportional relationship or about what students should know about area of rectangles or parallelograms) revealed significantly greater increases in the toolkit-supported lesson study groups than in the comparison teachers. Teachers’ self-reported knowledge of the proportional reasoning toolkit topic studied also increased significantly from pre-test to post-test and in relation to comparison teachers.
Development of Teachers’ Learning Dispositions: The second domain we posited would be influenced by lesson study is development of teachers’ disposition to learn mathematics and to improve their teaching. We derived three measures of this domain from survey data: interest and enjoyment in learning mathematics (6 item scale); expectations for student achievement (6 item scale); and teachers’ agreement with the statement “by trying a different teaching method, I can significantly affect a student’s achievement.” Preliminary t-tests indicate that teachers in toolkit-supported lesson study group significantly increased their agreement with the statement about changes in teaching method from pretest to posttest, whereas teachers in the comparison group did not. Further HLM analysis will describe the impact of toolkit group assignment on teachers’ learning dispositions.
Development of Teacher Learning Community: A 4-item Collegial Learning Effectiveness scale was developed to tap teachers’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the teacher learning community in building teachers’ mathematics knowledge for teaching. Preliminary t-tests indicate that the toolkit-supported lesson study teachers rated the collegial learning effectiveness in their group significantly higher at posttest than at pretest and also significantly higher than the comparison teachers at posttest.
Perry, R., Lewis, C., Friedkin, S, and Baker, E. (2009). Teachers’ knowledge development during lesson study: Impact of toolkit-supported lesson study on teachers’ knowledge of mathematics for teaching. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA.
Perry, R. & Lewis, C., with Burge, P. & Bombardier, J. (2009). Using a mathematical toolkit to support teachers’ learning. Paper presented at the research pre-session of the annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Washington, DC.
Lewis, C., Friedkin, S., Baker, E., and Perry, R. (Forthcoming). Learning from the key tasks of lesson study. In O. Zaslavsky & P. Sullivan (Eds.), Constructing knowledge for teaching elementary mathematics: Tasks to enhance prospective and practicing teacher learning. Springer Science + Business Media, B.V., Dordrecht, The Netherlands.