O1. Template for lesson plans and practice report
Lesson planning is usually the business of individual teachers, and as the teachers are typically delivering their teachers alone, so is the reflection on experiences during teaching. One of the main points of Lesson Study (LS) is to make both the pre-lesson planning and the post-lesson reflections shared in a wider group of teachers, and to produce documents that could support the construction of teachers’ professional knowledge about mathematics teaching, even beyond the group of teachers directly involved in the LS. The form of documentation is crucial to achieve this end, and most mainstream introductions to lesson study emphasise the role of both the lesson plan and the report or record which the LS group elaborates to synthesise the outcome of the LS (eg. Dudley, 2011; Lewis, 2002). Such handbooks also contain indications and even schematic templates for lesson plans and the summary of reflections, often adapted to primary school systems where the focus is on evaluating students’ outcome in a very narrow sense. We consider that in the “original” Japanese LS, teachers use lesson plans and practice reports (cf. Miyakawa and Winsløw, 2018) for wider aims: developing shared knowledge about teaching a given subject, and about didactical principles more generally. This, to some extent, reflect the higher standards of shared, professional knowledge of Japanese mathematics teachers, when compared to the typical primary school teacher in countries such as the UK and the USA (these, often, have much less autonomy, and often also a much less solid academic background). As the present project caters to mathematics teachers with a much more solid education in mathematics – and mostly teaching at the upper secondary level – our purposes cannot be served well by simply adopting existing templatesdeveloped for primary school teachers in the UK or the USA.
To develop templates and guidelines for lesson plans and practice reports that are adequate for mathematics teachers at the upper secondary level, with an academic background in mathematics, will therefore both be necessary for the present project and lead to an important new contribution to the dissemination of LS, which so far has not been extensively implemented at this level, even in Japan. Concretely we will produce two templates (for lesson plans and for practice reports) that hold much more room for the autonomous preparation and reflection of the LS groups than what is found in existing proposals available in English. They will each be accompanied with guidelines that provide examples of what different elements of the templates could contain, and more importantly the rationale of each element.
For instance, the fact that LS is a process driven by precise goals and questions means that a lesson plan is much more than a “script” for the lesson: it is a tool for the LS group, and external observers, to focus and orient their data collection during the research lesson, and the sharing of observations and analysis during the reflection session. This, evidently, goes much beyond recording whether students produce correct answers to certain tasks.