Lesson Study
Using Classroom Inquiry to Improve Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Foreword by Pat Hutchings
Paper: 978 1 57922 433 2 / $31.95
Published: October 2011  

Cloth: 978 1 57922 432 5 / $95.00
Published: October 2011  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 57922 721 0 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: March 2012  

E-Book: 978 1 57922 722 7 / $25.99
Published: March 2012  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
176 pp., 6" x 9"
Why do students stumble over certain concepts and ideas—such as attributing causality to correlation; revert to former misconceptions, even after successfully completing a course—such as physics students continuing to believe an object tossed straight into the air continues to have a force propelling it upward; or get confused about terminology—such as conflating negative reinforcement with punishment?

This is the first book about lesson study for higher education. Based on the idea that the best setting in which to examine teaching is where it takes place on a daily basis—the lecture hall, seminar room, studio, lab, and the online classroom management system – lesson study involves several instructors jointly designing, teaching, studying, and refining an individual class lesson in order to explore student learning problems, observe how students learn, and analyze how their instruction affects student learning and thinking. The primary purpose is to help teachers better understand how to support student learning and thinking. By observing how students learn through lesson study teachers can improve their own teaching and build knowledge that can be used by other teachers to improve their practice.

Lesson study grew out of the collective efforts of classroom teachers in Asia—most notably in Japan—to improve their teaching. Subsequently imported, tested, and implemented by a group of instructors of biology, economics, English, and psychology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, the process proved so valuable that the university has since established the College Lesson Study Project, of which the author of this book is Director.

Focusing on a single lesson enables participants to examine in detail every step of the teaching process, from vision and goals, to instructional design, to implementation, to observation and analysis of student performance, and then evidence-based improvement. It enables faculty to explore learning problems that matter most to them, learn alternative ways to teach from one another, and co-design new course materials.

This book introduces lesson study practices to college teachers, providing the necessary guidance, tools, examples, models, and ideas to enable teachers to undertake lesson study in their own classes. It also explores the underlying rationale for lesson study practices and how to realize the full potential of lesson study to advance teaching and learning.

A Joint Publication with the National Teaching and Learning Forum
An ACPA / NASPA Joint Publication

Table of Contents:
Foreword—Pat Hutchings

1) Introduction

2) Overview of the Lesson Study Process
Appendix 2.A: Forming Effective Teams
Appendix 2.B: Questions and Prompts to Guide Lesson Study

3) Getting Started and Finding a Focus

4) Designing and Planning the Research Lesson
Appendix 4.A: An Example of a Brief College Lesson Plan and Predicted Student Responses
Appendix 4.B: How Instruction Affects Student Learning and Thinking

5) How to Study a Lesson
Appendix 5.A: Types of Focal Questions
Appendix 5.B: Data Collection Strategies for Student Learning, Thinking, and Behavior
Appendix 5.C: Example of Informed Consent
Appendix 5.D: Example of Observation Guidelines for a Research Lesson in Psychology

6) Analyzing and Revising the Lesson

7) Documenting and Sharing Lesson Studies
Appendix 7.A: Final Lesson Study Report Template
Appendix 7.B: Teaching Improvement Profile
Appendix 7.C: Teaching Improvement Profile Example

8) The Practice and Potential of Lesson Study
Appendix 8.A: Lesson Study Experience Questionnaire


Reviews & Endorsements:
From the introduction:
“This volume offers guiding principles, theoretical underpinnings, fresh thinking, detailed examples, and, importantly, a window into the larger community that is now assembling itself around this important work. This is not only a book about lesson study but about teaching and learning more broadly. A deceptively simple process, Lesson Study opens a wide door to a generous set of understandings and experiences.

What Lesson Study adds to the mix is a powerful reminder that knowing what (and even how much) students learn is not enough; in order to improve educational outcomes, teachers need to understand more about how students learn. In this spirit, my favorite phrase in the volume is ‘cognitive empathy’ – a term to capture the importance of imagining how new ideas are experienced by novice learners. Doing so is pretty clearly an element of good teaching, but it is also a prodigious challenge; as experts in their field, faculty have often forgotten their own experience as one-time beginners, seeing their field’s complex concepts and ways of thinking as a given. Thus one needs not only an impulse to cognitive empathy but a process for testing and strengthening it—and that is one way of explaining the purpose of lesson study."
- Pat Hutchings
Related Titles by Subject:
See Teaching & Learning ( Higher Education )