Lesson Study in Initial Teacher Education: Maximising gains whilst navigating tensions

Monday 9th May 2022 (17:00-18:30)

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A Centre for Research in Mathematics Education Collaborative Lesson Research Seminar

Speaker: Dr Fay Baldry, University of Leicester and Dr Colin Foster, Loughborough University

About the seminar

The adoption of lesson study outside of Japan has been accompanied by a diversification of approaches. Here, we outline how the cycle of collaborative planning, observation and discussion of a research lesson have been adapted for Initial Teacher Education (ITE) contexts. We discuss the contribution lesson study can make to enhancing school-university partnerships that goes beyond the potential benefits for the pre-service teachers as individuals. 
We draw on Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (Engeström, 2001) to highlight pre-service teachers’ roles as ‘boundary crossers’ between the ITE university activity system and that of the placement school. Placed at the boundary between the university and school activity systems, pre-service teachers need to negotiate potentially differing priorities and perspectives. We find that the shift in nature of observation has been found to be one of the productive features of lesson study, drawing attention away from evaluating the (pre-service) teacher and towards school students’ learning, though this is not straightforward to achieve. 


Fay Baldry is an Associate Professor of Education at the University of Leicester. Her research focusses on how we understand classrooms through observation, and how teachers shape learning opportunities for students through their deployment of resources and regulation of classroom discourse. Work includes contributions to the OECD Global Teaching Insights Case Study project for mathematics, and collaborative Lesson Study projects with Maths Hubs and colleagues from the Universities of Stavanger, Loughborough and Nottingham. Lesson Study continues to be an integral part of her work, enhancing the synergy between practice and research in pre- and in-service teacher education.

Colin Foster is a Reader in mathematics education at Loughborough University. His research interests focus on the learning and teaching of mathematics in ways that support students’ conceptual understanding. He is particularly interested in the design of classroom tasks that enable students to develop the necessary fluency in mathematical processes that will support them in solving mathematical problems. Recently he has researched the use of tasks in Japanese classrooms explored in lesson study activity with colleagues in Japan.

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