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It is no exaggeration to say that chalkboard is one of the most prominent features of a classroom. At least, this is only partially true for the present-day school systems where digital technology such as computers, tablets, and data projectors has become an essential part of the classroom. In some cases, the chalkboard has been replaced by the new digital technology which claims to perform the function of a chalkboard, if not better. The fact that chalkboard has survived and accommodated new technologies in Japanese classrooms is indeed intriguing. The reason perhaps lies not in the 'chalkboard', the physical object one can write on; it is the importance placed on the process and product of chalkboard organisation. In this presentation, I present some of the lessons that I have learned from Japanese board writing (bansho) based on my research and observations in Japanese classrooms. Particularly, we will examine some bansho in Mathematics classrooms on how it is used to record pupils' ideas, make pupils thinking visible on the board and encourage pupils' participation.
Shirley Tan is a research associate at the International Centre for Lesson Studies, Nagoya University, Japan and a postdoctoral researcher at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands. Her doctoral dissertation investigated the use of bansho in Japanese classrooms, particularly focusing on how bansho facilitates the visualisation of learners' thinking, how bansho is essential in teacher education and how this classroom practice is related to wider Japanese classroom cultures. As a scholarship recipient from the government of Japan, she has spent seven years in Nagoya, Japan, observing lessons in schools and participating in Lesson Study and Lesson Analysis cycles.
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