School of Education

Lesson study for mathematics teachers: What makes it so challenging?

Online, Zoom Meeting
Monday 17th October 2022 (17:00-18:30)

Please register your attendance.

The session will take place online using Zoom. Joining instructions and links will be sent prior to the event to all registered.

When registering for this event, we will collect personal data from you. This information will not be passed outside of the University of Nottingham. Please read our privacy information for more detail about how we use data



A Centre for Research in Mathematics Education Collaborative Lesson Research Seminar

Lesson Study Seminar 1


Research shows that lesson study is a challenging process for teachers. When mathematics teachers conduct a lesson study, and particularly if this is their first experience, their engagement with a new approach and process of collaborating could be complex and offer various challenges. Doing a lesson study requires teachers to engage in structured collaboration, action research and reflective practice. Moreover, with teachers of mathematics the structured teaching through problem solving approach is usually promoted and this may also be either relatively new or distinct from their existing mathematics classroom practices. This undertaking may overwhelm teachers when they are expected to engage with this process over one lesson study – which usually takes between four to eight weeks. In this presentation, I present the work of Collaborative Lesson Study Malta ( and then zoom in on 3 lesson study cases conducted with different groups of teachers of mathematics to highlight their experiences and the challenges of doing a mathematics lesson study. The identification of challenges will be discussed from a sociocultural perspective using the zones of enactment theory. While considering teachers’ contextual, personal, professional and pedagogical challenges I will raise questions about possible implications for teacher buy-in and the way lesson study may be adapted so that is can become a sustained practice to address the existing professional needs of mathematics teachers.


Dr James Calleja, Collaborative Lesson Study Malta at the Faculty of Education, University of Malta, Malta

James Calleja, PhD, is a lecturer in the professional learning and development of educators at the Faculty of Education, University of Malta where he coordinates the Master’s in Educational Leadership and Management course. James also works closely with teachers and schools to support them in developing their continuing professional development (CPD) programmes and lesson study work, currently working on developing school-wide lesson study within two primary schools in Malta. He leads the Collaborative Lesson Study Malta (CLeStuM) programme ( and is a council member of the World Association of Lesson Studies (WALS). James was a team member of the organising team for WALS 2021 regional time zone 2 conference and led an international lesson study seminar in 2022. He is also a fellow of the International Society for Design and Development in Education (ISDDE) and the Centre for Mentoring, Coaching and Professional Learning (CollectivED). Before joining the University of Malta, he taught mathematics for 23 years, including 6 years as a Head of Department. His main research interests are CPD, mathematics education, teacher learning, task design, inquiry-based learning and lesson study. James has presented his research in a number of conferences both locally and internationally and has also published his research in local and international peer-reviewed journals. 

School of Education

University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

Contact us