10 SES 09 B, Lesson Organisation
Traditionally, at the University of Leicester, secondary science Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) students of a one year course of initial teacher education are introduced to self-assessment, peer-assessment and effective collaboration in micro-teaching sessions in the first weeks. Although this is valuable experience, the real context of the classroom with pupils is lacking. This study reports on findings of linking lesson planning with teaching, observing and reflection during the first weeks of post graduate pre-service teacher education.
- How does adapted lesson study affect the confidence of PGCE students?
- How can the process of adapted lesson study be improved?
Theoretical framework :
Initial Teacher Education (ITE) students make better progression when they take responsibility for their own learning and are actively engaged in university sessions (Sluisjmans et al, 2003). Peer support and peer assessment activities can be an effective means to enable students to think critically about all aspects of their development towards becoming a teacher (Smyth, 2004). A number of studies (Cordingley 2005 a/b; Bolam & Weindling 2006; Levine and Marcus 2010) have reported on collaborative development with teams to develop their own practice. Lesson Study is one of these approached originating from Japan where it has been practised over many decades (Abiko, 2011), but which has only come to Europe in the past 10-15 years.
The aim of this study is based on this Japanese idea of Lesson Study or ‘research lessons’ (kenkyu jugyo) which is an essential part of the culture of teacher development resulting in a steady improvement in science instruction (Lewis, 2002).
Teachers work collaboratively in small groups to discuss learning goals usually to build pupils’ desire to learn (Lewis & Tsuchida, 1997). The group plan a lesson together involving the student activities anticipating the student responses. Normally one teacher from the group teaches the actual lesson while the others from the group observe. The teachers then debrief the lesson and share observations. After collaborative reflection, another teacher may teach a revised lesson to a different class.
For initial teacher education Lesson Study needs adaptation to make a first school placement experience relevant and student teachers need to develop their skills in self and peer-assessment and collaborative reflection.
After four days of being introduced to self-assessment, peer-assessment and effective collaboration in micro-teaching sessions the PGCE students were put into critical partnership groups of 3-4 members (Tas & Forsythe, 2014), introduced to the idea of Adapted Lesson Study and worked with a science teacher from a local school to prepare a lesson for the next day. The teacher from the local school was an experienced classroom teacher who was used to planning lessons this way and worked with a group of 3-8 students (one or two critical partnership groups). For the preparation of the first lesson the teacher had a considerable input, being in charge of the resources and planning of all activities. However, the classroom teacher was briefed to take on any ideas from the PGCE students and discuss possible implementation. For the following lesson, after collaborative reflection viewing video footage and interviews with pupils, the students received all the intended learning outcomes and resources from the teacher but had to plan the sequence of the lesson themselves. A similar process was required for the third lesson with even less input from the teacher. This approach was designed to scaffold the learning of the PGCE students, introducing new levels of complexity for planning and delivering lessons over time. This made them define their ideas for the next teaching and learning steps more clearly (Wiggins & McTighe, 1998).
References: Abiko, T. (2011) A response from Japan to TLRP’s ten principles for effective pedagogy. Research Papers in Education, 26(3), 357-365. Blumer, H. (1969). Symbolic Interactionism; Perspective and Method. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Bolam, R., & Weindling, D. (2006). Synthesis of research and evaluation projects concerned with capacity building through teachers’ professional development. London: General Teaching Council for England. Cordingley, P., Bell, M., Evans, D., & Firth, A. (2005a). The impact of collaborative CPD on classroom teaching and learning. Review: What do teacher impact data tell us about collaborative CPD? London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. Cordingley, P., Bell, M., Thomason, S., & Firth, A. (2005b) The impact of collaborative CPD on classroom teaching and learning. Review: How do collaborative and sustained CPD and sustained but not collaborative CPD affect teaching and learning? London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. Levine, T.H., & Marcus, A.S. (2010). How the structure and focus of teachers’ collaborative activities facilitate and constrain teacher learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26(3), 389-398. Lewis, C. (2002). Lesson study: A handbook of teacher-led instructional change. Philadelphia: Research for Better Schools Inc. Lewis, C., & Tsuchida, I. (1997). Planned educational change in Japan: The case of elementary science instruction. Journal of Educational Policy, 12(5), 313-331. Timperley, H., Wilson, A., Barrar, H., & Fung, I. (2007). Teacher Professional Learning and Development: Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration (BES). Education Counts, New Zealand Sluijsmans, J., Brand-Gruwl. S., van Merriemboer, J.G., & Bastiaens, T.J. (2003). The Training of Peer assessment Skills to Promote the Development of Reflection Skills in Teacher education. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 29, 23-42. Smyth, K. (2004). The benefits of students learning about critical evaluation rather than being summatively judged. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 29(3), 370 -378. Strauss A.L. (1993). Continual permutations of actions. Hawthorne, New York: Aldine de Gruyter. Tas, M. & Forsythe, S. (2014). Critical Partnerships: Collaborative Reflection and Commitment to Group Development in Teacher Training. Manuscript in Preparation. Wiggins, G.& McTighe, J.(1998). Understanding by Design. Alexandria: ASCD
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