Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Lesson Study at Castlemaine Secondary College

This term I have begun working with a group of teachers at Castlemaine Secondary College using Lesson Study as a professional learning strategy. We have two groups of three teachers involved in a cycle
  • one hour planning,
  • one hour teaching and observing
  • one hour debriefing and evaluating.
Each cycle will take 3 weeks for each round making 9 weeks in total for three teachers. A big commitment, which we might have to adjust.

Research demonstrates that the teacher makes the big difference to students and the most effective professional learning comes when a teacher works with his or her students in her classroom.

A couple of quotes sums this up:
Professional development should be “grounded in inquiry and reflection, participant driven and collaborative, involving a sharing of knowledge among teachers within communities of practice, sustained, ongoing, and intensive and connected to and derived from teachers ongoing work with their students.”
The International Reading Association (2006)

The problem is that there is almost no opportunity for teachers to engage in continuous and sustained learning about their practice in the setting in which they actually work, observing and being observed by their colleagues in their own classrooms and classrooms of other teachers in schools confronting similar problems of practice. (Richard Elmore, (2004). School reform from the inside out: Policy, practice, and performance p.127)

So far we’ve had 4 sessions for each sub-school providing background to Lesson Study as a form of professional learning, working through the schedule, supporting teachers filling out the PoLT (Principles of learning & Teaching) component mapping, conducting PoLT student surveys, presenting the Release of Responsibility model, deciding on what teachers will say to their class when explaining why three other teachers are sitting in, analysing lesson plans, deciding on a lesson format and collaboratively planning a lesson which one of the group will teach while the others observe.

Next week we begin our first teaching and observing lesson.


Anonymous said...

Hi Sam, I have just flipped quickly through your blog and thought "what a wonderful reflective resource" of the different facets of your life. I wish I had more time.
Steve Tobias

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the proliferation of 'eduspeak' is a means to 'build capacity' as a profession. Are teachers – or is it educators - harnessing language to bind them under the yoke of a ‘profession’? The desire to be valued and recognised in social terms as ‘professionals’ creates the need for specialised language to delineate between ‘educators’ and those who ‘teach’.
While all the current educational theories relate to broadening the definition of education in schools and ‘bringing on board’ community members, businesses or, simply, parents the ‘eduspeak’ necessarily prevents a clear articulation of the ideas schools and teachers want to express to ‘stakeholders’. Is it the “petty bourgeoisie” objective of upholding social status that is forcing teachers to adhere to industrial-age notions of ‘profession’ through developing and using the jargon that prevents others from working with them in shaping the future together? Shall we ‘un-pack’ the ideologies at stake – risk accepting that everyone and everything in our ‘global community’ has the ability to teach young people?

Sam Grumont said...

Hi Steve,
You are right, the blog is a great tool for reflection. I just need to write more regularly.

Phew anonymous, I'm still trying to figure it all out. We are building capacity but I don't think we are the petty bourgeoisie but just plain bourgeoisie. I like the polysyllabic comment you wrote.

Anonymous said...

I think Anon 1 had it down pat,

Anonymous said...

Constabulationist altoauthoratonisistic alternatation in my view

Anonymous said...

You talking to me?

Anonymous said...

I'm with the band

Anonymous said...

The end of the means is not the end in itself but more the means to the end of the discussion

Anonymous said...

'Every reform was once private opinion.' Ralph Waldo Emerson

Orphelia said...

It was Charlie Brown who said, 'How can you do new math with an old math mind.'