Kick-starting a change in teacher education with Sustained Visible Lesson Study


Klaus Rasmussen, postdoc IND / Metropol


In this seminar I present the preliminary findings from a study of a three semester long project with lesson study in a particular format called ‘ASTE Sustained Visible Lesson Study’ (ASTE SVLS). The main objectives of the project are to get an increasing number of pre-service teachers to participate (freely) in lesson study, giving them opportunity to concretely reflect upon teaching and learning, and ground in practice the often rather theoretical coursework of teacher education. The project and study is carried out together with Camilla Helsteen Østergaard.

Our primary  questions concerns how different groups of actors, that is, management, teacher educators, pre-service teachers and collaborating teachers, have responded to the introduction of lesson study in the setting of ASTE SVLS, e.g.: Why or why not do they take part? What do they express to gain from participation? What do they see as potentials and drawbacks of lesson study (in this form)?

Our secondary questions are about trends in the answers to the primary research questions: Are certain views held by certain groups of actors? Can we give reasons for the views held, which are not merely contingent with the informants personal outlook, but rather expressions of fundamental characteristics of the educational setting where lesson study is introduced.

The theoretical framework used in the study comes from the Anthropological Theory of the Didactic (ATD). In ATD it is essential to explicate an epistemological reference model (Bosch & Gascón, 2006). Such a model is always unfinished and incomplete, but serves to make transparent that all actors (including the researchers) are institutionally situated. An epistemological reference model (REM) describes the ‘objet’ or ‘body of knowledge’ being studied. In the original formulation, REMs were developed for mathematical knowledge, to describe the process of transposition from the “production of the knowledge” to the learning of this knowledge by some pupils. In this paper the ‘object’ being transposed is the paradidactic infrastructure of lesson study.

The seminar presents six generic “positions” held by the actors, and identified relative to the REM, which highlights the conditions and constraints affecting the wider dissemination of Lesson Study.