Going beyond the surface features of Lesson Study: The case of Singapore


Christine Lee, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


There is a lot of interest in the development of professional learning communities (PLC) in schools in many countries as a vehicle to improve teacher quality and student learning outcomes (Bolam et al., 2005; Hord, 1997). Singapore is no exception (Hairon & Dimmock 2012). One of the models advocated for PLCs in Singapore schools is Lesson Study, a Japanese form of teacher professional development that supports collaboration and collegiality among teachers (Lee & Lim, 2018). The appeal of lesson study lies in the fact that teacher learning is in-situ and in the context of real lessons. Teachers observe lessons that they have planned collaboratively and after these observations, discuss the impact of these lessons on the learning of their students (Lewis, Perry & Murata, 2006). This seminar will highlight a case study of a primary school which has implemented lesson study since 2016 and will demonstrate highlights of teacher learning. The issues and challenges in the implementation of Lesson Study as a tool in developing PLCs in Singapore schools and its implications for quality and sustainability will be discussed.

About the speaker:

Christine Kim-Eng Lee is currently an Adjunct Senior Fellow of National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Prior to this appointment, Christine was Associate Professor and Head of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning (2006-2015), Head of Humanities and Social Studies Education (2000-2006) Academic Groups and Vice-Dean of the School of Arts (1997-2000). Her contributions to education have been recognized through various awards notably the Distinguished Alumni Award from Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, The Government of Singapore Public Administration Medal and Long Service Award and NTU Distinguished Service Award. Christine’s research interests are in the areas of teacher development and learning, lesson study, listening pedagogy, cooperative and collaborative learning, curriculum development, implementation and change, curriculum and teacher leadership, and curriculum and school reforms. Christine plays an active role in the international Lesson Study community as President of the World Association of Lesson Studies (WALS) (2011-2016) and Immediate Past President (2017-2021). She is lead editor of the WALS-Routledge Lesson Study Series. She has been invited to give keynotes and seminars at international conferences and academic symposiums in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Norway, Taiwan, Turkey, UK and Vietnam. She serves on the Management Board of Healthy Start Child Development Centre, Beyond Social Services, supporting children from disadvantaged homes.