TTP-LS: A Lesson Study intervention to support mathematics teachers to implement problem solving in lessons


Gerrit Roorda, University of Groningen, The Netherlands


This seminar summarizes the results of a project in secondary school - mathematics education in the Netherlands.

Mathematics teachers in the Netherlands pay little attention to problem solving skills in their math classes. The approach of Teaching Through Problem-solving (TTP) combined with Lesson Study (LS), known form the Japanese math education, may offer a solution: TTP offers a structured method to pay attention to problem solving in mathematics lessons and LS appears to be a powerful professionalization approach.

The mathematics departments of two secondary schools participated in a TTP- LS intervention. Teams of 3-5 teachers developed, implemented, observed, and evaluated lessons based on TTP-phases. The central research question was how this TTP-LS intervention supports math teachers to pay attention to problem solving skills. Teachers were interviewed after each cycle to gain insight in how the characteristics of the intervention lead to possible outcomes for the participating teachers. The collected data shows that the teachers see TTP as a valuable approach to teach solving mathematical problems to students. A part of the TTP lesson that was perceived as difficult, was the lesson phase in which student solutions were discussed (Neriage) with a focus on solution strategies rather than answers. The LS method was seen as a suitable approach to learn about TTP. The joint development, implementation and evaluation of TTP lessons gave the teachers tools for applying (parts of) the TTP didactics in other lessons. Some improvements of the intervention were identified; with respect to TTP, to make more explicit to students which problem solving skills are used, and with respect to LS, to pay more attention to reflection for teachers to discuss what they learned from the LS-cycle for other contexts.

About the speaker:

Gerrit Roorda is a mathematics teacher educator at the University of Groningen. Since 1998 he has been involved in the education of student teachers (master and minor) at university level. He finished his PhD on mathematics education in 2012. He participated in the period 2014 -2017 in a research project on Lesson Study in mathematics education. In 2016 he attended an Immersion Program Lesson Study in Japan that focused on learning about Japanese LS and TTP lessons. In the period 2018 -2022 he was project leader of a project aimed at professionalization of mathematics teachers to strengthen problem solving skills of students. Many of his publications, workshops and in-service training programs are about Lesson Study and TTP.