The use of Lesson Study to engage pre-service teachers in a positive peer-learning climate

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Abstract

Project Aims
This project introduced Lesson Study to offer trainee teachers autonomy in their professional learning during school placements, beyond the formal mentoring process.

Methodology
An action research model was adopted. Participants were postgraduate Secondary Physical Education trainee teachers (n=17), randomly paired with another trainee in a different school. Step 1: Trainee ‘A’ chose a class to conduct the Lesson Study, in an activity that they felt expert in, and then sent Trainee ‘B’ their draft lesson plan to offer feedback. Step 2: Trainee ‘A’ taught the agreed lesson, with Trainee ‘B’ observing and recording it. Step 3: Immediately afterwards, trainees watched the recorded lesson together, engaging in professional dialogue about its effectiveness. Together, they revised the original plan. Step 4: Trainee ‘B’ then taught the revised lesson to their own class of pupils. They reported back via email to trainee ‘A’ on the success of the revised lesson based on their self-evaluation and feedback from the class teacher. The process was repeated with a reversal of trainee roles and focus on a different object of learning. Analysis took place at three stages: (i) immediately after each Lesson Study cycle, sharing experiences through the university group discussion board virtual learning environment (VLE) (ii) Completing individual questionnaires at the end of each Lesson Study cycle. (iii) Semi-structured interviews at the end of the course.

Findings
Data revealed four main emergent themes from the PSTs’ personal insights and reflections: acquiring content and pedagogical knowledge, understanding individual learners’ needs, developing the planning process and embedding reflective practice. Trainees developed confidence in learning from peers, especially their subject knowledge development as they planned, taught, observed, evaluated and discussed a lesson. Collaboration with a peer at the same stage of training, within a safe, equal and non-judgemental space, was viewed as easing the pressure they felt as trainees. Additionally, through the mutually supportive learning environment situated beyond the formal mentoring process with expert teachers, they felt willing to take risks with revised lesson approaches.

Conclusion(s)
Collaboration with a peer at the same stage of training was viewed as easing the pressure trainees felt during school placements. The mutually supportive learning environment created pedagogic space beyond the formal mentoring process, allowing for risk-taking with revised lesson approaches and empowering the trainees to learn through their teaching. They developed confidence in learning from and with peers, especially acquiring subject knowledge, developing planning, understanding learners’ needs and embedding reflective practice as they planned, taught, observed, discussed and evaluated lessons.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventWorld Association of Lesson Studies (WALS) Conference - University of Bandung, Bandung, Indonesia
Duration: 25 Nov 201428 Nov 2014

Conference

ConferenceWorld Association of Lesson Studies (WALS) Conference
CountryIndonesia
CityBandung
Period25/11/1428/11/14

Keywords

  • Initial Teacher Education
  • Peer Learning
  • Physical Education
  • collaborative spaces
  • Reflection

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