Lesson study: the effects on teachers and students in urban middle schools.
This multiple case study examined the effects lesson study had on middle school mathematics teachers and students in a large urban school district. The participants for this study consisted of 13 middle school mathematics teachers who formed three lesson study groups. The research questions were: (1) What effects does lesson study have on middle school mathematics teachers? (2) What effects does lesson study have on middle school students? (3) Does the participation in lesson study as a form of professional development serve as a catalyst for the growth and continuation of lesson study within the middle school mathematics community? This qualitative research used nine measures to gather data which consisted of the following: two baseline surveys; transcripts from planning and reflection sessions; observation notes; lesson plans; teacher logs; students' work; a district nine-week assessment; and electronic discussions. Analysis of the data revealed lesson study did impact teachers' instructional strategies in the areas of self-reflection, incorporating problem-solving activities, and encouraging cooperative learning. Evidence also indicated that teachers' content knowledge did improve for two of the three case studies as a result of teacher collaboration. The impact lesson study had on students' understanding and achievement was limited. Students' achievement in mathematics for two participating middle schools appeared to improve; however, caution must be excercised when attempting to generalize the impact lesson study had on students. There was, however, evidence to support that lesson study had a positive impact on students' engagement in mathematics. In addition, over 50 percent of the participating teachers elected to engage in a second lesson study with some recruiting additional teachers from their campuses.