Working together to improve teaching & learning
Leagan Gaeilge

Don’t miss out on joining your local Lesson-Study group for 2017-2018. Even if you didn’t attend induction training you can still partake in a *Lesson Study* group in your locality. **Don’t delay** as the first round of meetings are starting the week beginning October 16th.

Find details of your nearest meeting by clicking on the venue closest to you in the map below. Take a note of the date and time of the meeting and let us know you plan to attend by filling in your details on the online form here.

*Lesson Study* is a form of professional development based around teachers collaborating to design a research lesson. The Maths Development Team are using *Lesson Study* to support teachers in adopting **structured problem solving** in their teaching of mathematics. *Lesson Study* is recognised internationally as being the most-effective form of professional development in changing classroom practices. Teaching through **structured problem solving** is widely acknowledged to develop students ability to think mathematically and to solve problems.

A full *Lesson-Study* cycle involves five meetings outside of school time and one inside school time. In some schools, management allow teachers to utilise some of their Croke-Park hours for the meetings which happen outside of school time (this is a matter for discussion between teachers and their schools). Supervision and Substitution are provided for the meeting which occurs within school time. This meeting is to allow the lesson designed through *Lesson Study* to be taught to students and observed by the research group.

Usually each meeting lasts between 2 and 2.5 hours. During these meetings the research group identify a topic of mathematics which students struggle with and design a single lesson around this which will improve students’ conceptual understanding. While on the face of it designing a single lesson appears to be a simple task, the Lesson-Study process asks teachers to consider and discuss a number of aspects of teaching and learning pertaining to the lesson. These include:

- How the lesson will meet the School Self Evaluation standards currently being worked on by their school
- How the lesson will meet the expectations of the new Junior Cycle framework (including key skills and statements of learning)
- Why the identified topic is proving so difficult for students
- What approaches are currently used across the school in teaching the topic
- What prior knowledge students have before studying this topic
- Where this topic is needed by students in their future learning of mathematics
- How the lesson fits into a larger unit of work

The depth of this process provides some clue as to why *Lesson Study* is so effective in changing classroom practice. While teachers work on designing a single lesson, the deep discussion they have with their colleagues has a hugely positive impact on their teaching as a whole.