Exploring Lesson Study as professional development for inclusive pedagogy in secondary Mathematics

Perdita Hatton-Brown is a SENCO and specialist SEND teacher.  She leads the Personalisation Department in a secondary academy for girls in West London.  The school has a mixed demographic, with high numbers of students with additional learning needs, economic disadvantange and for whom English is an additional language.  In the course of her studies on the MTEACH Special Educational Needs, she had become interested in Lesson Study as a way to develop ‘universal interventions’ at a whole class teaching level for learners with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities. Her work documents the process and results of Action Research into using Lesson Study to develop inclusive teaching of Mathematics with Year 9 students, and was carried out in her school in 2015.  

Lesson Study (LS) is a form of joint practice development that has been used for over 150 years in Japan. It is now widely used across East Asia and in some parts of the United States, but is a fairly recent phenomenon in the UK.  It involves three teachers jointly planning, observing, and evaluating a cycle of three lessons.  The exciting part is that the focus is on the learners and their progress and not on one another’s teaching; a key means of achieving this is the study, in each lesson, of the learning of two pre-selected ‘case-students’, who are closely observed.  They are briefly interviewed about their experience of the lesson and their learning after each lesson.  Student feedback and teacher observations are shared to inform the planning of the next lesson in the cycle.  At the end of the cycle the LS team write a short report and share with the rest of the teaching staff.  In Japan, some schools even set up ‘show lessons’ after school and invite parents and local dignitaries in.  At the time of writing, LS had been recently used in the UK to explore mathematics pedagogy and to develop universal teaching for learners labelled with Moderate Learning Difficulties.  It had also been used to apply the ‘graduated approach’ to assessing pupil needs.  The literature around Lesson Study is generally overwhelmingly positive.  It is cheap and quick, highly context specific, and teachers who take part generally report great gains from the process.


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Teacher Research Projects: what’s available out there?

Students working on a computer[1090]

At this point of the year, lots of teachers will be breathing a massive sigh of relief having finished their classroom research projects;  others will be chewing their nails thinking about the one they’re about to start.

So it’s timely to think about where all this work gets published.

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What is the experience of the Buddy Reading Scheme for a range of Year 7 and 8 readers and sixth formers who assist them?

BUDDY1Sophia Bobdiwala is the Head of Key Stage 3 English at a school in Hillingdon, London and carried out this research in her fifth year of teaching during the 2014-2015 academic year. Her enquiry explores the effects of paired reading on the participants involved. The Buddy Reading Scheme (BRS) is an approach to supporting and encouraging reading. It involves ‘pairing’ younger readers with older, more experienced students. The project investigates the effectiveness of this approach in relation to the pupils’ motivation and engagement. It offers an account of the BRS as experienced by different students, their responses and feelings about the project and the extent to which the scheme might be said to improve attitudes to reading. It is an exploratory investigation into the potential benefits and problems of a programme designed to support and develop pupils’ reading, their skills, but also their feelings about themselves as readers and their enthusiasm for reading.
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Effective strategies for overcoming the barriers to the authentic integration of digital technologies in schools.

Sean McHugh is a Digital Literacy Coach at a large international school in Singapore.  The school has recently implemented a technology enhanced learning (TEL) initiative which involved developing a  programme of increased access to computers and other information communiction technology (ICT) across the school.  His enquiry considered barriers to ICT integration, and possible solutions.  Developing ICT expertise for teachers has tended to be done through ‘training courses’. However, for the duration of this enquiry this approach was suspended, in order to explore more learner-centred and collaborative approaches for managing teacher development, giving opportunities for teachers to learn through interactions with their colleagues and with their own students.

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