Lesson Study

Lesson Study was the most powerful professional development I have experienced over the past thirteen years in education.

Photo of Mary Reynolds
8 4

Written by

Over the past thirteen years in education, the most powerful and transformative professional development that I participated in was Lesson Study. I was a participant in Project LEAD (Leading Educators in Academic Discourse). Project LEAD was a four-year math leadership professional development opportunity for teachers. From 2010-2014, I had incredible opportunities to coach and facilitate teachers with the transition to the California Common Core Math Standards. It was because of Lesson Study that I gained valuable knowledge, experience and leadership skills.

Project LEAD changed my teaching practices in the classroom in specific ways that made me a better teacher and leader. I learned about the importance of selecting high cognitive demand tasks for students, as well as how to change and strengthen my teaching practices through the use of You-We-I and Re-Engagement Lessons, which focus on student thinking and student discourse. I participated in three cycles of Lesson Study where the guiding questions for each cycle came from the analysis of the Standards for Mathematical Practice, all while focusing on what students were doing/thinking. 

The professional development offered a balanced approach of effective teaching practices and leadership skills that I continue to use in my daily work as a site principal.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Sarah Lundy

The Lesson Study experience is the Holy Grail for growing our instructional chops. Your describing the time-intensive, slow and patient investment in the cognitive dynamics of the classroom that really pay off as transformative teaching and learning. Let's not forget to do things that we already know work well!

Photo of Joshua Deis

Mary it was wonderful being in that Lesson Study with you and I look to continuing it with your new district. I fully agree that Lesson Study is the most powerful PD that I have experienced as an educator.
I have been involved in Lesson Study for over 15 years. Is there anything in education that people can say they have been able to be involved with over such a long time. I feel so lucky.

Photo of Mary Reynolds

Thank you, Josh! It is great to have an opportunity through the Teachers Guild to share the impact Lesson Study had on my experience with professional development as an educator.

Photo of Mary Reynolds

Here is a link to some helpful and current information about Lesson Study out of Mills College in Oakland: http://www.lessonresearch.net/ http://www.lessonresearch.net/staffmain1.html

Photo of Paul Kim

Thanks for this Mary!

A few resources around Lesson Study:

Photo of Chris Good

Paul - great links - thanks!!!!!

Photo of Chris Good

Wow, thanks Mary!!!!! this is great - I am looking forward to learning more about this! and reading Pau'ls links below!!!!

Photo of Brett Brownell

Thanks for sharing Project LEAD Mary! Do you have any links or resources you can include for other teachers to learn more?