About Lesson Study

Lesson Study is an inquiry cycle that supports teachers to experiment, observe and improve.

An elementary-age male student points while his female teacher stands beside him and observes

What Is Lesson Study?

Lesson Study is a simple idea: If you want to improve instruction, what could be more obvious than collaborating with fellow teachers to plan instruction and examine its impact on students? In Lesson Study, teachers bring their own questions to the table and seek answers from one another, from outside specialists and research, and from careful study of students.

How It Works

Click on each phase below to watch a team move through the phases of a Lesson Study cycle:
Study: Click to watch videoStudy: Click to watch video

A team of teachers collaborates to:

  • Identify long-term goals for students
  • Choose the subject and unit to investigate
  • Study standards, research, and curricula
Plan: Click to watch videoPlan: Click to watch video

Using insights from the Study phase, the team:

  • Examines the unit and chooses one lesson to plan in depth
  • Articulates the lesson goals
  • Tries the lesson task and anticipates student thinking
  • Identifies data to be collected during the lesson
Teach: Click to watch videoTeach: Click to watch video

The team puts that lesson into action:

  • One team member teaches the lesson
  • Other team members observe and record student thinking and learning
Reflect: Click to watch videoReflect: Click to watch video

The team then reflects on their work by:

  • Meeting after the lesson to discuss data on student thinking and learning
  • Having an outside specialist provide further commentary
  • Reflecting on what they learned during the cycle as a whole

The real “product” of a Lesson Study cycle is much more than just one polished lesson. As a team collaborates to improve instruction, they deepen their knowledge of content and student thinking and their commitment to working together to improve instruction.

To learn about the principles behind Lesson Study and hear from teachers who have used it, visit Why Lesson Study?  To begin your work in Lesson Study, visit Conduct a Cycle.

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