Build a Research Theme, Theory of Action, and Indicators
Your school’s research theme and theory of action are the starting points for School-wide Lesson Study. If you have not already built a research theme and theory of action, be sure to visit Study, Step 2 of “Conduct a Cycle” and develop those as a school.
Your research theme (goal) captures an element of your shared long-term vision for student learning you want to address, and your theory of action identifies strategies you want to try. Indicators of progress will help you gauge the impact of your work.
Educators within your school and outside specialists can both provide important ideas for your theory of action. Your theory of action should be based on the best available knowledge, and you should expect it to grow and change as your knowledge builds.
As you think about your school’s research theme, theory of action, and indicators, you may find it useful to read the tile “Research Theme vs. Theory of Action” and to revisit the examples from Matsuzawa Elementary School and Highlands Elementary School. While they did not always use the terms “Research Theme,” “Theory of Action,” and “Indicator,” their work captures well the concept of working on an element of your school vision, drawing on high-quality research for your theory of action, and agreeing on indicators that will help you gauge progress.