Doctoral Student and TC Leads Lesson Study Group

Mar 4, 2012
Posted by: laurroop

CA Area 3 Writing Project teacher-consultant Shannon Pella aided in deepening capacity for her site by proposing, designing and facilitating a lesson study group for diverse middle school teachers across the site’s service area.  The study is providing data for her dissertation, too.

Four years ago, TC Shannon Pella received a grant from the CRESS Center (where our project is housed at UC Davis) to start a Lesson Study group with TCs.  For the past three years, six middle school TCs representing diverse populations from across our service area, met every four to six weeks for a full day of observation, debriefing and planning.  This work was funded by the grant for two years, and last year, we used A3WP funding to pay substitute cost so the group could continue to meet.  Each year, a focus is chosen (writing traits of organization and voice, writing response groups) and the TCs work together to plan and deliver lessons.  At each gathering, the group meets first so the TC who is teaching that day can give an overview of the lesson they will see.  All of the group members then observe the teacher’s lesson, followed by a time of debriefing.  The teachers discuss strengths of the lesson, observations and possible adaptations for their own classes.  They then design future lessons that will build on the observed lesson.  In between meeting times, email is used to pass on ideas and electronic documents.  In addition, much of the work has been documented by video and audiotape, and Shannon Pella used the evidence for her dissertation research.  The work of the Lesson Study team has led to inservice as several of the group’s members have presented at Super Saturdays, open programs, and contracted inservice.




Great Idea for Strengthening Site and Its University Connections

Submitted by laurroop on Sun, 2012-03-04 09:56.

Reading California's Area 3 WP report, I was struck by this description of a funded dissertation research project that also has been a tremendous contribution to the development of site capacity.  So many teacher-consultants end up in master's and doctoral programs, it makes sense for a site to be strategic in working with graduate students, aiming for win-win projects.  And it is especially terrific when such projects can receive some sort of funding to release teachers for professional learning.