Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Learning from Teaching a Research Lesson

Every now and then I am reminded of how lucky it is to be a teacher. The insights that we get and the access to students' thoughts that sometimes even their own parents do not have make the job of teaching so much fun.

I taught a 30-minute lesso with a group of Primary 1 children as part of a lesson study symposium in Singapore. The research theme is to develop confidence amongst students.

Based on my role as the research teacher and listening to the observations of the participants present at the research lesson, I now see a differntiated way to deal with different students. With struggling ones, the concrete materials and the structured guided practice was a great help. There awas a case of a child who struggled with the lesson at the start. However, after I showed him how he could use the cubes and egg tray I gave them, and after several examples, he was able to perform subtraction without concrete materials by the end of the 30 minutes.

For the students who are better in the skill, I develop their confidence by repeated questioning their method. As they grew more confident, some were increasingly more passionate in defending their methods.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Opportunity to Attend Lesson Study Open House in Tokyo

IMPULS International Seminar on Lesson Study: Key Elements and Effective Support of School-based Lesson Study

Are you attending WALS2011 in Tokyo? If you are you should consider this seminar.

On behalf of Project IMPULS (International Math-Teacher Professionalization Using Lesson Study) I would like to invite you to the IMPULS International Seminar on Lesson Study, November 30 & December 1, 2011. Venue: JICA Research Institute, Tokyo.

Project IMPLUS is a newly established project funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology of Japan.

The Project is housed in the Mathematics Education Department of Tokyo Gakugei University, Tokyo, Japan. The director of the project is Professor Toshiakira FUJII and the project members include all the faculty members in the mathematics education department, Professors Koichi NAKAMURA, Shinya OHTA, and Keiichi NISHIMURA. Dr. Akihiko Takahashi of DePaul University joined the project as a specially-appointed professor. Ms. Naoko KATSUMATA, a former Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) officer also joined the project as a project staff.

The purpose of the project is two-fold. First, as an international center of Lesson Study in mathematics, Tokyo Gakugei University and its network of laboratory schools will help teacher professionals from throughout the region learn about lesson study and will thereby prepare them to create lesson study systems in their own countries for long-term, independent educational improvement in mathematics teaching. Second, the project will conduct several research projects examining the mechanism of Japanese lesson study in order to maximize its impact on the schools in Japan.

This international seminar is designed for lesson study researchers and practitioners to discuss and learn about the key elements of effective school-based lesson study and how to support schools in using this form of lesson study as part of a system for long-term, independent educational improvement in mathematics teaching.

This seminar will consist of two parts. One day will be a seminar with leading lesson study researchers from Japan, the U.S. and Singapore to discuss school-based lesson study.

The second day will be an immersion experience through the participation of a half-day research open house given by a local public school in Tokyo. The research open house is the end of a two-year school-based research project and all the classes at the school will have public research lessons on mathematics, addressing the school’s research theme, so that the seminar participants may observe the results of the school’s two year efforts to improve their teaching practices in action.

Tentative Seminar Agenda
Day 1: Wednesday, November 30
Place: JICA Research Institute
10-5 Ichigaya Honmuracho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8433

8:30 Registration and Coffee
9:00-9:30 Opening Remarks
About the Project and the Purpose of the Seminar
Toshiakira Fujii (Japan)
9:45-10:30 What kind of support makes school-based lesson study effective?
Catherine Lewis (USA)
10:45-11:30 School-based lesson study in Singapore
Christine Lee (Singapore) President of WALS
11:30-12:30 Lunch
12:30-1:15 How Japanese school administrators support their teachers in conducting school-based lesson study
Akihiko Takahashi (Japan / USA)
2:00-3:00 Short Presentations and Panel Discussion
Short presentation: Maitree Inprasitha (Thailand)
Panelists: Ban Har Yeap (Singapore), Catherine Lewis (USA), Christine Lee (Singapore)
& Toshiakira Fujii (Japan)
Moderator: Akihiko Takahashi (Japan / USA)
3:15-4:00 Q & A Session with the Panel
4:00-4:30 Preparation for the school open house visit
Akihiko Takahashi (Japan / USA)
5:00-7:00 Reception & Networking

Day 2: Thuesday, November 30
Afternoon at the schools (details will be announced later)

The registration fee of 5000 yen includes:
• Simultaneous English translation of the selected research lessons and talks during the school open house,
• English translation of the school’s research report with all the lesson plans
• Reception on November 30.

Registration procedure
• Visit Lesson Study Alliance website to register for the conference. We accept payment by major credit cards. Confirmation of the registration will be sent by e-mail. Deadline for registration is Sunday, November 25, 2011. Because of the nature of lesson study process, we may limit the number of participants BEFORE November 25.

Click Here to Register Now!

• Cancellation: Cancellation notices must be submitted by November 25, 2011 for a partial refund of 4500 yen. No refunds are available for cancellations after November 25.

Akihiko Takahashi, Ph.D.

Project IMPULS (International Math-teacher Professionalization Using Lesson Study)
Tokyo Gakugei University
4-1-1 Nukuikita, Koganei,
Tokyo, JAPAN zip184-8501
Tel&Fax :81-42-329-7549