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Scott Corwin, Michelle Cascio, Katherine Emerson, Laura Henn and Catherine Lewis

mathematics department used lesson study to investigate how to introduce fraction division to our sixth-grade students. In lesson study, teachers research their own practice by conducting cycles of continuous improvement. Figure 1 summarizes a lesson study

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Kristen N. Bieda, Jillian Cavanna and Xueying Ji

Field experience can be a rich site for intern teachers to develop the knowledge and skills they need for effective teaching. Lesson study has been shown to be a powerful form of professional development that enhances practicing teachers' mathematical knowledge for teaching through collaborative inquiry with their peers. In this article, we discuss the use of mentor-guided lesson study to support mentor and intern collaboration in the field and share what we have learned about its potential to support interns' attention to student thinking. We will also share insights from the field for those interested in implementing this activity in teacher preparation coursework.

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Catherine Lewis and Rebecca Perry

An understanding of fractions eludes many U.S. students, and research-based knowledge about fractions, such as the utility of linear representation, has not broadly influenced instruction. This randomized trial of lesson study supported by mathematical resources assigned 39 educator teams across the United States to locally managed lesson study supported by a fractions lesson study resource kit or to 1 of 2 control conditions. Educators (87% of whom were elementary teachers) self-managed learning over a 3-month period. HLM analyses indicated significantly greater improvement of educators' and students' fractions knowledge for teams randomly assigned to lesson study with resource kits. Results suggest that integrating researchbased resources into lesson study offers a new approach to the problem of “scale-up” by combining the strengths of teacher leadership and research-based knowledge.

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In The Teaching Gap (1999), James W. Stigler and James Hiebert describe differences between mathematics instruction in Japan and the United States. They attribute some of these differences to a commonly used method of professional development in Japan called lesson study: “The lesson-study process has an unrelenting focus on student learning. All efforts to improve lessons are evaluated with respect to clearly specified learning goals, and revisions are always justified with respect to student thinking and learning” (p. 121). Over the past decade, many groups of educators in North America have implemented various forms of lesson study.

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In The Teaching Gap (1999), James W. Stigler and James Hiebert describe differences between mathematics instruction in Japan and the United States. They attribute some of these differences to a commonly used method of professional development in Japan called lesson study: “The lesson-study process has an unrelenting focus on student learning. All efforts to improve lessons are evaluated with respect to clearly specified learning goals, and revisions are always justified with respect to student thinking and learning” (p. 121). Over the past decade, many groups of educators in North America have implemented various forms of lesson study.

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In The Teaching Gap (1999), James W. Stigler and James Hiebert describe differences between mathematics instruction in Japan and the United States. They attribute some of these differences to a commonly used method of professional development in Japan called lesson study: “The lesson-study process has an unrelenting focus on student learning. All efforts to improve lessons are evaluated with respect to clearly specified learning goals, and revisions are always justified with respect to student thinking and learning” (p. 121). Over the past decade, many groups of educators in North America have implemented various forms of lesson study.

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Mary T. McMahon and Ellen Hines

The value of collaboration and reflection with peers to improving instructional practices is well known (e.g., Lieberman 1992; Little 1982; Little and McLaughlin 1993; Romberg 1988). However, practicing mathematics teachers are often challenged to find time in their busy schedules to collaborate with peers. Recently, during the implementation of a lesson study experience with a small group of preservice secondary mathematics teachers, we observed firsthand how lesson study could be used to encourage collaborative reflection among preservice teaching peers and how it potentially could be used to support ongoing professional development of in-service teachers while respecting their time constraints.

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Kristen N. Bieda and Craig Huhn

Middle and high school mathematics teachers share what they learned about supporting students by conducting a series of three lesson studies.

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Randall E. Groth

The lesson study model of professional development that originated in Japan is becoming increasingly popular in the United States (Lesson Study Research Group 2009; Stigler and Hiebert 1999). At its core, lesson study is a means of bringing teachers together to carry out the process of planning a lesson, implementing and observing it, and then examining it during a debriefing session (Yoshida 2008). The debriefing component is one of the most distinctive characteristics of this type of professional development. It provides a means–discussion–for reflecting on the strengths and weaknesses of the collaboratively planned lesson. As such, the debriefing component merits special attention from those currently engaged in lesson study as well as those considering using it.

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Akihiko Takahashi and Makoto Yoshida

Many educators in the United States have recently become interested in lesson study, a professional development approach popular in Japan, as a promising source of ideas for improving education (Stigler and Hiebert 1999). Numerous schools and school districts have attempted to use lesson study to improve their teaching practice and student learning (Council for Basic Education 2000; Germain- McCarthy 2001; Lewis 2002; Research for Better Schools 2002; Stepanek 2001; Weeks 2001).