Lesson Study: Getting Started

March 2021
illustration of the 4 steps in lesson study

Lesson Study is a collaborative professional development approach focused on student learning. The Lesson Study Cycle is comprised of four stages. Typically, teams complete one or two cycles each academic year. Attention to the three Lesson Study Implementation Practices helps teams build capacity to understand student learning and make meaningful changes to their teaching practice. Participants work in iterative cycles, each of which consists of four stages:

  1. Study and Plan
  2. Teach, Observe, and Debrief
  3. Revise and Reteach
  4. Reflect and Report

Download the Lesson Study Framework Infographic

Reflecting on the Lesson Study Cycle

We asked three math instructors from Portland Community College to talk about their experience with each stage. Hear what they had to say below.

Study and Plan

The team identifies goals for students, investigates curricula, and examines research on classroom practice and student learning. Then team members collaboratively develop a detailed lesson plan that includes tasks, anticipated responses, instructor moves, and evaluation questions.

Teach, Observe, and Debrief

One team member teaches the lesson developed by the team while other team members observe and record evidence of student learning. Next, team members share observation data, discuss evidence of student learning, and explore whether students achieved goals.

Revise and Reteach

The team uses its observation findings to revise the lesson for improved effectiveness. A team member reteaches the lesson while other team members observe and collect evidence of student learning. Then the team debriefs the reteaching and explores how changes in the lesson may have influenced student learning outcomes.

Reflect and Report

The team reflects on the results of the cycle and documents its learning in a report. The team also plans how it will share and disseminate its new professional knowledge with peers and other interested stakeholders.