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MPES 2013 "We've gotta have it!"

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Tom McDougal

on 23 July 2015

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Transcript of MPES 2013 "We've gotta have it!"

Focuses on developing expertise for teaching:
using different questioning techniques
using the blackboard effectively
anticipating student responses
handling student difficulties
managing a discussion around multiple student ideas
assessing student learning during a lesson
Two phases of professional development
Listening to experts during special professional development days does not translate into improved teaching. Effective teacher learning must be built into teachers’ daily and weekly schedules. Schools must become the places where teachers, not just students, learn.

Stigler & Hiebert (2009). "Closing the Teaching Gap."
1995 TIMSS Video Study
Representative sample of 8th-grade mathematics lessons from Germany (n=100), Japan (n=50) and the United States (n=81).
Takahashi, A. (In press). The Japanese approach to developing expertise in using the textbook to teach mathematics rather than teaching the textbook. In Li, Y. & Kaiser, G. (Eds), Expertise in Mathematics Instruction: An international perspective, New York: Springer.
Despite massive efforts to improve teaching in the United States, and despite perceptions by many that teaching was, in fact, improving, we found no evidence that anything had changed between 1995 and 1999.
Stigler & Hiebert (2009), "Closing the Teaching Gap." Phi Delta Kappan, 91(3).
1999 TIMSS Video Study
Lesson Study
Developing the research lesson plan
Test scores
(e.g. Scantron)
Observations of student learning
Possible tools, manipulatives, representations
Week 0
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Feedback, testing
A thoughtfully-designed lesson plan
A post-lesson discussion
A live lesson
(the research lesson)
"Our students don't seem to understand fractions very well."
"That's an awful lot of work
for just one lesson!"
Make the time
Larger blocks of common planning time

Half-days/PD days/after school (yes kids will come!)

Use PD funds
after school
substitutes—e.g. one team in the morning, one team in the afternoon

Lesson Study Summer Institute
August 5-8, Chicago
Lesson study enables changes in instruction
And yes, lesson study improves test scores
Teachers reported changes in collaboration including asking more questions of colleagues, more use of print resources to inform discussions with colleagues, increased discussion of student thinking, and increased interest in observing other teachers and discussing observations.
Perry, R. & Lewis, C. (2010). "Building demand for research through lesson study." In M. K. Stein & C. Coburn (Eds.) Research and practice in education: Building alliances, bridging the divide. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.
Data from R. Perry & C. Lewis:
In interviews conducted after completion of LS cycles between 2001 and 2005, teachers reported … increased use of tasks that elicit student thinking and support student exploration, more experimentation with … tasks before giving them to students in order to … anticipate student thinking, more discussion and comparison of student solutions in the classroom (including incorrect solutions), more use of student data to inform instruction, and less tendency to “give” students mathematical answers.
Lesson study boosts professionalism
Lesson study does make a difference
But it takes time.
For more than a century, observers have been looking into classrooms and emerging with descriptions of how U.S. teachers teach. What is most striking in these observers reports is that the core of teaching—the way in which teachers and students interact about the subject being taught—has changed very little over that time.
National Research Council (2001). Adding It Up (p. 48).
School research theme:
Part 1: There is a gap, and it needs to be filled.
Part 2: About lesson study, which fills the gap
Part 3: Making it work for you
Lesson study: We've gotta have it!
MPES 2013

Tom McDougal
Lesson Study Alliance

"Teaching is a cultural activity."
The "birthday party" script
Act I: Fun and games
Act II:
Act III:
Act IV:
Act V:
The "teaching math" script
Act I:
Act II:
Act III:
Act IV:
Act V:
The "professional development
day" scripts
journal articles
Phase 2
Phase 1
What happens when you get back to your classroom?
What impact will it have on students?
Decide on the unit
Develop unit plan
Draft a more detailed plan for one lesson in the unit
Revise, finalize plan
Prepare materials
Anticipate student responses
… Students at all grades can listen to or read the arguments of others, decide whether they make sense, and ask useful questions to clarify or improve the arguments.
Video (8 min.): excerpts from a research lesson & discussion
Goal: Understand how to use estimation to solve (exactly) an elapsed-time problem.
Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
"Collaborative approaches to professional learning can promote school change that extends beyond individual classrooms. When all teachers in a school learn together, all students in the school benefit."
"Effective professional development
is intensive, ongoing, and connected to practice;
focuses on the teaching and learning of specific academic content;
is connected to other school initiatives; and
builds strong working relationships among teachers."
[p. 5, bullets added]
Grade 1-2 team
Grade 5-6 team
Grade 7-8 team
Grade 3-4 team
Exhibit A: Japan
Exhibit C: Chavez school, Chicago
Exhibit B: Mills College Research
School-based lesson study
District-wide lesson study
National (cross-district)
lesson study

An intra-school lesson study group
Usually subject-oriented groups (e.g., math teachers from each school in the district)
Meet once or twice a month
Research lesson on a district p.d. day (afternoon)
Draws teachers from across the district; also university faculty, pre-service teachers, district personnel, textbook authors and editors
Developing communication among the schools in the district.
Exchanging ideas between the schools.
Improving instruction and learning in the district as a whole
Usually a voluntarily organized group
Group of enthusiastic practitioners with purpose of improving teaching and learning or curriculum in a certain subject
Meet once or twice after school on off-school days
Developing new ideas for teaching chosen topics.
Investigating curriculum sequences and contents (informing national standards)
Developing curriculum (pattern blocks example)
Preparing for new Course of Study
20% increase in content
new emphasis on communicating one's thinking
many novice teachers
Research theme: The development of individual thinking and the expression of these thoughts.
Year 1 (2010-2011)
Year 2 (2011-2012)
Focus of study: Seeking effective ways to support students’ individual problem solving skills and facilitating whole-class discussion in lessons that teach through problem solving
April 9. Demonstration lesson by an invited teacher to raise issues related to the theme and school research focus
April 21. Faculty meeting to discuss and approve the theme of the school-based lesson study
May 19. Lecture by a leading math educator on the school research theme
June 16. Research lesson and post-lesson discussion: “various lengths” for a class of special needs students
June 23. Research lesson and post lesson discussion: “subtraction (1)” by the grade 1 team
August 27 (During summer break). A lecture by a leading math educator on the school research theme
September 22. Research lesson and post-lesson discussion: “area” by the grade 4 team
October 27. Research lesson and post-lesson discussion: Mathematics for students with special needs by the special needs team
November 24. Research lesson and post-lesson discussion: “multiples and factors” by the grade 5 team
November 30. Research lesson and post lesson discussion: “enlarged and reduced drawings” by the grade 6 team
January 26. Research lesson and post-lesson discussion: “addition and subtraction (2)” by the grade 2 team
February 16. A research lesson and post-lesson discussion: “math sentences using ” by the grade 3 team.
Research theme: Teaching mathematics in a way that helps students explain their ideas to each other and learn from each other.
(New COS goes into effect)
April 6. Faculty meeting to discuss and approve the modified theme of the school-based lesson study and set the schedule of research activities
April 8. Workshop by a leading math educator about effective lesson observation.
April 20. Research lesson and post-lesson discussion: “symmetry” by the grade 6 team
April 27. Lecture by a leading math educator
May 11. Research lesson and post-lesson discussion: “angles” by the grade 4 team
May 18. Research lesson and post-lesson discussion: “multiplication of decimal numbers” by the grade 5 team
June 13. Research lesson and post-lesson discussion: “division” by the grade 3 team
June 21. Research lesson and post-lesson discussion: “subtraction” by the grade 1 team
Aug 26. Grade band meetings for developing lesson plans for the public research lessons at the public open house.
Sep 14. Research lesson and post-lesson discussion: “addition and subtraction” by the grade 2 team
Dec 1. A public open house
Public open house
612 participants, including:
Teachers from district: 180
Admins from district: 38
Educators from other dists: 146
Parents (!): 160 (~760 students)
28 simultaneous lessons based on 25 different lesson plans
Presentation by the RSC on the school's research
Panel discussion by math education experts
Published reports
4 booklets:
School research report (20 pages)
Lesson plans for all the lessons at the open house (38 pages)
2-page versions of all research lesson plans from years 1 & 2 (20 plans, 46 pages)
Report from the open house, including reports from each lesson (28 lesson reports, 57 pages)
Research Steering
School administration
Knowledgeable others
(Researchers, experienced teachers, district math specialists)
1-2 grade band team
3-4 grade band team
5-6 grade band team
Specials team
grade 1 team
grade 2 team
grade 3 team
grade 4 team
grade 5 team
grade 6 team
special needs team
special subjects team
(a teacher from each grade level + the school math specialist)
School research structure
(1 year before new COS goes into effect)
Chicago Lesson Study Group
Mills College Lesson Study Group
Part 4: Beyond "filling the gap": Let's think big
Lesson Study Network mailing list
(There is a link to this at the bottom of the Chicago page.)
Get support
Knowledgeable other
Final commentator (knowledgeable other)
Planning process
Research lesson & discussion
Celebrating the fruits
of hard work
This presentation is available on-line:
prezi.com explore search "McDougal MPES"

Chicago Lesson Study Conference (Mar 28-29, 2014)
for inexperienced groups
push to think deeply
provide resources
make sure important issues are discussed
keep the conversation grounded in data
synthesize important points from the discussion
introduce a wider perspective
raise questions/challenges for future lesson study
District average
Lesson study school
Also an American perspective:
Objective: develop knowledge for teaching:
content knowledge
pedagogical content knowledge
general pedagogical knowledge
knowledge of curriculum.
"…teachers typically need substantial professional development in a given area (close to 50 hours) to improve their skills and their students’ learning…"
"Effective professional development
is intensive, ongoing, and connected to practice;
focuses on the teaching and learning of specific academic content;
is connected to other school initiatives; and
builds strong working relationships among teachers."
[p. 5, bullets added]
"Problem Solving must be the focus of school mathematics…"
—Agenda For Action, NCTM,
"The facts of mathematics, important and valuable as they are, are not the strongest justification for the study of the subject by all pupils. Still more important than the subject matter of mathematics is the fact that it exemplifies most typically, clearly and simply certain modes of thought which are of the utmost importance to everyone."
A little history…
"… the K—12 standards articulate five general goals for all students: ... (3) that they become mathematical problem solvers, …"

—Curriculum & Evaluation Standards, NCTM
6 after-school meetings, 90 minutes
Lesson Study Step by Step
Catherine Lewis & Jacqueline Hurd
What about PLCs?
journal articles
Objective: develop knowledge for teaching:
content knowledge
pedagogical content knowledge
general pedagogical knowledge
knowledge of curriculum.
Looking at student work.
Population of Japan: 128M
Population of Wisconsin: 6M
Task: Flight from Chicago to Austin takes 1 hour 55 minutes. If the plane arrives at 4:50 p.m., what time did it leave?
Team decided to start the discussion with incorrect solutions.
Concern: Support ELL students in understanding the problem.
Level 1: Tell students important basic ideas of mathematics such as facts, concepts, and procedures.

Level 2: Explain the meanings and reasons of the important basic ideas of mathematics in order for students to understand them.

Level 3: Provide students opportunities to understand these basic ideas, and support their learning so that the students become independent learners.
Three levels of teaching
Sugiyama, Y. (2008). Introduction to elementary mathematics education. Tokyo: Toyokan Publishing Co.
What professional development will get us to Level 3?
A Japanese Perspective
What does your PLC do?
What do you wish it would do?
A Japanese Perspective
2012 ISAT mathematics data for grades 3 & 4:
Grade 3: 92% meets/exceeds, 51% exceeds, 0% warning
increasing sharply every year since 2010.
Grade 4: 98% meets/exceeds, 48% exceeds, 0% warning
increasing every year since 2009.
"Principals at four schools – Chavez, Lowell, Keller Gifted and Lavizzo – received the highest bonus of $20,000 for improving in all four areas."

—Catalyst Notebook, 10/29/2012
1960s: didactic math instruction
1990s: teaching through problem solving
2013: Top math growth in Pershing network 2 years in a row
Exhibit D: Prieto school
Lesson study in grades 3 & 4
This year, 4th grade team did LS on fractions
Grade 4 NWEA Math growth: + 23 percentile points, normative growth 1.2 years

Grade 4 fractions growth: 1.8 years
(this is important!)
—J.W.A. Young,
Japanese textbook
available as PDF download
from GlobalEdResources.com
Lesson Study Alliance (http://LSAlliance.org)
Coherent, focused curriculum
Good match for Common Core
Generate Interest: See it live!
Chicago Lesson Study Conference
March 28 & 29, 2014
Public research lessons
Chicago Lesson Study Group mailing list
Read, watch videos
Get connected
(but no TE… yet…)
For example, a 1998 report to the California State Board of Education summarizes the conventional method of mathematics teaching in the United States…. In the first phase, the teacher demonstrates, often working one to four problems, and the students observe passively; in the second phase, the students work independently, with the teacher possibly monitoring their work and giving feedback.
That description might easily have been written to describe U.S. mathematics lessons in 1900.
Adding It Up, p.72
Full transcript