The University of the Philippines National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development (UP NISMED) has organized a national conference on lesson study in science and mathematics. The conference will be held at UP NISMED on October 22-24, 2013. For more information click on this link.
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Schools continuously explore ways of improving the teaching-learning process to improve student outcomes. This is stipulated in the School Improvement Plan (SIP). For instance, teachers are encouraged to carry out action research to address concerns related to improving student learning in their classes. They are also encouraged to participate in professional development activities such as in-service training.
In May 2011, Ligao National High School mathematics teachers, through the efforts of their principal Mrs. Sinson and their department head, Maylanni Galicia, attended a training program at NISMED. From May 6 to 13, 2012, they learned about lesson study and about GeoGebra, a free software they can use in their lessons.
One of the unique features of lesson study is teaching through problem solving (TtPS), a strategy recommended in the design of a lesson. The counterpart of this in NISMED’s conduct of lesson study with science teachers is Inquiry-based Teaching (IbT). The design of the LNHS lesson study was two-tiered. The training last May was the first tier. The objective was to provide the participants experiences in (1) developing research lessons collaboratively, (2) implementing a research lesson, (3) gathering data about the lesson and how students think and learn, and (4) setting long-term goals and sub-goals.
The second tier of the LNHS training occurred last September 2011. Dr. Erlina Ronda of the High School Mathematics Group of NISMED observed the implementation of the lesson study in LNHS in all year levels.
The success of the math department lesson study in LNHS prompted the principal and the science department head to have their science teachers undergo lesson study training at NISMED this first semester of SY 2012-2013.
To date, UP NISMED has facilitated lesson study groups in several public high schools within the Metro Manila area. The first model of lesson study implementation was in 2006 and the second model, a refinement of the first, was conducted in 2010.
Batch 2007 was attended by teachers from Rizal High School in Pasig, Balara High School in Quezon City, San Vicente Elementary School and Krus na Ligas Elementary School, both in Quezon City. From these, a total of six high school lesson study groups and ___ elementary lesson study groups conducted lesson study in varying degrees.
For its second batch of lesson study, NISMED concentrated in one school in Pasig – Sta Lucia High School. As in Rizal High School, one lesson study group was organized for each year level involving all the teachers in the year level.
In 2011, NISMED conducted its first lesson study in a school outside Metro Manila with the teachers of Ligao National High School (LNHS). Lesson study was also introduced to the math and science teachers of Nueva Ecija High School last February 2012.
ES Math Lesson Study Topics
Lesson study is a teacher-led professional development model where a group of classroom teachers work collaboratively to plan and design a lesson and study student learning by systematic inquiry. In lesson study, teachers are engaged in critical, creative, and collaborative work in developing and researching a lesson through a “design-implement-reflect-revise” cycle until it reaches a form which they believe is exemplary. The main goal is not to develop a ‘perfect’ lesson but to make the development of an exemplary lesson a context for studying student learning. Since 2006, UP NISMED has been actively promoting lesson study as a model of professional development for mathematics and science teachers.
Lesson study started in Japan in 1872 and since then has been the primary professional development activity of their teachers. Lesson study is now becoming popular among the teachers in the US as well as in other countries. For instance, the World Association of Lesson Study (WALS), which attracts participants from all over the world, has been holding an annual conference on lesson study since 2007. The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) has also been holding international conferences and symposia for promoting lesson study especially in the Asia-Pacific Region. – Erlina R. Ronda
The first science lesson study conducted by NISMED was in Chemistry conducted in SY 2003-2004. It was a study on the effectiveness of lesson study, a Japanese model for continuous learning by teachers, as a school-based approach to professional development of chemistry teachers in a typical Philippine public high school in Cainta, Rizal ( 20 minutes ride from UP NISMED). Click here to view the powerpoint presentation of the results of this study.
In 2010, two schools became partners of NISMED in its CLRD project: North Fairview High School,and Rizal High School. The schools and the subject areas where lesson study is being implemented are: Rizal High School for Earth/environmental Science and Biology, North Fairview High School for Chemistry and Physics.
As an initial activity, NISMED developed a needs assessment instrument per subject area in the form of a test covering topics in the first two quarters of the school year and administered it to outgoing students of the subject area in the school year 2009-2010. The purpose of which was to determine whether the students learned the most important concepts, principles, skills, and dispositions related to the topic. Results of the tests became the basis in developing research lessons.
After the needs assessment, a three-day orientation-workshop was conducted for twenty-five science teachers and 11 mathematics teachers at the high school level on May 17-19, 2010. The objective of the orientation-workshop was to gain insights on teachers’ content and pedagogical content knowledge as well as their teaching practices and beliefs. Interviews on how a particular lesson is taught, how students would answer a particular question, and the discussion of their students’ answers to the diagnostic test given by NISMED were likewise included. The teaching strategies called teaching science through inquiry were modeled by NISMED staff. Actual lesson exemplying these strategies were viewed by the participants.
The participants were also introduced to the CLRD process that includes selection of topics to be taught, lesson planning, lesson implementation, post activity discussion and lesson revision. Towards the end of the orientation-workshop, the participants and NISMED staff together formulated the CLRD goals and sub-goals for the first year of implementation. The general goal formulated by the science participants is ‘to develop and nurture self-directed learners who have enduring understanding of science concepts that can be applied to real-life situations’. The sub-goals are: to ask questions and find answers to their questions, to communicate ideas, and to participate actively in class activities and discussions.
By Amy Punzalan