In an attempt to keep Lesson Study going in some form or other, we have developed a partnership with a local supply agency that is proving mutually beneficial. Our problem at school is that due to budget constraints we cannot release three members of staff at once to run with the traditional model of LS. We have therefore taken the key tenets of the model and created an approach using two teachers from the agency to join us as co researchers in the classroom.
Following a lengthy discussion around the purpose of Lesson Study we agreed and signed the protocol and planned out our approach. We were fortunate to get such buy in from the agency and the two members of staff who joined us fully embraced what we were doing. They took the research role seriously and came away with a wealth of additional information for the class teacher (lead researcher) on learner response and (the teacher’s area of focus) partner work.
The researchers provided the teacher with a real insight into the learners’ behaviours through careful pupil tracking and post lesson interviews. The agency staff also gained a real insight into learner response and the power of lesson study to affect change in the classroom. Both are teachers and neither had used such an approach before. Neither were familiar with Lesson Study and the notion of the focus in class being the learner and not the teacher seemed to be a genuine light bulb moment. The class teacher, a strong advocate of Lesson Study, was very clear about what she wanted the researchers to focus on and was impressed with the level of detail they were able to feed back. The supply agency is able to advertise that their teachers have an opportunity to engage in classroom research which allows them to develop professionally whilst working for the agency. As a school we benefit from having additional classroom researchers available to support us with Lesson Study.