This symposium addresses the preliminary results from a collaborative and comparative research project in which Lesson and Learning Studies have been used as a model to explore possibilities and demands for teacher driven school development in Sweden and Tanzania.
International comparisons of educational performances (PISA, TIMSS, and SACMEQ etc) have generated an almost universal competition to improve national educational systems. Education reforms have replaced each other without evaluation and research. Further, it is commonly agreed that education lacks the ability to self-renew as well as an orientation towards innovation (Foray, 2007). The relationship between how teachers design and carry out their teaching activities and the anticipated learning outcomes has mostly not been focus for research and reflection (Nuthall, 2004).
It is against these backgrounds that the interest in the Japanese Lesson Study tradition from the 19th century must be examined. This tradition seems to have resulted in a culture of inquiry and innovation in teaching (Lewis, 2009). At the heart of a Lesson Study is the collaborative development of a lesson that is revised in an iterative process (Elliott, 2012). According to Hiebert, Gallimore and Stigler (2002), it offers a way of transforming teachers’ craft knowledge into professional knowledge. Learning Study originates from the Lesson Study tradition but with a stronger focus on what aspects students need to discern and how this is made available through teaching (Marton, 2005).
The purpose for the project has been to examine and develop the Lesson/Learning Study as a model for improving the quality of teaching and learning in schools through teacher driven research and to explore Lesson/Learning Study as model for school development and teacher continuous professional development. The project implemented a series of Lesson/Learning Studies cases in each country respectively (English, Mathematics, Science, and Crafts (cooking) as a strategy for a research based, bottom up school development.
The symposium is organized around six presentations:
Kalafunja Osaki & Inger Eriksson: Introduction of the symposium
Noah Mtana & Gunilla Höjlund: Curriculum and educational system in Tanzania and Sweden – a comparison
Andrew Binde & Francis William: Two Lesson/Learning Study cases from Tanzania
Inger Eriksson: One Lesson/Learning Study cases from Sweden
Viveca Lindberg, Andrew Binde & Åsa Hirsh: Pre- and post tests as a tool in Lesson & Learning Studies – searching for effects of students learning or for understanding what students needs to learn?
Kalafunja Osaki & Noah Mtana: Lesson/Learning Study as a tool for school development