A framework for analyzing the quality of mathematics lessons

There are only few studies on teachers’ professional development that involves providing teachers with a research-based lens through which they can analyze and think about their lessons. In this paper.

UP NISMED’s Lesson Study Program honored at the 2019 Gawad Tsanselor

UP NISMED’s Lesson Study Program honored at the 2019 Gawad Tsanselor The Lesson Study Program of the University of the Philippines National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development (UP NISMED) was honored as one of UP Diliman’s Natatanging Programang Pang-ekstensyon...

World Association of Lesson Studies (WALS) International Conference 2017

NISMED staff as well as teachers from partner schools presented papers at the World Association of Lesson Studies (WALS) International Conference 2017 held at Nagoya University, Japan on 24-17 November 2017.

PALS Inaugurated

The Philippine Association of Lesson and Learning Studies (PALS) Inc. was inaugurated on 10 December 2016 at the Pearl of the Orient Tower in Manila.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Research Lesson on Geometric Relations

The Mathematics III Lesson Study Group of Santa Lucia High School which was composed of four mathematics teachers and one UP NISMED facilitator highlighted multiple solutions in their research lesson on Geometric Relations.  The lesson was about the Parallel Postulate which was an offshoot of the problem shown below.   In the problem, if a horizontal diagonal is drawn, the diagonal and the line segment containing the base are parallel and the two sides that connect the parallel segments are transversals. This leads to the concept that corresponding angles are congruent which is known as the Parallel Postulate.

During lesson planning, the teachers and the facilitator came up with 11 anticipated solutions. Questions were formulated on how to process the solutions. Follow up questions  were listed in case students could not answer the questions. The key questions and the expected answers were emphasized in the lesson plan.
The lesson was implemented for two days in four sections.  Most of the students used previous knowledge in solving the problem, but there were some who came up with intuitive solutions. Some solutions presented were not even anticipated by the teachers and the UP NISMED facilitator.

After each lesson implementation, the facilitator and the teachers met to discuss what went well, what went wrong, and the strategies to be used to improve the lesson.
The teachers were pleased with the result of the thorough planning.  They were able to anticipate students’ answers and were able to address misconceptions. They also observed that students were more participative and active in class discussions.

By Guillermo Bautista Jr.

NISMED Introduces Lesson Study to PMA

A seminar-workshop for Mathematics teachers of the Philippine Military Academy was conducted on March 6-8, 2012. Held at PMA, Fort del Pilar, Bagiuo City, this was attended by 23 participants of whom 15 are teaching mathematics. On the first day of the seminar-workshop, the participants did an activity that made them reflect on their own teaching practices. Then they were led to identify the goals and how mathematics should be taught in order to achieve these goals. Aside from their goal of making mathematics interesting, they identified the need to develop higher order thinking skills (HOTS) among their cadets. To guide the participants in achieving these goals, they were given activities that familiarized them about developing and assessing higher order thinking skills (HOTS) and about teaching mathematics through problem solving.

One of the highlights of the said event was a workshop in which participants were assigned to one of 3 different groups. Based on their goal, the group collaboratively designed and developed a lesson on the topic of their choice. Then on the following day, each group chose one participant to implement the lesson while the other members observed. After the implementation, a post-lesson discussion was conducted where the participants critiqued the lesson and agreed on some points to improve it. This has introduced the participants the process of doing lesson study where they collaboratively developed, implemented, critiqued, and improved the lesson. Through this process they learned to assess their own practice, learned to appreciate and welcome new ideas. For them the process was too personal - started with their own experiences where they were able to apply to practice- resulting in some insights on how to improve their way of teaching and change in their perspective of a situation.

By Allan M. Canonigo

NEHS Earth Science Lesson Study

In January 2012, NISMED’s Earth Science Group collaborated with the First Year science teachers of Nueva Ecija High School (NEHS), Cabanatuan City on a research lesson in Science I. The primary goal of the group was to develop students’ critical thinking skills. During the planning stage, the teachers formulated goals related to the unit on the Solar System. An outline of the topics to be tackled within the unit was put together. The topic on Eclipses was chosen to serve as the research lesson of the group.

The group engaged in face-to-face planning on two consecutive Saturdays. Each planning session lasted for hours, since the school was quite far from Manila and the group could not meet as often as it wanted to. But the NISMED staff and NEHS teachers maintained contact between these two meetings—and also before the implementation of the lesson—through a regular exchange of emails. We thought this setup would result in a low level of collaboration among the teachers. But in contrast to our expectation, the teachers regularly met on their own and continued to plan the lesson on eclipses even without the facilitators. After the final draft of the lesson plan was emailed to the NISMED staff for critiquing, the teachers immediately revised it.
During the implementation of the original lesson on February 7 and the implementation of the revised lesson the following day, the teachers were very attentive all throughout. They wrote down their observations and kept an eye on the “implementer” to see if she stuck to the lesson plan that they themselves prepared. During the post-lesson conferences, the teachers took pains to critique the lesson plan itself and not the implementer. The discussion was so lively that the NISMED facilitator had to ask for an opportunity to give her own comments on the lesson. The teachers seemed to be able to conduct a post-lesson conference even without the NISMED facilitator. Very early on, it was evident that the teachers have taken to the practice of lesson study as smoothly as could be hoped.
In the course of the lesson study, the teachers met regularly and this developed in them a sense of belonging. They built a professional community where their ideas were expressed and respected by others. The teachers liked the idea of working with and learning from their colleagues. In fact, they expressed their desire to collaborate on another research lesson. The First Year science teachers of Nueva Ecija High School were convinced that lesson study contributes to their own learning.

By Ivy Mejia

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Lesson Study training for LNHS Math teachers

Peer Teaching
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.
Post-lesson discussion of LNHS Year 8 Math teachers. The teachers are re-examining their research lesson. The students' outputs are posted on the board.

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.

By Erlina Ronda

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Science Lesson Study Groups

By Amy Punzalan
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.

Friday, July 20, 2012

NISMED spearheads Lesson Study in the Philippines

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. 
By Erlina Ronda

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What is Lesson Study?

  • It is a school-based teacher-led continuing professional development model for teachers. It originated in
    Japan in 1872.
  • It is a professional learning process in which teachers work collaboratively to:
    1. formulate goals for students learning in long-term development
    2. develop "research" lessons to bring those goals to life
    3. implement the lesson and document observations
    4. discuss the evidences gathered during the lesson implementation and use them to improve the lesson
    5. teach and study the lesson again to further refine it.
  • It provides teachers an opportunity to see teaching and learning in the classroom. This enables them to develop a common understanding of what effective teaching practice entails in relation to student thinking and learning.
  • It keeps students at the heart of professional development activities
  • Being teacher-led, teachers can be actively involved in instructional change and curriculum development.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

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