Starting Lesson Study in Elementary School Science

In mid-May 2013, a seminar-workshop on “Development of Inquiry-Based Science Activities” was conducted by the NISMED Elementary School Science Group for 15 Grade III science teachers from three schools in the Division of Taguig-Pateros (5 teachers per school).

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.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lesson Study Workshops in St. Scholastica’s College

The High School Department of St. Scholastica’s College invited Ms. Arlene de la Cruz of UP NISMED to give an overview of lesson study on July 20, 2012. This was attended by nine (9) subject coordinators, the principal and the assistant principal. The subjects covered were Communication Arts (English), Science and Technology, Mathematics, Communication Arts (Filipino), Christian Living, Social Studies, Physical Education, Health and Music, and Technology and Livelihood Education. Apart from the presentation on lesson study, a video of the process was also shown. The coordinators commented that they were delighted to know lesson study as a way of improving the achievement of their students and a strategy for teacher’s professional development. 

                                 Seated: Ms Arlene P. de la Cruz and Sr. M. Rosalina Rosas Fajardo, OSB, Principal                                                                           Standing fourth from the left: Mrs. Ma. Lourdes N. Cura, Assistant Principal 
On 11 January 2013, Ms. de la Cruz was again invited to give a seminar-workshop on lesson study to the teachers of the high school department of St. Scholastica’s College. There were about 25 teachers from different subject areas. They had lesson planning, brainstorming, and critiquing of lessons focused on Grade 7 which included the subjects English, Science, Mathematics, Geography, Filipino, and Christian Living. A teacher for each subject taught the lesson that they planned collaboratively. Critiquing of the lesson presented by each teacher was done. Revisions on the lesson plan were done at the end after each teacher demonstration. 

According to the teacher participants, it was their first time to experience how to critique lesson plans. They said that they learned a lot during the planning and critiquing of lessons. They were able to come up with lesson plans which they can use later. At the end of the seminar-workshop they decided that they will implement lesson study in the coming school year 2013-2014 for at least one quarter.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Introducing Collaborative Lesson Planning

NISMED’s initial attempt at collaborating with elementary school science teachers in the development of unit lesson plans is first described, followed by a much simpler mechanism to review existing ones for the purpose of improving them. Both times, the activity ground to a halt when the teachers were requested to write the lesson plans/revise them according to the comments and recommendations. This chapter documents the processes involved and the reasons given for the expected outcomes that did not materialize. The data gathered were generated from interviews and observations. It was established that it was not the teachers’ practice to develop lessons from scratch; they make use of existing ones. They are also very busy and overloaded with assignments in school, making it difficult for them sit down and write out lesson plans and revise these for use the next time they teach it to another section or the following schoolyear. Recommendations to revise the lesson study process and make it more friendly to busy teachers are given following these failed attempts.

The first attempt was at Bagong Kinabukasan Elementary School (BKES, not its real name) as an initial activity under NISMED’s School Partnership Project (SPP) which was formally launched in November 2006 (UP NISMED unpublished report, 2008).

This bogged down after two planning sessions per grade level (Grades 3 to 6); no revised lesson plans were produced and no lesson implementations were observed. No observations of implementation were likewise carried out.

Another attempt was made in the same school in August 2008. This second phase targeted improvement of existing lesson plans by collaborative teams consisting of NISMED staff and BKES teachers. The BKES teachers readily submitted existing lesson plans for “editing” but the teams were unable to sit together to critique the plans and suggest improvements. NISMED staff were also invited to observe a “demo teaching” by a teacher and participate in the post-conference after the demo teaching. However, no revised lesson plan incorporating the comments during the post-conference was produced. (NISMED unpublished report, 2011).

These two attempts are recounted and analyzed in this chapter. The challenges and constraints to collaborative lesson research and development among elementary science teachers are pointed out and recommendations for future attempts are given.

by Risa L. Reyes ( )