A model of teacher professional development based on the principles of lesson study

McDonald, Susan Ellen (2009) A model of teacher professional development based on the principles of lesson study. Professional Doctorate thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The researcher’s professional role as an Education Officer was the impetus for this study. Designing and implementing professional development activities is a significant component of the researcher’s position description and as a result of reflection and feedback from participants and colleagues, the creation of a more effective model of professional development became the focus for this study. Few studies have examined all three links between the purposes of professional development that is, increasing teacher knowledge, improving teacher practice, and improving student outcomes. This study is significant in that it investigates the nature of the growth of teachers who participated in a model of professional development which was based upon the principles of Lesson Study. The research provides qualitative and empirical data to establish some links between teacher knowledge, teacher practice, and student learning outcomes. Teacher knowledge in this study refers to mathematics content knowledge as well as pedagogical-content knowledge. The outcomes for students include achievement outcomes, attitudinal outcomes, and behavioural outcomes. As the study was conducted at one school-site, existence proof research was the focus of the methodology and data collection. Developing over the 2007 school year, with five teacher-participants and approximately 160 students from Year Levels 6 to 9, the Lesson Study-principled model of professional development provided the teacher-participants with on-site, on-going, and reflective learning based on their classroom environment. The focus area for the professional development was strategising the engagement with and solution of worded mathematics problems. A design experiment was used to develop the professional development as an intervention of prevailing teacher practice for which data were collected prior to and after the period of intervention. A model of teacher change was developed as an underpinning framework for the development of the study, and was useful in making decisions about data collection and analyses. Data sources consisted of questionnaires, pre-tests and post-tests, interviews, and researcher observations and field notes. The data clearly showed that: content knowledge and pedagogical-content knowledge were increased among the teacher-participants; teacher practice changed in a positive manner; and that a majority of students demonstrated improved learning outcomes. The positive changes to teacher practice are described in this study as the demonstrated use of mixed pedagogical practices rather than a polarisation to either traditional pedagogical practices or contemporary pedagogical practices. The improvement in student learning outcomes was most significant as improved achievement outcomes as indicated by the comparison of pre-test and post-test scores. The effectiveness of the Lesson Study-principled model of professional development used in this study was evaluated using Guskey’s (2005) Five Levels of Professional Development Evaluation.

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ID Code: 30389
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Supervisor: English, Lyndall & Shield, Malcolm
Keywords: lesson study, teacher professional development, problem solving, social constructivism, and student learning outcomes
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 11 Feb 2010 03:57
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:55

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