by: MARICOR V. SANTOS
Teacher III, Munoz National High School-Main
For many years, we tend to think that to improve the quality of education, we must improve the key factor in the teaching-learning process – the teachers. Trainings and seminars were given to teachers primarily to improve their professional growth. And in this world full of “teachers must do this” or “teachers must do that, teachers could not help but think that the problem in students’ academic failure is all because of them. And that should not be the case since a teaching-learning process is a two-way process.
It is a good thing that a new teaching technique is currently imposed by the Department of Education, particularly in teaching Science and Mathematics, which will help teachers not to put all the blame to themselves because its focus is not the teachers, but the way the teachers teach. This technique is known as Lesson Study which originated from Japan in the middle of 1960’s. In their search for the best teaching strategy that would best fit to their students, Japan agreed to shift from thinking about how to improve teachers to thinking about how to improve teaching.
How Lesson Study Works
Lesson Study is a form of long-term professional development in which teams of teachers collaboratively plan, research and study their lesson instruction as a way to determine how students learn best. Through this process, the teachers will be able to determine what the students know and how they think and learn to improve the ways of teaching and make instruction more effective.
Lesson study is a cycle. It involves three processes: Planning a Research Lesson, Implementation of the Research Lesson and Post-lesson Reflection and Discussion. It is expected that after these processes, teachers will be able to create not a perfect lesson but a lesson that perfectly fits to students.
Choosing a good lesson allows teachers to focus on what is most important – the students. When the lesson is taught and clearly laid out, teachers do not have to spend time revising the content, getting new resources, and creating a structure for instruction. Instead, teachers can spend time thinking about what the intended student behavior or learning is. They can also discuss parts of the lesson where students might have a difficult time. T earns can debate what these struggles might tell them about the students’ thinking. We can also talk about what might be done in critical parts of the lesson if demonstrated actions are not what we have intended. And these are all embedded in the concept of a lesson study.
Why Should Teachers Embrace It
We always complain why our students cannot understand the lessons being taught to them despite all the talkings done by the teacher in the classroom. We tend to get angry and frustrated if they cannot differentiate a matter to non-matter, if they cannot balance a chemical equation or if they cannot repeat what you just said a minute ago or even a second ago. Maybe we get frustrated to our students because we teach them the way we want them to learn, and not the way they want to learn. And that is a different thing.
Lesson Study will teach us how to be patient in understanding how our students learn best, because that is what we have always wanted. But when our best is not good enough, maybe we should ask others’ best to help us improve our best to produce best students. And that is the reason why Lesson Study should be embraced by teachers.