Research. Reflect. Refine.
Lesson Study is a form of job-embedded, professional development for teachers that uses a systematic process to foster a collaborative, professional environment in which teachers collaborate in teams of 2–5 to
- identify a research theme and student expectation(s) (SEs) from the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) that students have difficulty understanding;
- research best instructional practices for the identified SEs and plan a strategic, research-based lesson;
- teach the lesson to students and collect data on students’ responses, levels of engagement, and learning processes;
- reflect on the lesson and options for refinement; and
- share the teacher-designed, research-based lesson and report on the lesson effectiveness with other teaching professionals online via the Texas Gateway.
Lesson Study is a framework for collaborative instructional research and lesson design that can be implemented by all campuses. The construct of the Lesson Study groups can vary based on the campus size and needs. For example, groups may be comprised of teachers that teach the same subject, grade level, or any combination of the two, such as a group of 2nd grade math teachers, a group of 6th, 7th, 8th grade English teachers, or a group of U.S History and English I teachers creating an interdisciplinary lesson.
The purpose of Lesson Study is to help teachers improve their effectiveness, share best practices with other teachers, improve student outcomes, and provide a platform to demonstrate mastery within the teaching profession.
The video below is Mike Morath, the Texas Commissioner of Education, presenting the Lesson Study initiative to the Senate Finance Committee of the 85th Texas Legislature.
Webinar: Part 1
The webinar below was presented to the regional education service centers by Blair Claussen, the TEA Lesson Study Project Manager.
Misconceptions: True or False
Impact on Teaching and Student Learning
“It is rare that we have time to research and use all of the resources at hand to thoroughly plan for our learners. It was especially enlightening for me to think intensely about how to scaffold grade level material for ELLs.”
Webinar: Part 2
In the video below, Forrest Ridge Elementary principal and teachers share their experiences with the Texas Lesson Study program.
Webinar: Part 3
Differences Between Lesson Study and Traditional Professional Development
Lesson Study is a process that can be used any time teachers meet to collaborate. During Lesson Study, teachers are proactive in planning instructional strategies as opposed to reactive. Teachers anticipate student responses and misconceptions in the hopes of addressing potential hurdles before intervention is needed. This differs from meetings in which the focus is on developing interventions when students do not understand the taught lesson. (Intervention discussions may occur during Lesson Study, but not until the end of the Lesson Study cycle, if needed.) Other major differences from traditional professional development include the following:
- Teachers participate in research methods and collaborative meetings to create the pedagogical and subject-area bank of knowledge.
- The Lesson Study process occurs over a series of meetings.
- Teachers observe students to collect data on lesson effectiveness. This provides an opportunity to observe other instructors teach the lesson designed by the group.
- The Lesson Study model is centered on improving teaching, not the teacher.
Webinar: Part 4
Texas Lesson Study Cycle
Pilot Year Implementation
This section provides additional information to our education service centers on the current structures and funding in place for service center staff to implement Lesson Study at the campus level.
TEA awarded three education service centers, ESC Regions 6, 13, and 14, to implement TXLS on campuses. These three service centers collaborated with ESC Regions 5, 15, and 16 and partnered with ESC Regions 9 and 17. It is the intent of the agency to expand the program to all 20 ESC regions.
The image below illustrates participation for fall 2016 and projections for spring 2017.
TXLS Example Staffing Model and Support Structure
The flow charts below show a sample staffing model for participating ESCs and structures for implementation at the district and campus level. However, ESCs have latitude to develop a model that works best for their service center, districts, and campuses.
In the model below, a full-time facilitator works with four campuses throughout the academic year. The facilitator has four TXLS groups in the fall semester and four different groups in the spring semester. If a fall group would like to continue Lesson Study in the spring semester, the facilitator may provide less intensive support for that group as well.
ESC Regional Hubs and Districts for Fall 2016
Additional Information and Resources
Lesson Proposals and Videos
Links to the teacher-designed research lessons (Lesson Proposals) and videos from the pilot year (2016–2017) are below. A list of published proposals with a brief description of the lesson and the aligned TEKS can be found here. (Please note that you will need to log in or create an account to view the Lesson Study content.)
English Language Arts and Reading Grade 2
Traditional vs. Contemporary: "The Three Little Pigs"
Super Sequencing Strategies
Navigating Informational Text with Text Mapping
English Language Arts and Reading Grade 3
Zoom Out: Overlapping Context Clues and Semantic Gradients
Context Clues Are Out of This World!
Be a Reading Detective
English Language Arts and Reading Grade 6
A Reader’s Survival Guide: Connecting and Synthesizing Ideas in Nonfiction Texts
Mathematics Grade 2
Comparing Fractional Parts
Mathematics Grade 5
Mathematics Grade 6
How Does the Cookie Crumble?
Mathematics Grade 7
Does Paper Have Volume?
Modeling and Solving Two-Step Equations
Equations and Inequalities
Area of Composite Figures
Compound Probability: Independent vs. Dependent Events
Area of Composite Figures
Volume of Triangular Prisms
Discovering the Ratio of pi
Up, Up, and Away
Social Studies Grade 6
Data Banks to Bar Graphs
Science Grade 5
Uses of Energy Lab
Science Grade 8
Full Speed Ahead
In the News
In ESC Region 5, Brook Wommack, a 5th grade ELA/Reading teacher at Groves Elementary, and Traci Billeaud, a 3rd grade math teacher at Ridgewood Elementary, describe their experience with Lesson Study and the impact it had on their students in this Education Matters news story.
To find out more about bringing Texas Lesson Study to your district or campus, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
TXLS Facilitator Training Online Course
This course provides in-depth training to facilitate Texas Lesson Study with teachers, including all necessary materials. The professional development course is designed for campuses that do not have ESC Facilitator in-person support for Lesson Study. It helps prospective campus or district facilitators to
- provide a thorough understanding of Texas Lesson Study (TXLS) as a process to improve teacher effectiveness,
- prepare participants to effectively facilitate TXLS with groups of teachers,
- provide best practices and examples of facilitation in the field, and
- help maintain the fidelity of implementation and success of TXLS.