CLeStuM … Who are we?
We are a team of teacher educators from the Faculty of Education, University of Malta:
Dr James Calleja (team leader)
Dr Michelle Attard Tonna (team member)
Dr Michael Buhagiar (team member)
We aim to support schools in Malta to learn about, initiate and sustain collaborative lesson study. Our work involves visiting schools to hold discussions with school leadership teams and teachers interested in lesson study. While we introduce schools to lesson study, we also provide ongoing support. We believe that support is crucial for teachers to understand the lesson study process, and hence to design and teach their lessons. The support we offer includes face-to-face meetings and observations.
The work we do involves:
providing professional development for teachers and school leadership teams on the lesson study process;
facilitating lesson study meetings with teachers;
observing and providing constructive feedback on lesson studies;
conducting research on lesson studies;
organising events in Malta to disseminate collaborative lesson studies; and
participating in conferences and meetings to present our research in Maltese schools.
Anyone interested in collaborative lesson study is encouraged to contact us.
What is the aim of this website?
The aim of the CLeStuM website is to showcase the various initiatives undertaken by different schools in Malta to initiate lesson study. This website is also intended to offer support by providing a range of resource materials that include articles, websites, videos, sample lesson plans, observation sheets and lesson study reports.
What are our beliefs?
Continuing professional development (CPD) is crucial for teachers in developing and learning about teaching. We believe in teachers learning together, that is, teachers learn best when they share ideas together, discuss strategies for improving student learning, and more importantly, plan, observe and evaluate lessons together. Teachers learn best when they work collaboratively sharing dilemmas, challenges and success stories.
A learning together approach to CPD is also driven by the notion of teachers supporting teachers. Teachers benefit from support they receive from their colleagues particularly because they are in the best position to understand the situations faced in the day-to-day classroom life.
What is lesson study?
Lesson study is a diffused example of ongoing teacher learning originating from Japan. Put simply, lesson study involves teacher-led research in which a group of teachers work together to identify an area for development in student learning. Through lesson study teachers collaboratively engage in ongoing cycles to plan, observe and evaluate lessons.
School learning will not improve markedly unless we give teachers the opportunity and support they need to advance their craft by increasing the effectiveness of the methods they use.
(Stigler & Heibert, 2009)
Stigler, J. W., & Hiebert, J. (2009). The teaching gap: Best ideas from the world's teachers for improving education in the classroom. New York: Free Press.
In a lesson study, a group of teachers work together to identify an issue either in their practice or related to students’ learning difficulties. Teachers study the curriculum related to their subject, analyse learning tasks and plan what they consider to be a suitable lesson to address the proposed concept or issue. The collaboratively planned research lesson is taught by a member of the group to a class of students. During the lesson, the other teachers observe the lesson with a focus on student learning. Participants, which may include teacher educators and researchers, seek to gather evidence to study the extent to which this lesson has achieved the desired objectives and the challenges that arose. On the basis of the analysis of the evidence gathered, teachers amend the lesson and another teacher re-teaches the revised lesson to another class. Lesson studies usually involve several cycles of planning, teaching, observing, and revising. The critical aspect of lesson study is that it is a practice-oriented, ongoing and job-embedded professional development approach. Given the focus and the nature of the lesson study process, it is considered as an action research exercise that participants carry out on their own professional practice. Its aim is to improve teaching by addressing issues related to student learning.
Although lesson study is more popular within the field of mathematics education, we believe that it can also be applied to other subjects. In this website, we have included in fact examples of lesson studies carried out in primary schools and in a number of secondary school subjects (i.e. Information and Communication Technology, Engineering Technology, English, Integrated Science and Mathematics).
What is the Lesson Study cycle?
This image is taken from this paper:
Takahashi, A., & McDougal, T. (2016). Collaborative lesson research: Maximizing the impact of lesson study.
ZDM Mathematics Education, 48(4), 513-526.
Why lesson study?
Lesson study has many benefits and incorporates key elements of productive teacher learning. Since it is initiated and driven by teachers (teachers identify the problem to study and collaboratively plan the lesson), lesson study gives teachers ownership in developing expertise about teaching.
Lesson study combines key features of productive CPD. Lesson study is: teacher-driven, practice-based, ongoing and context-oriented, provides teachers with ownership, focuses on student learning, involves collaboration in lesson planning, promotes action research, cultivates professional learning communities, develops teacher experience into expertise and may bring about a cultural change in teaching.
Source: Lesson Study Alliance
Available on YouTube at:
Who is this website for?
This website is intended for Heads of College Network, Heads of Schools, teachers and all those interested in understanding the lesson study process and/or are willing to implement it.
The resources available are intended for professional development designers (including school leaders) and teachers to support them in learning about, implementing and sustaining collaborative lesson study. The range of resources offered are also useful for anyone interested in understanding the process of engaging in lesson study with teachers.
In this section, one can find details on lesson study meetings and workshops to promote and disseminate the work currently being done within different schools in Malta. Up to 2019, there were ten schools (state and non-state) that implemented lesson studies. In three of these school, lesson study has been going on for the past two years.
Click on the image below to get information about lesson study events.
Department of Leadership for Learning & Innovation
Faculty of Education, University of Malta
Tel: +356 2340 3627
We would like to hear from you.
Get in touch.