What is Lesson Study


In lesson study, a team of 4-6 teachers collaborate to (1) identify and study an aspect of student learning they want to improve; (2) plan or refine a “research lesson” that brings to life their ideas about teaching the topic; (3) conduct and carefully observe the research lesson, collecting data on student thinking during the research lesson; and (4) share and reflect on the data and their implications for teaching and learning. Many groups then revise the lesson and teach it in another classroom, once again collecting data that enable them to deepen their understanding of the topic and its teaching and learning. The basic cycle of lesson study activities is shown below.


If most members of your group are new to lesson study, we recommend that you begin by familiarizing yourselves with lesson study in one of the following three ways:

  1. Read over the guide “Getting Started with Lesson Study” (available as a Word or PDF document).
  2. Watch “How Many Seats?,” which shows excerpts from a lesson study cycle in the U.S. (Please contact us to receive the password for the video.) We recommend downloading and reading our suggestions for use of this video prior to watching it.
  3. Review additional resources and information about lesson study on our main website.