Co-Development of Professional Practice at a Professional Development School through Instructional Rounds and Lesson Study

Co-Development of Professional Practice at a Professional Development School through Instructional Rounds and Lesson Study

Jennifer M. Suh (George Mason University, USA), Lesley A. King (George Mason University, USA) and Andrea Weiss (George Mason University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8632-8.ch022
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Abstract

This chapter examines the co-development of professional practices for both clinical faculty and teacher candidates at a Professional Development School through instructional rounds and lesson study. In particular, the authors highlight the nature of the transformative partnership of a collaborative network composed of two university teacher educators, a school-based site facilitator, and clinical faculty who co-designed and implemented a clinical model to enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics methods for elementary teacher candidates and faculty. The model of instructional rounds (City, Elmore, Fiarman, & Teitel, 2009) and lesson study (Lewis, 2002; Lewis, Perry, & Murata, 2006; Fernandez & Yoshida, 2004) were used in an elementary mathematics methods course at a Professional Development School to support teacher candidates in becoming reflective practitioners alongside clinical faculty. The chapter explores the following research questions: (1) In what ways did the targeted Instructional Rounds and Lesson Study impact the development of teacher candidates and clinical faculty's professional practice? (2) How does the co-development model for professional development enhance the transformative partnership at the Professional Development School?
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Introduction

This study is an outcome of a three-year project called the Professional Development School Math Lab where a mathematics methods course was woven into clinical practice at a Professional Development School (PDS) site with the collaboration of a university faculty and school based faculty. We began the model with a focus on Lesson Study (Lewis, 2002), a professional development structure that is teacher led to leverage the transformative partnership we had between the university faculty and the school teacher-leaders. As we continued to improve our model and partnership, we have added Instructional Rounds that allow both clinical faculty and teacher candidates to have specific targeted observations and bridge the connection between the theory and practice. The primary focus of the PDS math lab design included:

  • Targeted instructional rounds to focus on teaching practices such on differentiation, assessment, and math discourse in the classroom, which were the areas that were most challenging for novice teachers;

  • Implementation of inquiry-based reform-oriented curricular materials through Lesson Study;

  • Reflection on content, instructional rounds, lesson planning, and for math teaching.

It was designed based on the premise of modeling “a partnership of preparation program” that “designs course work and clinical preparation” in tandem so that the translation of knowledge into practice is explicitly demonstrated in a PDS classroom setting (NCATE, 2010, p. 4).

The chapter begins with the design of the PDS Math Lab and how the PDS setting provided an ideal environment for Instructional Rounds and Lesson Study with the necessary infrastructure for a transformative partnership that capitalized on the professional development of teachers at all levels, experienced and novice. Then, the authors will present data from the study that demonstrates the outcome from this transformative partnership that helped develop and fine-tune clinical faculty and teacher candidates’ mathematical knowledge for teaching. Finally, the authors will share recommendations and future directions for research.

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