Team teaching, teaching to strengths, having peers provide feedback, and observing others to learn new ideas and strategies are ways in which globally focused schools best serve students. When teachers plan together, even without team teaching, their combined knowledge and experience is always more valuable than what one teacher alone might develop. One example of such collaboration is called Japanese Lesson Study, a process developed during Meiji-era Japan, and is still in use today because of its effectiveness.
Japanese Lesson Study is a collaborative professional development tool that encourages teachers to work in groups of four to six educators each, usually at a specific grade level, to plan, observe, examine, and refine classroom lessons.
This process, which could take years, begins with the group of teachers setting a goal for themselves. They then create curriculum that aims to meet this goal. Teachers in Japan are expected to participate in this process and almost every single teacher is involved in at least one lesson study group, some also participate in districtwide groups, which meet in the evenings. A large portion of time is devoted to this process. The teams provide mentoring and training, but also allow teachers to try new teaching techniques.
A process of teaching the lessons, analyzing how they work in the classroom, and then revising the lessons with the group follows.
Here is an abbreviated version of this process that could be used for any subject:
Teachers from other schools are sometimes invited to observe the final version of the lesson.
Collaborative planning and team teaching is a winning combination for students. It provides enhanced content and builds teacher expertise, both of which can motivate students to learn.
Framework for a Lesson
(Adapted from The Teaching Gap: Best Ideas from the World's Teachers for Improving Education in the Classroom by James Stigler and James Hiebert.)
Here is a tool to use when preparing lessons: