In Japan, professional collaboration
has long been a routine part of a teacher"s work week. Known in Japan
as Lesson Study, it is a time-intensive activity practiced by both
novice and experienced educators and is the means by which lessons are
continually improved and student achievement is increased. Lesson study
may include a variety of activities related to strengthening
instruction such as examination of curriculum and concepts, development
of assessments, peer-critiques of instructional practicies, and
collaborative unit construction.
Thanks to the ground breaking work of the high school
science department, Lesson Study has been embraced by the Petal School
District. The program has been expanded to include science, social
studies, math, and language arts at the high school; daily
collaborative team time at the middle school; and grade level
professional learning communities at the elementary schools.