Lesson Study as a Component of an Induction Program for Novice Teachers

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Haupt, Melanie
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Middle Tennessee State University
Typically, beginning teachers need proper support as they transition to the classroom to be successful; they may not have the specialized skills and knowledge to teach mathematics effectively. Induction programs are designed to provide the needed support to novice teachers during their early years of teaching (Ingersoll & Strong, 2011); however, many induction programs within the US are not providing the necessary support to teachers to be successful (Wong et al., 2005). This study used a single case study to explore the effectiveness of lesson study as a component of an induction program for a novice mathematics teacher. The researcher interpreted the novice teacher’s development through the lens of the situative perspective. According to this perspective, which is the combination of constructivist and sociocultural perspectives, learning is a process of the active construction of individual knowledge through interaction with others. To explore the effectiveness of lesson study as a component of induction, a novice teacher was selected to participate in one cycle of lesson study with three iterations of the research lesson. The novice teacher was a first-year mathematics teacher starting the alternative route for a practitioner license. The lesson study group consisted of the novice teacher’s professional learning community. Multiple data sources were collected before, during, and after the lesson study to identify changes in the participant. Through coding and categorizing the data from each iteration of lesson study, the researcher identified her development pathways in her disposition, cooperative relationships, and mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT). The researcher identified how the novice teacher developed through the course of the study. At the start of the study, the novice teacher was unsure of what constituted effective teaching practices. Through the progression of the study, she learned the importance of teaching through problem solving to promote productive struggle in the learning of mathematics. This had a positive effect on her disposition as she started to understand the benefits of perseverance and experienced the joys of mathematics sense making. As the teachers collaborated throughout the lesson study process, the nature of their conversations shifted from congeniality to collegiality. Through participation in lesson study, the novice teacher developed MKT. The multiple iterations of the research lesson and involvement of the knowledgeable other are two critical factors influencing the growth of the novice teacher. The findings from this research study demonstrate the compatibility of lesson study with characteristics of effective induction programs, but more research on the sustainability and scalability of the findings of this case study is needed. In conclusion, this study suggests that lesson study can provide the necessary components of induction.
Mathematics education